The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America
Category Archives: Sonic Branding
May 31, 2016Posted by on
At Stephen Arnold Music, we are obsessed with sonic branding. Our mission, on every project, is to create a distinctive melody or sound that will connect a brand or product to its target audience.
Sound and music share a unique quality. They can both trigger memories – and emotional responses. A certain song can remind you of the first person you fell in love with, a sporting event, a certain year in high school, a sad moment, or a memorable trip with good friends. Even simple sounds – the crackle of a fire, church bells ringing, crickets chirping, or water running through a stream – can make you feel a certain way.
When associated with a brand or product, music and sound work the same way. For example, think of the music from Star Wars, or Monday Night Football – or the simple, relaxing sound of the ocean featured on Corona beer commercials.
Even more interesting is that, with frequency and consistency over time, music or a certain sound ALONE can trigger the recollection of an entire brand, including a logo, characters, personalities, and of course, the product itself. It’s really amazing how people respond to sounds and melodies in such distinct ways.
The Telegraph, a newspaper/publication in the UK, put together a list of the “Top 50 Most Loved Sounds.” I found the list fascinating – especially the emotions, thoughts, and images that passed through my mind as I read each item. So I thought it would be fun to share that Top 50 list. And when you read through it, observe what goes through your mind in terms of images, memories, and emotional responses.
TOP 50 MOST LOVED SOUNDS
- Waves against rocks
- Rain against the windows
- Treading on snow
- Baby laughing
- Birds chirping
- Crackling open fire
- People laughing
- Leaves crunching beneath your feet
- Cat purring
- Church bells in the distance
- Wind passing through leaves of a tree
- Piano playing
- Owl hooting
- Bacon sizzling
- Sound of the sea in a conch shell
- Pouring wine
- Pebbles thrown into water
- Choir singing
- Steam train whistle
- Popping a cork
- Electric guitar
- Bubble wrap popping
- Whale calling
- Fizzy drink poured on ice
- People laughing/screaming on rollercoasters
- Roar of a Ferrari engine
- Cricket bat hitting a cricket ball
- Bumblebee buzzing
- Piercing foil on a new jar of coffee
- Popping popcorn
- Seagulls calling
- Fairground music
- Formula one car engine
- Arcade/amusement games
- Crunch of biting an apple
- Lawn mowers in the summer
- Clock ticking
- Opening of a fizzy can
- Cockerel calling
- Airplane taking off
- Underground train approaching
- Kettle boiling
- Crowds chanting at a football match
- Clatter of coins
- Tea spoon clinking
April 18, 2016Posted by on
There’s just something so lost in today’s working world. With all the newest technology, our tablets and smartphones are the way we communicate. What ever happened to the good ol’ fashioned, face-to-face conversation … you know, with eye contact and actually having to use your voice to talk (and ears to listen)? Or heaven forbid the phone call? It seems having to have a two-way conversation is just so “old school.”
At SAM, though, we truly believe in the power of relationships, and we strive to build on those relationships year after year. We don’t do it by sending an email every-now-and-again or just a blog post here and there. It’s nearly impossible to build a relationship with someone through email and text messages, so we do it by making sure we’re actually talking with our clients. We want to find out what they truly need and how we can best help them. We try to understand where they are coming from so that we can turn around music that will knock their socks off. Yes, the music our guys produce is amazing (I’m pretty biased), but if we didn’t truly LISTEN to their needs/wants we wouldn’t be able to be as spot-on with their direction. We try to nail it the first time for our clients and be as efficient as possible because time is of the essence, right? Everybody needs something yesterday — and we come through for them, time and time again.
But wait, that’s not all — we like visiting our clients too! That whole face-to-face communication thing is kind of a big deal to us. There is something so great about going to a small town and walking into a news studio to meet with a client. You get to know their world — what makes the station tick, what they stand for. You get to meet their producers and engineers and see how they all operate. In short, you get to KNOW them! The road trips and plane rides are so worth it to us. We want to develop a meaningful relationship with our clients. All the conferences, the happy hours, the parties (and we throw some pretty awesome parties!) are 100% geared towards getting to know people. Matching a face to a name is so fun! Getting to make eye contact and have an actual conversation is so important to us. The thing is, music is our specialty; it’s what we do … always changing, and trends will come and go … but relationships are our passion. That’s the heartbeat of SAM.
