When targeting an audience through sound alone, you need to be twice as convincing. Considering you’ve only got sound to work with, going the extra mile is an understatement.
As well as a great voice over, you also need to ensure you have a great audio team to pull the strings and create an atmosphere out of your ad script, sound effects and background music. That’s where sound design comes in.
What is sound design?
Sound design is the process of creating sounds for use in products, which can range from sound effects, music and ambience for media purposes. This can be for anything from catchy jingle music to atmospheric effects.
Although we’re mainly talking about how it’s used in advertising, sound design is also very prevalent in many forms of media, including but not limited to: Games, movies, toys, etc.
How is sound used in advertising?
When it comes to professional sound design for advertising, this mainly involves music relative to a brand, like a catchy jingle, as well as sound effects used in ad material.
Sound is essential to advertising, especially when targeting an audience exclusively using sound. When you hear an ad about, say, a beer, you’ll hear ASMR-like sounds such as the crack of the can opening, the deep fizz of an ice cold beer, and the ambient back-ground sounds to set the scene, for those commuting, at work, or sitting in traffic.
If you approach it correctly, you can benefit greatly from an ad campaign with just audio alone. Audio ads are very prominent in daily life, imagine: over 80% of adults in the USA are tuned into radio on a daily basis, that’s a lot of people.
Imagine a world without music (or SFX)
What if every single time your favourite radio station paused for an ad break, the ads playing had no background music? Seriously, what if the whole world didn’t have any music, and everything was just speech and sound effects, the world would be pretty dull right?
The same can be said for an audio ad that doesn’t have at least a little bit of background music. Not to say you need to always have music going on, but you’d definitely need some sound effects thrown in there to create some ambience.
If you’re targeting corporate professionals, add in the clicks of a mouse or the tapping of a keyboard; if you’re a travel agent advertising tropical holidays, the clinking of cocktails, waves crashing and the light whisper of the wind makes all the difference.
Whoever said sound doesn’t make a difference hasn’t played one of their favourite ads on mute.
Invigorate the other senses
The mind’s an amazing thing. Through nothing but sound, your brain is able to associate certain sounds with tastes, touch and smell, with an initial push in the right direction.
Although not literally, you can’t say that a well thought out ad for a galaxy chocolate bar doesn’t make your mouth water. Or a holiday ad doesn’t get you reminiscing about the feeling of hot sun rays on your skin, and so on…
Think of how you can trigger an emotional response from the 15-30 second exposure you’re getting in front of your audience, appeal to their senses and you’re halfway there.
The importance of sound in advertising
Sound is just as, if not more important than visual imagery when it comes to effective advertising.
Considering there’s an array of people tuned into radio stations, podcasts and other forms of audio-based media, there is more than ample opportunity to take advantage of these principles.
Remember, less is more, just make sure you’ve got more than just a voice over convincing people to buy your product.