“Brands and companies are going to have to be much more thoughtful about how they’re approaching audio and how are they making people’s lives easier, how are they putting them at ease, how are they, you know, easing apprehensions and anxieties, how are you lightening the cognitive load, if you will. And so much of this is subconscious, but that’s really where sound design and audio branding becomes increasingly valuable.” — Shez Mehra
This episode is part two of my interview with audio branding specialist and entrepreneur Shez Mehra, as we talk about audible equity, the future of branding, and the perils of stock music.
Renting Audible Equity
We begin with a look at some of the companies who took a long view toward their audio assets and branding, and are now starting to see the rewards. Disney+ has leveraged its decades-long branding to catch up with Netflix in a matter of months while children’s shows like Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig have understood and invested in their audio brand. “And yet you have Fortune 1000,” Shez explains, “even Fortune 500 companies that are running around still trying to rent their audible equity every time they go to market.”
Shez also humorously points out the dangers of waiting until the last minute or relying on stock music when it comes to the audio component of an ad campaign with a video of no less than four major companies using the same theme. Want to hear what Nike, KFC, H&M, and Dolce & Gabbana have in common? Just click on the link below:
A Deep Diagnostic
Shez tells us about his work with the Telus #EndBullying campaign, and how, over a two-day period, his team helped turn around a project that had put off its audio strategy. “That was one of those instances,” he says, “where we believed in the campaign, we believed in the work and we did our very best to bring it to life quickly and efficiently.” We also talk about his work on the upcoming Destination Toronto content hub, and how his workshop helps analyze the role of audio content in a client’s marketing strategy. “We really do a deep diagnostic of their sonic universe as it exists today.”
Making People’s Lives Better
“In order to really resonate with people or capture their attention,” Shez explains, “you can’t just serve them a TV commercial anymore.” We conclude with a look at the future of audio and its transition from the jingles and focused television spots of yesterday to the more ambient role it plays in our lives today. “You don’t notice the music when it makes sense for the environment you are in, but subconsciously it is working… the goal here is to make people’s lives better without them even realize you’re doing so.”
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.