The Symphony of a Pandemic or How Our Sonic Consumption Changed a Whole Industry
Streets were quiet, bars and shops were closed, parks were empty and the chirping of birds in the morning was the only sound that managed its way into our homes. The stillness in the outside world was one of the most distinct characteristics of the past months during the COVID-19 lockdown. Inside, however, houses lit up with songs of hope, out-of-tune melodies from instruments found at the back of wardrobes, and exhausted sighs caused by at-home workouts.
The pandemic introduced many changes into our lives. And while some, such as wearing masks or keeping distances, are slowly disappearing, our most recent bonding to sound is here to stay. In VoiceArchive we have always believed in the potential of sound to boost a company’s image, but more than ever, we aim to emphasize why brands need to develop sonic branding strategies if they want to stay relevant in this new era.
Do you still remember the TV voice overs from your childhood?
Sounds linger on
Scientists regularly insist on the power of echoic memory in contrast to iconic memory. While images disappear in milliseconds, sounds linger for a longer time. When brands opt for a voice over specialist to give character to their ad, not only do they manage to create a unique experience for the audience, but they also manage to prevail longer than others. Who does not remember the “subway commercial guy”, who skyrocketed the sales of sandwiches and became a beloved part of our popular culture?
Tired of watching a screen?
Eye-catching advertising is out
Even though the streaming of TV, shows or movies grew, the user experience changed. Multiple articles pointed out the slow decrease of effectivity on-screen advertising, as the overconsumption of media leisure in lockdown caused massive screen fatigue. People began to use their devices differently, as they were forced to spend most of their days in front of their computer working.
Having podcasts or shows in the background while cooking, doing exercise, or doing crafts became the habit. For that reason, eye-catching, neon advertising no longer caused an impression of audience, who know only went to reach their gadgets when ad voice overs arouse emotions.
Speaking with the audience
The need to awaken emotions also came from the inundation of loneliness in homes. People living alone or self-isolating covered their needs to interact with people and hear voices through the streaming of podcasts and audiobooks in the background. These provide intimacy and a sense of understanding that silent mediums lack, giving comfort in difficult times.
The closeness and familiarity that this new setting granted, allowed brands to create a deeper connection to customers, who understood their messages as a 1-to-1 conversation, instead of a massive communication strategy. Trustworthiness and a near image were some of the results of this shift.
Alexa, tell me a joke!
And in order to achieve this sense of comfort, people acquired convenient devices with no screen, but that responded to our concerns. We are obviously talking about Amazon’s Echo or Google Nest, voice assistants that mainly function as speakers, but can also interact with the audience, and even provide a direct marketing experience. NARS, who teamed up with Spotify on an immersive voice-activated advertising campaign that allows UK listeners to order cosmetic samples via smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Assistant. [Source]
Slowly, these gadgets camouflaged into our furniture and decoration, giving an unequivocal opportunity for companies interested in the future of marketing.
It would be unfair to talk about sound without mentioning e-learning. Our most talented voice stars constantly produced content for some of the main e-learning platforms, helping people at home to catch up with their duties and interests. Months after lockdown, people have kept their reliance on audio to learn, as audio narrations in e-learning are an easy way to get to know new topics.
One thing is clear, the era of sound is right around the corner, and in VoiceArchive we are ready for it! Are you looking for ways to take your marketing plan to the next level? Let us help you create an authentic brand experience with the best voice-over professionals.
Let's make some voice
We’re all ears!