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McCann London Voice Assistant Cannes Lions

The Drum @ Cannes Lions 2018: Brands are starting to visually disappear, sonic branding is the future


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

June 19, 2018 | 4 min read

Kicking off The Drum at Cannes in style saw the fourth official opening of The Drum Arms, our very own pop-up pub, and a re-brand reveal. Part of this was our sonic branding, created by New York agency, Man Made Music.


The Drum @ Cannes Lion 2018: Brands are starting to visually disappear, sonic branding is the future

Editor-in-chief, Gordon Young spoke to a panel of industry experts in audio on how voice will change the world.

All the statistics claim how huge voice is going to be, but is that really what the industry is experiencing? “One in six US households have voice assistants, it's coming hard and fast,” explained Karmarama’s managing partner, Hannah Matthews. “As agencies and fans, we need to think about this and how we are putting our brands forward in this new space.”

Delving deeper into this, McCann London’s managing director, Sheryl Marjoram says we all have a voice and that companies and brands shouldn’t exclude the older generation. "Voice doesn’t care if you’re six or 106.

"This isn't going to have an adoption rate like tech. There isn't going to be the normal awkward start were people get anxious or intimidated, it's not going to exclude and will welcome in everybody. A third of the people who have smartphones are 55 and over. It's not just for the kids,” she explained further.

However, brands are starting to visually disappear, and founder of Man Made Music, Joel Beckerman believes that a sonic identifier will really help brands to continue to capture to customer experience.

“There are so many technologies now that are voice first, voice only or sound. If brands don't have an identifier, if they don't have a way to carry people through those customer experiences they are not going to get credit for those things. The engagement levels go up when you use sound in terms of the customer experiences.”

Voice offers brands a sweet spot according to Marjoram. Voice is an opportunity for brands to get in there and figure out what gift they are going to give the world, how are they going to turn up and what can they do that is really different to give real meaning to customer service.

Matthews believes that brands can really express themselves with sonic branding. The power of the emotion voice can offer from the music or feeling or sound. “It's a really powerful sense, we should really be using that when we think about brand marketing.”

Concluding, Beckerman said that talking is very disruptive and most people who are approaching voice, are approaching it the wrong way. "You can't just think about the human voice. You need to score the customer experience, not only for the brands to get credit, but for these experiences to be really next level intuitive that you clearly know emotionally what the customer wants.

"If all you're doing is talking, we're going to drive people crazy. Talking can be very interruptive."

McCann London Voice Assistant Cannes Lions

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