Tuesday October 16, 2007

The authors of the Bran podcast explain some of the whats, whys and hows of podcasting in this nice article about podcasting.For starters the article gives a nice definition of a podcast:

If you’re unfamiliar with podcasts, think of them as prerecorded radio shows that you can download and listen to at any time.What sets them apart from ordinary audio files, however, is the ability to subscribe to a podcast’s special feed called an RSS feed and have new episodes automatically downloaded to your PC as they become available.

They also use the podpress plugin on word press which is a fairly painless to use: A volume control would make it 99.9% perfect. Read more about website sound, volume and usability here. A podcast can be a whole lot more than a “radio show”, it can be delivery platform for all sorts of branded content.Some things that don’t get mentioned in the article are the ability

  • to add web/html links to podcasts which can be used to direct listeners to more resources
  • to podcast Adobe PDF documents and quicktime movies and;
  • to include chapters which allow your listeners to jump to the bits they want to listen to and for you to target your advertising.
[display_podcast] or View PDF in iTunes

Go here to see an example of a podcast with links and chapters (click on “play now”) or subscribe and watch the Bollywood Dreams Episode in iTunes

Confused? Post your questions and comments in the the comments/leave a reply section below and I’ll answer them.

Happy chatting

Marcel

Tuesday September 25, 2007

If you’re looking for something to do in Melbourne over the school holidays…Drop in to Bunjilaka at the Melbourne Museum.

Old Patterns – New Beats

Spring School Holiday Program.Take a journey with ‘CJ’ and discover something special about Bunjil the eagle, and the story of Melbourne. An enchanting performance of puppetry and hip-hop dancing that tells the story of Melbourne’s Indigenous history.

Directed by Rachel Maza.

More info here

Saturday September 22, 2007

Podaddies…has forged a close relationship with Apple (AAPL) to develop advertising compatibility for the QuickTime and iTunes groups… Read the rest here.

Another Podcasting advertiser to watch is Podtrac.com
We use them to track how you use our media files and podcast.

Companies are going to jump on to this more and more.

This form of advertising and brand alignment is powerful because the user has a choice to engage unlike the interruption based advertising of banner ads .

Some things to think about before you jump into the brave new world of ad supported content.

Tuesday August 28, 2007

Please put any comments and questions you have about our shiny new website and blog in the “leave a reply section” below.

  1. What works for you?
  2. What doesn’t work for you?
  3. Is it easy to use?
  4. Do we make sense?

Want to know how we did it. Ask us…

It’s young, energetic, and yearning for attention and some good people to help it grow up, so don’t hold back.

Thanks

Marcel

Friday August 17, 2007

I had a great conversation with an Australian sensory consultant, about how the sensory characteristics of products impact and influence consumer perception and experience.

Some great insights were highlighted including the growing need (and interest) of organisations and brands to protect their sensory assets and property as these become more potent differentiators in the market place.

One of the examples we discussed was the pop that the Pringles tube makes when
opened. We then spoke about how this sound could be developed, refined and leveraged, I hate that word, as a consistent sonic trigger and brand differentiator, by implementing it across a range of media andtouchpoints from the packaging to advertising and digital…

The best bit came when we started talking about the crunch and noise that
chips, crackers and other foods make when we chew, how some sounds are really loud inside our heads and the feeling of awkwardness this can create when in public – the merging of sound and taste…

…you’ve got to cater for a dinner party, you’ve got a choice between the noisy cracker and the non noisy cracker. Which do you choose?

Some food for thought.

It was lovely to swap notes and excitement.

Wonderful.

Wednesday August 15, 2007

There’s been bit of discussion (which is great) by user experience and web designers around how to use sound on a website

Including:

  1. Making it easy for your users to find and control the volume of the sound.
  2. Ensuring that the sound is appropriate for your brand.
    Why is it that those clicky sounds on a lot of flash sites all sound (a)like they’re off the Matrix?
  3. Making sure the sound suits your target audience’s viewing/listening environment.

I was listening to some of the iWork tutorials on the Apple website and noticed that the volume of the narrators voice was different for each tutorial.

This meant that I was continually distracted and annoyed because I had to keep resetting the volume to a level that worked for me and others.