So … just call us “old school”, I guess!
April 5, 2016Posted by on
This past Sunday was officially the return of America’s pastime, Opening Day for Major League Baseball – a time to escape our busy lives and enjoy nine innings of a game full of tradition.
Baseball is not only big in America. I came from Venezuela, and baseball is “the sport” everybody follows. I have been playing baseball since I learned how to walk, from little league until college. One of my best memories as a child was sitting in the 4th row behind third base at the Jose Bernardo Perez Stadium in the city of Valencia, with my dad, watching our team play.
One of the things I like about baseball are the traditions, especially the music and sounds of the game. And working in the industry, I’d like to talk a little about their importance.
Music plays a big role in sporting events. Most sports have a specific piece of music or a specific instrument or sound that plays at particular times, and baseball is no exception. There are unique sounds that are easily identified with the game. From the sound of the ball hitting a wooden bat, to the slide into second base, to the umpire yelling, “Play ball,” these sounds are easily connected to baseball and have become a sonic brand for the game.
In baseball, the fan’s interaction with the music is an important part of the game. The instrument most used in baseball stadiums is the Hammond organ. This instrument helps cheer on teams during specific moments of the game. The organ was introduced at Chicago’s Wrigley Field back in 1941 and spread to most of the major league parks by the 1960’s. Now it’s a signature of the game! You hear the organ, and you immediately relate it to baseball.
One instance is the short, six-note organ fanfare, followed by a crowd shouting “Charge!” It’s a perfect example of sonic branding in everyday life.
Another great tradition is the 7th inning stretch. For many parks, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, a 1908 Tin Pan Alley song written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, has become the unofficial anthem of North American baseball. Hearing that song puts you back in the stadium seats, eating a hot dog (or peanuts and crackerjack) and cheering for your team.
Throughout the years SAM has composed music for teams like the Rangers and Red Sox, to name a couple. We’re big fans of the game here at SAM, and we all enjoying talking about our team. Last year, we went together to the ballpark and had a great time! We hope to make this an annual tradition here at Stephen Arnold Music, much like our State Fair Day.
For some people, this is only a game. For me, this is family time and good memories to share with my kids. And hopefully, they enjoy this game as much as I do.
So for all you baseball fans out there, Happy Opening Day! And Go Rangers!!
March 8, 2016Posted by on
Hey Clients & Friends! Happy Tuesday!
I know many of you spend your days looking for new ways to promote your station, network, show or product. So the next time you need to produce a promo, try a different creative approach: login to your music library FIRST. That might sound completely backwards, but music is actually your most effective tool to evoke an emotional response. Login to a great production music library (might I suggest The Vault by Stephen Arnold Music?!?) and dig around a bit. Find a track that conveys your desired emotion – then build your pictures and words AROUND the music.
WFAA called us up last year looking for a fun track with a lot of movement for a new morning promo. They selected “Peanuts” from The Vault’s Song Zu library and built the promo around the track. We think it turned out really great! Here’s the spot:
Graeme Newell featured the promo in his “Local TV News Marketing: What’s Working, What’s Not & Why” – it’s in the what’s working category, around the 27:20 mark. 🙂
And if you’re working on a news promo – don’t forget about your news music package! If you’re working with a SAM package, it’s deep…like hundreds of cuts deep. Many stations are only using maybe 15% of their news music package, which means you’re already sitting on a treasure trove of sonically branded music. And the Stephen Arnold Music packages are hosted on the same search and download site that we use for The Vault. If you have BOTH products, you can check out a plethora of options – in one place!
If you’d like our help with a playlist, feel free to give us a buzz. We’re putting them together all day long for clients. We can send you something great we just pulled for another client – or we can put one together just for you. Easy peasy!
February 23, 2016Posted by on
Election season is upon us once again, and it’s shaping up to be a doozy! Between the caucuses and primaries – not to mention the late-night Twitter wars amongst the candidates – there’s a lot going on and a lot to cover. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our latest offering: Decision 2016.
This market exclusive music package includes four sonically-branded themes for promo and in-show use, as well as a video promo template with bundled elements … everything a station needs to set their coverage apart and be the frontrunner in their market!
Shoot us an email, or give us a call for full details:
firstname.lastname@example.org | 214.726.1600