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Travelling through sound

Posted by Robby Stone - Head of Music and Voice at PHMG on

They say travel broadens the mind… and as Cathay Pacific have proved in their latest campaign, it broadens the ears too. Join us as we explore how this international airline has celebrated the sound of adventure with a song that really takes listeners on a journey.

Whether it’s a holiday, business trip or voyage of a lifetime, every travel opportunity is characterised by the sounds that unfold at every stage of the journey. Before we leave, there’s the zip of the suitcase, and the turn of the key in the lock of the home we’re leaving behind. The airport brings the hubbub of departures, hundreds of voices buzzing with anticipation – punctuated by loudspeaker announcements and stern final calls. As we board the plane, there’s the friendly welcome of the air hostess, the clunk and click of the seatbelt and of course, the roar of the engine as we’re taken up, up and away into the skies. And as we touchdown at our final destination, there’s a host of new and exciting sounds ready to waft their way into our eardrums. A gently lapping wave soothes us at a relaxing beach retreat. The roars, grunts and screeches of the savannah create the wow factor of a safari. Or if we’re visiting a new city, the cosmopolitan cacophony of traffic, transport, accents and conversation creates an awe-inspiring auditory melting pot.

It’s clear to see that sound is a huge part of the travel experience, heightening the sense of excitement and romanticism involved with jetting across the globe. Airlines Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have not only realised this, but celebrated it in a campaign that can’t fail to capture the imagination. Travelling to Hong Kong, they recorded the unique sounds of travel from airport to airplane to touchdown in the city. And by knitting these audio snippets together in a cleverly complex mix, they created a track that showcased what it sounds like to really travel well. This piece formed the backdrop to a stunning video, and together, the two forms of media work to illustrate the vibrancy, viscerality and vividness of a trip with Cathay.

So why did this premium airline choose to focus their campaign on the auditory wonders of the world? As they explain on its dedicated website, ‘when we travel well, the world unfolds – not only before our eyes, but all our senses.’ They recognise the importance of sound as a sense, and how it evokes the feelings and memories associated with travel that stay with us forever. In composing a song from the sounds of the journey, they’ve created a campaign that really captures the immense possibilities of travel – and this can’t fail to connect with an audience inspired by wanderlust.

As Cathay Pacific has proved, sound plays a vital role in perhaps the most exciting and memorable experiences of our lives – so it’s clear why it makes such an impact on the consumer.

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