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Abstract

Aviva is one of UK’s leading insurance businesses and has 18 mio. customers across its markets. For the audio branding process, it was the goal to create a sound that reflects Aviva’s brand personality, makes the brand recognizable, clearly differentiates it from its competitors, and ensures a pleasant experience for users across all touchpoints.
 

Description

Financial services companies have a tough job. After all, they’re offering products that are completely invisible to the eye, often born out of necessity, and sometimes puzzling to understand. So why not use sound to tell the stories behind your business? That’s exactly what Aviva, one of the UK’s leading insurance, wealth, and retirement businesses did when it introduced its new brand sound.

But precisely what story did Aviva want to tell?
We started with this short, internal narrative – straight from their brand manifesto. Aviva helps you. Take small steps.To a brighter future.

Three aspects of this narrative helped us shape the new sonic identity:
1. The name Aviva
2. The small steps customers take in life.
3. The brighter future Aviva can create for their customers.

We started with the brand name itself. Aviva is a very unusual name because it reads the same forwards and backwards, a palindrome. We built on this idea and created a musical palindrome for the brand sound; a melody that sounds the same forwards and backwards. The second aspect concerns the way Aviva supports its customers step by step in taking financial action. Musically this is done by playing tonal steps in the melody that grow larger over time, or a chord progression with an endlessly rising bass line, or a rhythm that progresses forward. Eventually, all the small steps add up to a brighter future for Aviva’s customers – our third aspect from the brand narrative: We took this ‘brightness’ as inspiration for the choice of instruments.

We brought in a whole range of shimmering instruments, like a harp and bright falsetto voices. In addition, research on sound perception has shown that Aviva’s predominant brand colour yellow is closely associated with the key of A major. So, right from the start we composed all our sound materials in the key of A, making it even easier to bring the well-known visual brand design of Aviva together with its new sound.

The resulting rousing brand music was then adapted for different styles and genres, so we always strike the right note – no matter the audience or media type. Since its introduction, the sound has already been played over two billion times. This was also made possible by an intelligent music tool that helps employees perfectly match the brand music tracks to any Aviva film. The new brand sound helps Aviva to be acoustically recognisable and reach its customers on a new emotional level.

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