A Mark Ritson column on Direct Line’s use of brand assets (link here) has some interesting statistics on the use of visual and audio assets as well as an interesting discussion of how to use brand assets. Direct Line use three popular licensed characters in their latest campaign (Robocop, Donatello and Bumblebee) as well as their distinctive red ‘analogue’ telephone but have stopped using the sonic logo, the “foghorn and keypad sound” as he calls it.
Mark Ritson points to a meta-analysis conducted by Ipsos that visual assets (such as logo, colour, slogan and font) are used by more than 90% of brands, while audio assets (such as sonic logo, music) are used by only 8% of brands. We’ve previously written about the sad demise in the use of ‘jingles’ (here), the ways in which music can create a winning environment for brands (here), and why Mastercard are looking at multiple senses (here).
More importantly, he points to the fact that audio brand assets have more impact on attention. While use of characters, the best performing visual assets, in advertising increases the likelihood of high performance six-fold (compared with celebrities less than three-fold), sonic logos increase the likelihood by more than eight-fold.
Jingles and sonic logos are highly effective. Think of the Intel chimes or the Cadbury Smash and Heinz Beans jingles. So why did Direct Line drop their highly distinctive ‘foghorn and keypad sound’? For me it’s still instantly recognizable, even after 20 years away from the UK.
The lesson for brands is to think beyond visual logos to get yourself noticed and make yourself memorable.