The most effective brand audio logos in Australia

By AdNews | 15 June 2020
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Broadcaster SCA has partnered with audio intelligence platform Veritonic to produce the first study into the most effective brand audio logos in Australia.

Bunnings and Victoria Bitter took the top two positions in terms of performance.

Bunnings’ sonic brand had winning scores across almost every indicator including recall, correct identification of brand and industry, and emotional attributes including trust, authenticity, happiness, and likeability.

Victoria Bitter, the number two brand on the index, matched Bunnings for emotional attributes including authenticity, likeability and uniqueness; qualities that map directly to high recall.

 The Audio Logo Index top 10: 

  1. Bunnings
  2. Victoria Bitter
  3. Toyota
  4. McDonald’s
  5. Telstra
  6. Coles
  7. Intel
  8. AAMI
  9. Woolworths
  10. Harvey Noman

“Audio branding is important for advertisers because audio lives everywhere," says SCA national head of creativity, Matt Dickson.

"Audio logos when done well offer effortless attribution and recall of a brand across audio, TV, on premise and online. Part of the reason for this is audio’s unique relationship with the brain. A good audio logo will get stuck in your head and virtually never leave.

“Now is the time to create an audio logo for your brand, because smart speakers will change the ways we buy. V commerce is here in Australia and will only grow from here. Every search that happens via smart speaker is one less search that happens visually. If your brand doesn’t have audio brand assets, then how is anyone going to know who you are in a voice environment?”

The Audio Logo Index study used Veritonic’s audio intelligence platform to collect data on the top 26 audio logos in Australia.

The platform analysed the files using machine listening and learning algorithms to identify trends, strengths and weaknesses, and then collected human response data from 2,100 people from SCA’s Insights Community.

Respondents listened to each logo and assessed it on a range of attributes, as well as brand familiarity and memorability*.

The platform then assigned each sonic brand a Veritonic Audio Score, the only standard measure of audio creative effectiveness.

“Familiarity, which also obviously influences recall, is another strong driver of a high-scoring audio brand. Each of these businesses is both long-established and among the brands spending the most on marketing in Australia. In fact, all of the top-10-scoring brands on the Index - which claimed an average recall score of 97 - are heavy ad spenders,” says Dickson.

Across categories, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) was the best performing industry, driven by brands such as VB and SPC. Retail followed closely behind, with automotive as the lowest performing sector.

“The automotive sector, for the most part, consistently produced the lowest-performing audio logos across all three markets. Most logos don’t leverage melody or mention the brand name, both proven best practices and drivers of high recall. Not one panellist who heard the sonic logos could correctly identify the brand,” Dickson says.

“The one major exception for the sector is Toyota, a sonic brand that has been running since the 1980s and does include a melody. The logo scored 17% higher than the sector average, and 30 points over the average brand association score for any company on this Index. This shows that longevity matters.”

The study is also conducted by Veritonic in the US and UK and several international brands scored consistently across the three countries, with Intel and Netflix the best performers.

Audio logos featuring a melody had a 20% higher memorability and brand association than those that did not. All of the top 10 audio logos, including McDonald’s, Woolworths, Telstra, AAMI and Coles, used melody as a memorable device.

“An audio logo needs a melody to be memorable, and if it contains the brand name as well it’s even more effective. There’s also the ‘whistle test’. If you can’t whistle an audio logo, it’s probably too complex, and won’t be as effective. It’s an interesting parallel to visual logos - If you can draw a visual logo it’s more iconic and easier to remember – the same applies to audio branding with whistling or humming,” Dickson says.

Age also matters when it comes to the impact of audio logos with Boost Juice and Netflix up to 42% more memorable among people aged 18 to 39.

The sonic brand logo of produce manufacturer SPC was 18% more memorable among those aged over 40. Bunnings, Toyota, McDonald’s and Harvey Norman scored relatively equally across demographic groups.

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