Ever noticed that everyone around you is always listening to something? And I’m not just talking about commuters with their headphones in. People are always listening. Whether that’s to another person, the radio or inconspicuous background noise, sound is one sense that we simply can’t switch off.
The hearing organs start forming when a foetus is just three weeks old. At around 25 weeks, a foetus uses sound to create new memory circuits with meaningful associations. At 36 weeks a foetus can can tell the difference between different moods based on what it hears. From the womb until the moment we die we are inescapably surrounded by sound.
Strange then that with digital, the audio strategy falls to the back of advertisers’ priorities, especially when you think that nearly 22 million people spend around 11 hours every week listening to connected audio. Sound clearly plays a central role in our lives. And it should, so why not in marketing too?
The truth is that marketers are so dependent on visual branding that audio tends to come later in the priority list. No one can deny the power of a visually impactful ad to capture your attention, but sound has a unique strength. A listener doesn’t have to actively engage with the content for the messaging to come through. Even background noise is picked up and processed by the brain.
So sound is important. But can brands really be as creative with sound as they can with visual advertising? The answer is yes.