When it’s time to develop new campaigns and spots, music is often the last step in the creative process. But Joe Saba, co-founder of Videohelper, thinks creatives should reconsider that process.

“One of the most underrepresented and overlooked tools is sound,” Saba said. “It can be surprisingly powerful.”

Saba took the stage with two other panelists during Promax Station Summit 2019 to discuss music and audio’s impact on branding and content. For KPIX San Francisco, which recently marked its 70th anniversary, custom music was the backbone for its year-long celebration, said Chad Cook, VP and creative director at Stephen Arnold Music.

The minute-long spot uses archival footage from disparate decades; therefore, they needed one element to tie everything together. They called on Stephen Arnold Music to develop the spot’s united, celebratory sound, which was also translated into promos for the holidays and the below sports promo.

Custom music was ideal for this campaign for a number of reasons, Cook says. Since the majority of the visuals were archived news clips, many of which were in black and white, custom music drove emotion and brought a sense of cohesion across the original 60-second spot.

“With the right music, it becomes a compelling story with heart and emotion,” Cook said.

Saba, on the other hand, thinks audio is the perfect way to make creative work stand out. In addition to evoking emotion, audio can help drive a spot’s narrative, he says, using the below spot for One Strange Rock as an example.

“They went with something different and a little bit unsettling,” Saba said. “That’s what made that spot different.”

Aaron Gant, SVP, production at Warner Chappell Production, concluded the panel with the below spot that represented WPIX New York’s impact as a trustworthy, personable news source for New York.

Warner Chappell Production was presented with five disparate, pre-recorded elements, that the music production studio successfully combined into an original song that celebrates New York and WPIX’s unique role in it.

RELATED: The Daily Brief Podcast: WPIX’s ‘New York Very Own’ Campaign

Whether it’s custom music or pre-recorded sound, the three audio experts urge marketers to incorporate sound early in the process. In the end, it’s far more memorable and can quickly engage audiences in surprising ways, Gant says.

“You can use music in a way that’s different than anything else. No one turns off your channel and whistles your graphic,” he concluded.

Tags: sonic branding station summit 2019

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