Staff Reporters
Jun 9, 2021

Colgate's new hum: Brand unveils global sonic branding

What does universal optimism sound like? According to Colgate and MassiveMusic, it sounds like this.

Colgate's new hum: Brand unveils global sonic branding

Click here to hear Colgate's new sonic logo, which is destined to sound out across all the brand's global marketing starting today. 

The logo is part of an overall sonic identity system developed by recently acquired MassiveMusic's London and New York teams, along with the brand's dedicated WPP agency Red Fuse.

The brand said it saw an opportunity to stand out within the oral care sector by owning the ‘white space’ (wink wink, nudge nudge) within sonic branding in FMCG. The new sonic elements are meant to be distinctive and flexible, with global appeal and relevance, as well as high recall among consumers.

The short logo, which is meant to convey the core brand promise of 'Optimism in action', will inevitably be compared to that of McDonald's ('Ba da ba ba ba'), in that both use human vocalisations rather than instruments to carry the melody.

In Colgate's case, that means humming.

MassiveMusic, which is big on bringing science into sonic branding, said that it worked with academics, ethnomusicologists and neuroscientists to arrive at the human hum as the most suitable sound. The logo contains a blend of female and male tones, and was engineered to sound "very real, close and natural".

For the musicians out there who might like to know, it's in D Major. Also, "the choice of notation and the portmanteau bend towards the end of the sonic logo perfectly syncs to the smile visual animation and creates an activating feeling without being overbearing", the companies said.

“The need was complex—a system of branded ‘watermarked’ music stemming from a sonic DNA and an iconic sonic logo," Roscoe Williamson, global creative strategy director at MassiveMusic, said in a release. "This needed to work across more than 200 countries via online content, radio, product and TVCs. And so we created a sonic architecture that could handle this complexity and an overarching aesthetic to the new Colgate music and sound that has universal appeal." 

Jared Richardson, global head of design at Colgate, added: “It really was an incredible experience developing the Sound of Colgate with MassiveMusic. The process, collaboration and outcome was fascinating and really enjoyable. The result is a strategically valuable asset that will play out across our global marketing campaigns."

Campaign Asia

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