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BMW strengthens core branding with new signature soundBy Erin Shea
German automaker BMW is revamping its core branding efforts with a new sound logo that will be played at the end of television and radio spots.
The new melody will be incorporated into BMW’s video and audio branding campaigns to further engage consumers through sound recognition value. The new tune will be introduced worldwide this year.
“Acoustic elements are an important aspect of the BMW brand appearance,” said Joachim H. Blickhäuser, head of corporate and brand identity at BMW Group, Munich.
“As part of the evolution of the acoustic branding, BMW replaces the ‘double gong’ with a new sound logo, which gives the brand a distinctive modern, aesthetic and dynamic recognition factor and can be used in many different ways worldwide,” he said.
BMW has used a double gong sound for the past 14 years, but wanted to make a new brand sound that was more modern. It can be heard in this short video.
BMW TV commercial
The automaker decided to modernize its sound so that it expresses BMW’s power, dynamism and driving pleasure, per the automaker.
The melody starts with a rising, resonant sound that is underscored by two distinctive bass tones to form BMW’s logo basis. It builds toward a shimmering, sophisticated finish.
The sound was composed by sound designer Thomas Kisser of Hastings music media.
The melody will be played at the end of future BMW commercials this year. The French and British markets will get the first exposure this month.
A new sound could help BMW commercials resonate more with consumers.
“One of the biggest problems in advertising today is the low association scores that many TV commercials receive,” said Al Ries, founder and chairman of Ries & Ries, a Roswell, GA-based marketing strategy consultancy.
“Many consumers remember a commercial, yet do not associate the commercial with the name of the advertiser,” he said. “A signature sound or a sound logo can help increase the association scores of BMW commercials.”
BMW will likely enhance its existing television commercials and branding efforts with a more modern sound.
The sound could also help keep BMW as leader of the pack on sales after coming out on top of other luxury automakers in 2012.
In fact, luxury automakers that promote strong branding in campaigns make the most impact when it comes to being top-of-mind among potential buyers and that is what likely propelled certain brands to have record sales in 2012.
BMW came out on top and sold the most vehicles out of any other luxury automaker in 2012 (see story).
However, it may take an extended amount of time and ad placements until consumers start relating the sound to the BMW brand.
“Some will relate the unique sound to the BMW brand, but it is going to take time to educate consumers about the connection between the sound and the brand,” Mr. Ries said.
“If more prospective [consumers] remember BMW because its sound logo increased the association score of its television commercials, then the brand would benefit,” he said.
Although it may not be noticeable to consumers, music and sounds can be especially memorable overall.
“It certainly is possible to create a sound that is strikingly memorable,” Mr. Ries said. “Take the first four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
“Every musician and most consumers can instantly relate to these notes,” he said.
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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