For a long time I really only thought about branding in terms of visuals. Things like color, typeface, design styles, logos, signage, video intros, etc.
But lately I’ve been intrigued by adding a brand sound to that list as well.
We’re all familiar with brand sounds whether it’s the Netflix intro or the default “new message” sound in Slack. Even Chipotle has started to weave the sizzle of fresh meat on the grill into their brand identify and message.
Once you start looking for them, they’re everywhere.
Our sport has a few sounds that all of us can relate to. The sound of a chair bouncing over the sheaves on a lift tower is a classic, but maybe more recognizable in this day and age is the sound of scanning your pass.
This sound marks the beginning of your day, the end of a great run, and many moments in-between. And, interestingly, it’s on I heard on recent pre-roll ads from both the Epic and Ikon teams with their 2023/24 season pass campaigns. List for the sound at the 2-3 second mark in the Ikon video below:
And notice the repetition in how Epic used it in their mobile pass launch video:
If you scan passes all day long, these sounds may mean less to you than someone who only hears them when they’re in their happy place doing their favorite thing.
Sounds can be an interesting trigger of memories and emotions, so I’m extremely intrigued by the use of the scanning sound by both major players in this year’s campaigns.
Will they build this in deeper into the brand? Will other brand capitalize on other sounds? Is it a bit of a stretch when some existing sounds really aren’t totally unique to a specific resort?
I dunno, but I think it’s one to think about and see where your brain takes you.
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