got vision? use sound.

Advertising breaks free from the screen

Posted by Symon Dickinson - Creative Director at PHMG on

The marketing landscape is filled with flashing images and towering billboards – but visual advertising is no longer enough to captivate consumers’ attention. To really make their mark, brands are moving into more experimental mediums. As the face of advertising moves away from the screen, we’re looking at how multi-sensory experiences are immersing the masses.

Recent developments in technology have seen a dramatic shift in the evolution of ads, and this has introduced new, exciting opportunities for interactive promotion. In particular, virtual reality has taken the world by storm – as proven by the gaming industry, with VR headsets revolutionizing the way we play. However, its application goes beyond the confines of goggles, with trailblazers pushing the limits of digital technology to create even more immersive environments – and opening the door to another realm of marketing.

Last month, Guinness took their beer tasting campaign to the next level – using virtual reality to immerse Tesco shoppers in an abstract environment that brought their beer and brand to life. They invited customers to taste three beers in innovative VR scenarios, stimulating all five senses to enhance flavour perception – particularly hearing. Working in partnership with leading food psychologist Charles Spence (an expert in the field of audio and flavour), they used sound to enhance the taste of the particular beers. And by introducing a voiceover from Guinness Master Brewer Peter Simpson, they added authenticity to the sonic environment too.

Advertising that appeals to all the senses evokes a far more meaningful response with consumers, than relying solely on the use of images. It’s not only successful, but essential in crafting an immersive environment and eliciting the kind of lasting relationship brands need to form with their audiences. By exploring soundscapes in an extraordinarily innovative way, the Guinness campaign showcases a new wave of marketing in which sound is key to creating an impact, vitally complementing sight and touch to create a deeper connection. We’re moving away from the visual, to the visceral.

As we go forward into this whole new territory of engagement, more people will be exposed to the world of multisensory advertising – meaning customers will be primed to expect this kind of marketing whenever they interact with a business. The telephone remains a key method of interaction, so this channel presents a prime opportunity to incorporate the immersive practice of audio branding.  With on-brand music, voice and copy characterising the caller experience, you’ll not only show customers that you’re ahead of the curve, but will connect with them on a memorable, emotional and experiential level.

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