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A sound way to sell the summer

Posted by Olivia Howlett - Head of Audio Branding at PHMG on

Summer is a time for festivals… a time for travel… and as many companies have proved, it’s a great time to create topical campaigns that tie in to the season. And most remarkably, they’re using sound to do this in a way that really speaks to their audience. With the sun high in the sky, we explore how businesses everywhere are seizing summer as an audible marketing opportunity.

Just one look at the marketing press reveals exactly how many brands are tying their campaigns to the season – whether it be through an exclusive event, successful sponsorship or a timely track. In a unique partnership, Time Out and City Cruises united to host exclusive sunset screenings of classic movies on the Thames – an outdoor event that utilised the long summer evening to powerful experiential effect. McDonalds are promoting their summer staple product the McFlurry to younger audiences by becoming an official sponsor of daytime Capital radio, tying themselves to big summer hits and a host of different festivals. And in their latest TV campaign, Boots have updated Wizzard’s festive classic ‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday’ to become all the more summery, creating new lyrics that showcase seasonal products such as suncream, waxing strips and fake tan.

While Boots used audio effectively by subverting a famous song, restaurant delivery service Deliveroo took a different route for their sound summer campaign – incorporating a host of different elements that all tie to the Great British Summer. Creating unique audio content to play across Spotify and Digital Audio Exchange (DAX), they have the potential to introduce 46,000 different combinations of ads, with specific examples deployed based on the weather, time of day, locale and day of the week. The features all suggest delivery scenarios that encourage people to make the most of the great outdoors, with special Deliveroo pick-up points in a range of parks allowing customers to enjoy a higher class of al-fresco dining. These audio ads are supplemented by dynamic out-of-home visuals, which further strengthen seasonality by tying in to big summer events. With this full-scale campaign, Deliveroo have utilised a range of different formats that all effectively target their audience – particularly sound. And by focusing their content on summer, they’ve targeted consumers in a relatable, relevant and topical way.

Not all businesses have the marketing reach or budget of Deliveroo – but they can employ sound in the same way as this high-profile campaign by making effective use of audio branding. All manner of companies offer specialist products or services for summer, whether it be automotive air conditioning, hot events in hospitality or bargain breaks to holiday destinations. With the seasonal nature of these promotions, methods of advertising need to be easily updatable – like an audio branding package. By making effective use of updates, companies can employ productions designed to play only for the summer months, targeting a captive audience of callers with a vested interest in the seasonal content. And when the first autumn leaf falls, this can be replaced with new messages especially for the colder climes.

As this season’s campaigns prove, the sound of the summer isn’t always a festival anthem or big club tune – it’s the sound of marketers across every sector shouting about everything they have to offer while the sun shines.




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