Introducing: The Six Dimensions of Sound
The International Festival of Creativity, Cannes Lions, kicks off in just a few weeks. As one of the top destinations for marketing, entertainment, design and tech, attendees convene from around the globe to celebrate the best of the best in creativity.
In celebration of Cannes Lions this year, we are excited to announce the never before explored, “Six Dimensions of Sound.” These dimensions are constructed from our unique perspective on sound and the power of audio.
Living in an era of “voice is the new touch” (where everyone’s must-have accessory is their headphones, mobile device and voice-activated speaker systems) has led to a shift in consumer behavior to an always-on, always-connected, mobile-first environment.
Audio is the only form of media that reaches people in the moment, wherever they are.
Whether you’re heading to the French Riviera or hanging back in your hometown, we’re excited to share some of our insights and expertise in the world of sound and audio that will help you take your creativity to the next level.
The Six Dimensions of Sound
Sound affects raw materials such as glass, ice and concrete as well as physiological elements including brain waves, motor function and organic cells.
The nerves conducting sound become functional at around 20 weeks in the womb. As one of the earliest senses to develop, your connection to sound begins with the heartbeat and sets the stage for the rest of your life.
After birth, you take evolutionary cues from nature. A bird happily chirping will connect you to feelings of safety, while the crumbling of leaves might raise your fight or flee instincts.
Resonance is what occurs when a signal (a sound emitting from a source) and its environment interact so that the original signal is amplified. In short, resonance is “the impact of one vibration on another.”
Sounds have the ability to transport you to a memory. We have all experienced it: a song or melody associated with a romance or another emotional experience can create a memory-based psychological reaction.
Because we process it faster than other senses, sound influences the way we feel and creates meaning.
The saying “our perception is our reality,” applies to our interactions with sound as well. All other senses (sight, smell, taste and touch) are frequently influenced based on sounds that are occurring around us.
Consider your favorite store. Have you noticed the music that is playing while you’re shopping? Lively and exciting tunes bring energy to the shopping experience whereas other varieties of physical stores will play calm and classical music to create a relaxed environment.
"We look beyond music simply being used as a background track in a commercial or on a playlist and look at it in terms of how it can affect consumer perception and behavior," says Steve Keller, founder of Nashville-based audio consultancy iV.
The human voice is unique in its ability to express an array of emotions. This element is an important step in forming lasting connections between people. Because of this phenomenon, voice-activated-everything is spreading like wildfire – from Siri on our smartphones to connected home devices like Google Home in our living rooms.
This renaissance of audio is making the importance of creating a Sonic Identity (which includes everything that creates the “sound” of a brand) imperative.
Sound can be so powerful that it motivates behavior. There’s a set of stairs at Sony headquarters in Japan that play musical notes as you step on each stair. The sounds motivate visitors to hop up and down and run all over these stairs. Clearly, this is not normal behavior on an ordinary staircase.
Similarly, a campaign Propel ran with Pandora drove a 63% lift in Ad Awareness and a 60% lift in Purchase Intent demonstrating that sound clearly drives action for advertising.
Our brain is programmed to fill in the blanks when we hear sounds. This concept is also known as “theater of the mind.” When using only spoken words or sounds to paint a picture in the listener’s mind, we fill in the “gaps” with their imagination.
When you think about the rich fabric of storytelling, our connection to listeners can help change their point of view and uniquely express your message in order to inspire action.
All of these six dimensions of sound work in tandem and this embodies great storytelling.
We’ll be diving in deeper to each of these in the coming weeks so stay tuned. Together, we will explore the relationship between sound and the imagination, and why sound remains one of the most powerful creative platforms in our world today.