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Abstract

For almost 100 years DR has been a media and culture institution serving the Danes public service and entertainment. For the first time ever, and together with Unmute, they set out to find their own sonic DNA and create a unifying sound identity to go across all their brands and channels.

Description

As part of a big rebranding the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, known as DR, set out to find their sonic DNA and create a holistic sound identity to go across all their brands, platforms and channels. Being the largest electronic media enterprise and public service organisation in Denmark this is the first time since its foundation in 1925 that a unifying sonic brand is being developed and the creative sound agency Unmute, together with DR Design, were trusted with the task.

The brief was simple: create coherency through sound -to make sure the DR mother brand is present at any time and can co-exists with the individual identity of the many sub brands. All aligned with the new visual identity and overall brand strategy. So whenever you’re visiting one of their 6 TV-channels, 7 radio stations, numerous websites or 3 streaming services you should always feel the DR brand shine through. And this is something sound is perfect at. The objective here is to adapt to the new digital world order making DR competitive with streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+ without losing their non-commercial public service heritage.

With that in mind a creative audio concept and a flexible sonic architecture was developed. All centered around a specific “DR Sound” -a sound or musical theme so distinct that it could appear in both a news show and as a UX sound on an app – without stealing focus from the actual content. The creative audio concept took inspiration in the legacy of Danmarks Radio and the role it has in Danish music history. Unlike any other media brand DR has been synonymous with Danish music, both performed and recorded, and therefore the sonic identity should reflect what is called the “treasure of Danish song writing” but also point towards the future as a modern media brand.

The short two-note melodic motif and a distinct harmony and sound design was a perfect match between the two letter brand name and a musical chord interval typical for many Danish compositions over the years. Being short and yet memorable also met the demands for implementation on todays digital channels and platforms. Among the deliverables are a main sonic logo, opening sound for streaming apps, idents and music beds for flow-TV, music idents for TV and radio programmes. All supported by written guidelines to secure full implementation. The sound identity has played a big part in the rebranding of Danmarks Radio and especially on a competitive streaming market it has differentiated DR from similar services. It has also build a sense of unity across the whole organisation and throughout 2022 DR and Unmute will continue to roll-out the sound identity by implementing it on even more shows, channels and brands.

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