Modern Marketing Creativity News

Behind Singapore Airlines' new sonic identity


By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large

April 15, 2021 | 5 min read

Singapore’s flagship airline carrier brand recently unveiled its new brand architecture. The Drum gets UK-based agency DLMDD’s founder Max de Lucia to share what went into creating the new sonic identity for the iconic brand


SIA's iconic Batik motif

Even as the world waits to get back to a situation where travelling from one country to another is the easiest thing to be done, at least one airline brand is not waiting. It has been busy crafting its new brand architecture deploying the elements of sound to its identity.

Singapore Airlines (SIA), the flagship carrier airline of Singapore, has unveiled a new sonic identity entitled “The Sound of Singapore Airlines”. The new identity is part of the flagship airline brand’s new brand architecture which has been re-imagined with an idea to stimulate all five senses. The sonic identity, comprising three 10-minute instrumental tracks “Landing Music”, “Boarding Music” and “Lounge Music” will be played on-board aircraft during boarding, landing and in airport lounges, as well as for travellers across every other SIA customer touchpoint such as services centres and social media channels. The specialist sonic branding agency DLMDD has been behind putting together the sonic identity.

Max De Lucia, founder and client director of DLMDD, speak to The Drum and holds forth on the making of the new identity, the tough parts of cracking the brief and how they eventually managed to make the right sounds

Thought process behind the new identity

The brief, from Singapore Airlines and TBWA (SIA’s creative agency), was: “how do we translate the visual world of SIA and the Batik Motif into the world of sound?” That immediately got us thinking if we could build an instrument with the technology to turn the visual frequencies of these stunning flowers native to Singapore into sonic frequencies that a world-class composer could use to compose the "Symphony of Flowers".

The brand challenge(s) this new identity is seeking to solve

SIA's challenge is to truly connect its visual branding to its sonic branding which plays such an immensely powerful role across the entire consumer journey, from the time one steps on-board an aircraft till landing at the destination.

The key parts of creating the sonic branding

The sonic branding process started with building the Batik Instrument with a team spearheaded by sonic architect Dominic Murcott who is known for his eclectic work with the London Sinfonietta, the Whitney Museum in NYC and collaborations with Heston Blumenthal. The famous composer Rohan De Livera then worked with the Batik Instrument to compose the ‘Symphony of Flowers’ which comprises a huge sonic branding suite for every brand touchpoint.

The music was inspired by the new Singapore Airlines batik motif, which pays homage to its brand heritage and the tracks reflect the original batik motif of the cabin crews’ sarong kebaya and Singapore’s status as a garden city.

Making of the sonic branding

The tough part of cracking the brief

It's not every day you decide to build an instrument! This was complete world-first for us and of course, we had absolutely no idea if the Batik Instrument was going to work. But seeing the seed of the initial prototypes grow into a full body of work recorded by a world-class orchestra, live in Budapest, certainly put a big smile on everyone’s face.

Sonic branding and its future

There has never been a more exciting and essential moment in time for sonic branding. If you are a marketer and you're not bringing your brand to life in sound, you're not doing your job properly!

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