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‘Sonic marketing’ makes some noise in the UAE
RAK bank launches its official song in the UAE, but are customers dancing to its tunes?
August 2, 2012 1:03 by Priyanka Pradhan
National Bank of Ras Al Khaima (RAK bank) has become the first UAE bank to release an official brand song, to strike a chord with its consumers. Sung in English, Arabic, Hindi and Malyalam, this melody hopes to add another dimension to brand association and identity, for RAK bank.
Taken from the tune of singer, Ali Zafar’s soundtrack, ‘Chal Dil Merey’, RAK bank song is hoping to cash in on a slice of popular culture. The lyrics of the song extol the benefits of RAK bank’s products and services.
The song titled, “Yeah! RAK bank” has started airing on UAE radio channels such as Virgin, Channel4 and Al Rabia, amongst others. RAK bank will also upload different versions on youtube, spread the word via social media and place posters with QR codes at RAK branches, to download the song via their website.
Reactions from branding and marketing agencies are positive.
Paul Cardwell, Executive Creative Director for The Brand Union Middle East, “RAK bank are to be applauded. What they have done is an elegant and adroit use of a classic technique. I’ve heard these devices described as “jingles” then as “sonic triggers” – a charmless description for something that should be charming. Even worse was “aural mnemonics” but that never caught on because only the Strat gang understood it.”
According to Mounir Harfouche, CEO, Lowe MENA, the key difference between an official brand song and an ad jingle is the purpose behind it. While a brand song is a musical and cultural manifesto, that conveys the values, the personality and the ambition of a brand, a jingle has a more tactical and commercial objective.
Said Aghil Baaghil, Brand Marketing Strategy Consultant says, “In such competitive market most banks fail to identify their ‘differentiation factor’. Brand sensory is one of the strongest elements of brand signals. As far as sonic marketing goes, it helps the public participate and gain firsthand experience of the institution or product. Another successful example of ‘Sonic Marketing’ is Chevrolet, which encouraged public participation and in turn, helped the message reach further. If you wish your brand to engage today, you must offer that brand to be more than just a logo.”
Internationally, there have been many examples of official brand songs that clicked with customers. Mounir Harfouche, CEO, Lowe MENA says, “A good example would be ROM Chocolate’s ‘The American Rom’ campaign. The insight was spot on. They targeted an emotion; patriotism. It’s just chocolate but every product you sell has to be coupled with an emotion. This emotion is what builds brand loyalty.”
The marketing fraternity may be singing its praises but will ‘sonic marketing’ resonate with consumers in the UAE? Kipp is looking forward to reactions of consumers on Twitter.