LISTEN: What does Colgate’s first-ever global sonic branding sound like?

COLGATE SONIC BRANDING MASSIVEMUSIC

London – Branding is a multi-dimensional endeavor, and there could never be too many facets for companies and products to unearth in the goal to serve fresh and ingenious ways of asserting one’s identity. In light of recent developments among brands, it seems that to extract the ‘gem’ in branding is to simply pay attention to one of our God-given senses – our sonic appetite. 

In a new announcement, Colgate has revealed that it will now be joining the earlier adopters of audio branding such as McDonald’s and Intel, to develop its first-ever global sonic identity. 

So how will Colgate sound like? In a feature published on YouTube by MassiveMusic, the international creative music agency in London tapped by the brand to develop its sound, it is said that the audio will simply carry these important elements – strong beat, bright sounds, and ‘surprising moments’. 

Most importantly, it will feature ‘humming’ – which had been decided as the centerpiece of the branding’s ‘big idea’ on ‘Optimism’.

In partnership with its New York team, MassiveMusic shared that in the mid of conceptualization, they have been trying to uncover what ultimately makes a sound ‘optimistic’. Optimism has been Colgate’s core value, never leaving the sight of its campaigns through the years, and it was crucial that the audio embodies it and sounds like it. 

This is in turn has motivated the team to turn to the power of science. According to MassiveMusic, they spoke and worked with academics, ethnomusicologists, and neuroscientists, and at the end of their research, they have been directed to one simple but authentic signifier of positivity – the human hum. 

In the same feature, viewers are taken to the first listen of the sonic identity – an upbeat and cheery hum – that would go in sync with the smile visual animation in the Colgate logo. 

The sonic identity consists of a blend of both female and male tones, and the sonic logo was meticulously recorded in such a way as to sound “very real, close, and natural.” 

The choice of key was also based on research, selecting the ‘D Major’ which is widely accepted as optimistic in nature. The agency said the choice of notation and the portmanteau bend towards the end of the sonic logo was also deliberately thought of to create an activating feeling without being overbearing. 

Roscoe Williamson, global creative strategy director at MassiveMusic, shared that the biggest challenge of the project was its complex nature – the need to create a system of branded ‘watermarked’ music, stemming from a sonic DNA that would be adopted by more than 200 countries and across a broad range of platforms and mediums. 

“And so we created a sonic architecture that could handle this complexity and an overarching aesthetic to the new Colgate music and sound that has universal appeal. To do this, we worked with a team of academics and experts and were able to define music and sound cues that throughout history have represented optimism. These cues are at the heart of Colgate’s new sonic brand and have enabled a flexible system that represents the optimistic nature of the brand in a highly distinctive and holistic way,” said Williamson. 

Meanwhile, Jared Richardson, global head of design at Colgate, commented, “It really was an incredible experience developing the sound of Colgate with MassiveMusic. The process, collaboration, and outcome were fascinating and really enjoyable. The result is a strategically valuable asset that will play out across our global marketing campaigns. We look forward to continuing developing this side of our brand.”

The new sonic brand will be rolled out across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa-Eurasia, and Asia. 

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