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Etihad Airways is the first airline to bring guests on a sonic journey

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Sixième Son is behind Etihad’s sonic branding, which accompanies travelers through each phase of their journey

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has partnered with Sixième Son to develop a very ambitious and robust sonic system.

Staying true to the brand’s mission to bring the world to Abu Dhabi, the sonic identity has sprung from Arabic roots and includes an innovative sonic sound across the customer journey from booking to landing and sharing. The unique identity helps Etihad stand out in a competitive industry where brands are competing to inspire and entice travelers.

Music guides the traveller through the journey with Emirati traditions

Etihad’s sonic branding accompanies the traveler through each phase of their journey, and is present in digital communication, TVCs, terminals, lounges and onboard.

Etihad Airways wears its heritage with pride, and aims to bridge diverse cultures by welcoming the world to Abu Dhabi. That ethos was incorporated into the sonic identity design, ensuring that the brand’s Emirati roots and outward-facing cosmopolitanism were front and center.

In creating the identity, Sixième Son was inspired by the traditional Al Sadu weaving method; an emblematic Emirati craft requiring skill and creativity. In turn, the agency blended traditional instruments with both organic and electronic textures, overlapping and responding to one another, mirroring the weaving method. They also worked with local musicians to ensure authenticity, using instruments such as the ney, kanoon and oriental percussion to produce a melody exclusive to the Etihad experience.

A first for both Etihad Airways and Sixième Son, the Etihad sonic brand won Gold in the Transform Awards Middle East/Africa for ‘Best Use of Audio Branding’, truly setting new higher standards in the industry.

Amina Taher, vice-president brand, marketing and sponsorships at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad’s brand promise is to bring the world to Abu Dhabi. Inspired by the UAE capital, the launch of our sonic identity is an expression, not just of our home, but of our culture.

“It is an eclectic mix of Emirati and international instrumentation and arrangements, played by musicians from the UAE and around the world. Etihad guests will hear dozens of bespoke music tracks that have been built from the same sonic DNA when on board our aircraft, in our lounges, at events, when calling the contact center, on the radio or when watching our videos.”

Laurent Cochini, managing director at Sixième Son, said: “The tailor-made sonic experience creates positive brand memories. Etihad really understood the power of sound and how it can enrich the conversation with its customers.”

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