SCA and Veritonic study finds Bunnings and Victoria Bitter have best audio logos

Bunnings and beer brand Victoria Bitter (VB) have the best performing sonic branding according to Australia’s first audio logo index study.

The research, released by Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) in partnership with audio intelligent platform Veritonic, found the two took the top spot out of the top 26 audio logos in the country, based on data collected from 2,100 listeners.

The top ten in the Audio Logo Index

The resulting Audio Logo Index analysed the files using machine listening and learning algorithms to identify trends, strengths and weaknesses, combining that with the human response data.

Respondents listened to each logo and assessed it on a range of attributes, as well as brand familiarity and memorability. The platform then assigned each sonic brand a ‘Veritonic Audio Score’, the only standard measure of audio creative effectiveness. Bunnings and VB scored highly in authenticity, likeability, uniqueness and high recall – the primary drivers of a successful brand sound according to the report.

Toyota took third place, followed by McDonald’s, Telstra, Coles, Intel, AAMI, Woolworths and Harvey Norman.

SCA national head of creativity, Matt Dickson, said the ranking showed the importance of good audio brandings.

“Audio branding is important for advertisers because audio lives everywhere. Audio logos when done well offer effortless attribution and recall of a brand across audio, TV, on premise and online. Part of the reason for this is audio’s unique relationship with the brain. A good audio logo will get stuck in your head and virtually never leave,” said Dickson.

“Now is the time to create an audio logo for your brand, because smart speakers will change the ways we buy. V commerce is here in Australia and will only grow from here. Every search that happens via smart speaker is one less search that happens visually. If your brand doesn’t have audio brand assets, then how is anyone going to know who you are in a voice environment?”

Veritonic CEO, Scott Simonelli, said: “It’s exciting to see so many of these great Australian companies really understanding the power of audio to bolster their brands. SCA is equally a great believer in the power of data to inform the best possible marketing choices – we’re thrilled that they made the decision to customise a version of the Audio Logo Index for Australian brands to know where their efforts stand and ensure they’re maximizing the incredible opportunity that is audio.”

Bunnings’ sonic brand had winning scores across almost every indicator including recall, correct identification of brand and industry, and emotional attributes including trust, authenticity, happiness, and likeability. VB matched Bunnings for emotional attributes including authenticity, likeability and uniqueness; qualities that map directly to high recall.

“Familiarity, which also obviously influences recall, is another strong driver of a high-scoring audio brand. Each of these businesses is both long-established and among the brands spending the most on marketing in Australia. In fact, all of the top-10-scoring brands on the Index – which claimed an average recall score of 97 – are heavy ad spenders,” Dickson said.

Across categories, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) was the best performing industry, driven by brands such as VB and SPC. Retail followed closely behind, with automotive as the lowest performing sector.

“The automotive sector, for the most part, consistently produced the lowest-performing audio logos across all three markets. Most logos don’t leverage melody or mention the brand name, both proven best practices and drivers of high recall. Not one panellist who heard the sonic logos could correctly identify the brand,” Dickson said.

“The one major exception for the sector is Toyota, a sonic brand that has been running since the 1980s and does include a melody. The logo scored 17% higher than the sector average, and 30 points over the average brand association score for any company on this Index. This shows that longevity matters.”

The study was also conducted by Veritonic in the US and UK and several international brands scored consistently across the three countries, with Intel and Netflix the best performers.

Audio logos featuring a melody had a 20% higher memorability and brand association than those that did not. All of the top 10 audio logos, including McDonald’s, Woolworths, Telstra, AAMI and Coles, used melody as a memorable device.

“An audio logo needs a melody to be memorable, and if it contains the brand name as well it’s even more effective. There’s also the ‘whistle test’. If you can’t whistle an audio logo, it’s probably too complex, and won’t be as effective. It’s an interesting parallel to visual logos – if you can draw a visual logo it’s more iconic and easier to remember – the same applies to audio branding with whistling or humming,” Dickson said.


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