Ad Nut
Apr 22, 2020

You'll know when a Fiat 500E is about to run you over

That's because you'll hear voice artist Rudi Rok and a snippet of music from a 1973 Fellini film first. (Who thinks this is a good idea?)

Youngsters playing with toy vehicles naturally make vrooms and other engine sounds with their mouths to add an audio aspect to their playtime. That tendency has now come full circle, with a professional voice artist recording vocalisations for a new electric vehicle to play as it begins moving. But that's not all. The car's sound also incorporates a bit of music from a 1973 Fellini film. 

Why? Well, various governments have mandated that electric cars, which are inherently quiet, must purposely emit some kind of sound for the safety of (hearing-capable) pedestrians. But that mandate has now become a sonic-branding opportunity. Ergo, we can all look forward to every vehicle that passes chirping or intoning in a distinctive way.

Or vocalising and playing a famous melody from Amarcord, in the case of the Fiat 500E.

Music agency Syn and its ECD Nick Wood drove the project, bringing in Red Rose Productions and Helsinki-based voice artist Rudi Rok. The team has clearly put a lot of thought into the project, and Ad Nut can't argue that the result is...unique. (You can hear it at 4:20 in the above video.)

According to the team, what you're hearing is "a bold sonic union of the human voice" and the "timeless melody" from the film. The sound, we're also told, will be "an inseparable part of this car’s journey indefinitely" because it creates "a sense of soaring beginnings".

In Ad Nut's mind, it creates a sense of mounting horror. Can you imagine the impending cacophony if every automaker does this? And Ad Nut's dread escalates to full-scale panic when Fiat's president, Olivier Francois, mentions, in a video introducing the car, that people will be able to download and change the car's sound—like they do with ringtones. 

Ringtones!

Ad Nut knows that the world right now is beset with very serious problems. But once things are under control, Ad Nut beseeches all sane people to unite and put a stop to this crazy-pants trend.

And not just for the sake of Ad Nut's desire for peace and quiet. If every car makes some weird-ass noise, the effectiveness of those sounds, from a safety standpoint, will be greatly diminished. People will get run down because they mistakenly think there's a concert going on nearby, or because they simply figure someone's phone is ringing. Please, governments should mandate a simple sound that's low-key but unique enough that everyone can instantly recognise it as "car coming".

Ad Nut might be insane, but perhaps electric cars should be made to sound like, you know, cars. The kind with internal-combustion engines. Everyone already knows that sound, and over time it would become a charming anachronism, like the record-scratch sound, or the way Ad Nut still talks about "taping" TV shows.

CREDITS

Executive Creative Director: Nick Wood
Music Director: Alan Mawdsley
Voice Artist, Creative Director: Rudi Rok
Sound Designer: Sami Tammela
Project Manager: Lauri Laukkanen
Production Assistant: Mathieu Kranich

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.

 

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