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Creative Director’s Choice: Pandora’s Lauren Nagel on Stoli’s sonic storytelling

Stoli's Loud and Clear campaign

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Pandora’s vice-president, executive creative director Lauren Nagel, notes the importance of sonic branding in Stoli’s visceral ‘Loud and Clear’ campaign.

It’s possible to tell a sonic story without using any actual voice messaging, and Stoli proved that point loud and clear in their new campaign. The spot, scored by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe, is a masterclass in creating meaning through a dynamic audio experience.

When you see someone open their mouth to scream, you expect just that—a scream. Here, as the subjects get ready to unleash the full power of their vocal cords, we are instead treated to haunting opera music and earth-shattering falsetto, evoking emotion by tapping into the power of melody.

The orchestral quality amplifies the campaign’s tagline—not only are we offered arresting visuals of what drives each individual, but we are also able to grasp the sheer force of expression through powerful, transcendent audio.

Replacing a human shriek with commanding classical music fundamentally changes the dynamic of the experience, elevating the message beyond the power of the spoken word.

This spot engages a brilliant use of cross-modalism, which is the interplay of our senses working together: though we see the ferocity of inhibitions being released physically, it’s the sonic intensity that ultimately translates the fervor and compounds the emotional impact.

Stoli proves sound has the power to both amplify meaning and also change it, powerfully influencing our experience of visuals through resonance and perception.

Lauren Nagel is vice-president, executive creative director at streaming audio company Pandora.

See and hear the video and full campaign by clicking the Creative Works box below.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you would like to feature a creative director in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Creative Works editor Kyle O’Brien.

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