Usually what happens in this situation is that the user turns the sound off because it has become hard to use. Unfortunately the voice over was integral to the sales pitch… oops, sorry, tutorial.

Good bye sales pitch. Good bye customer.

Find the experience here.

Tuesday July 31, 2007

I’ve just updated my delicious page with lots of links to articles and information on sonic branding and the use and management of sound, voice and music in brand communication.

Authors include brand strategists, lawyers, visual designers, customer experience/usability designers and web/digital media creators and a few of us soundies as well.

It provides a nice well rounded view of sound as a brand reinforcement, communication and marketing tool.

Last time I looked I had cataloged around 100 articles on the the topic so there’s more too come.

In the meantime let me know what you’re interested in, and I’ll tag the articles so that they are easier for you to locate on the delicious page.

Enjoy and happy information overload.

Marcel

Tuesday July 31, 2007

Recently Warner Music Group and social networking site imeem announced a partnership where Warner Music would allow imeem to stream full songs in exchange for a share of the revenue from ads that appear next to the song player.

Think of it as something like Google Adsense for music.

We’ll see a lot more of this as record companies try to respond to file sharing and the need to generate new revenue streams in light of decreasing profits.

Ad supported music is a good idea in theory. However, some things need to be ironed out before it is truly viable, here’s a few.

  1. How will ads be matched to music so that they reach the intended target market? The reason why Adsense is so successful is that it “senses” key words in the content and matches them to relevant advertising?Tagging of music files is one way to resolve this. Who will manage this?
    The record company, the advertiser’s agencies, ad insertion companies…
  2. What control do advertisers have over deciding what music their products and brands will be associated with? How do these associations integrate with and support their broader marketing strategy and campaigns?
  3. What happens if an artist has an exclusive licensing deal with a brand and they are “accidently” played alongside a competitor’s ad? Who is responsible for monitoring this?

This La Times article (via Ad Supported Music Central) explains some of the issues with marrying “bands to brands”.

What do you think?

Monday June 11, 2007

Martin Pazzani, CEO of Elias Arts, one of the originals in the sonic branding business, explains some of the things to consider when developing a musical branding strategy including:

Have you done an objective, comprehensive and multi-touch-point audit of your brand’s audio assets?

Do you have audio-identity guidelines that cover all the points of contact your customers have with your brand?

Do these audio-identity guidelines make their way into the creative briefs used to inform the development of marketing communications?

He also identifies brands who do and don’t do music and sonic branding well.

Read the whole article here

Monday May 21, 2007

You hear a song on a television commercial or website, you like it and you want it. How hard is it to get it?

If you’re experience is anything like mine, it can be a complicated journey through Google searches and forums: Often with no joy at the end.

Why do so many companies make it so difficult for their customers to voluntarily spread their brand? Maybe they’re spending too much time reading books on solving the complexities of viral marketing instead of looking at the obvious.

So who gets it?

Wolf Blass does: they have a link to the great music that everyone talks about here. It’s pretty easy to find on their website.

They could make it easier to download and also embed data in the file so that when it’s played in a mp3 player (software or hardware) the song title and album art will show up; but compared to a lot of other brands they’re doing a good job.

Apple should get it! After all one of their core businesses is playing and selling music. So you like the new iPod/iTunes ad music right. You want to find the tune to put on your brand new iPod right. How easy is it?

Not very. Apple lists the artist and song on their iPod ad site. But can you just click and buy? No.

This is how easy it would be for Apple to use iTunes and music to reinforce brand recognition and association.

Coca Cola Europe gets it: You just click on the Subscribe on iTunes which takes you to their iTunes podcast page. They could go even one click less by automatically subscribing you like this. It would be nice if their music player remembered the volume I’ve set it at, so that it didn’t deep ripping my head off. I do want to listen to the music, just not that loud.

I’m surprised that Coke’s Australian Music site doesn’t take the same approach. Actually I gave up. Too hard, too many clicks. “Why should I give Coke all my personal data? I just like the bands…” right?

It’s common knowledge that music is a powerful tool in creating positive and memorable associations.

So next time your so called integrated communication agency tells you to spend lots of money licensing music for their fancy award entry campaign, ask them whether they have a simple strategy for spreading this valuable asset. If they don’t, maybe they aren’t listening to you or your customers.