1, 2, ah 1, 2, 3, 4. Give me a break! Give me a break! Break me off a piece of that… I don’t even have to explain I’m not hitting on you now do I? You know I am talking about Kit Kat. Their jingle from the 80s and 90s is practically embedded in our memory, much like Mentos and Doublemint Gum. It’s a classic that we’ll never forget and quite possibly share with children and grandchildren.
Now that the rattail hairstyle is somewhat behind us, Kit Kat is focusing on a new, yet familiar sound in their commercials. The distinct sound of breaking off a Kit Kat and its crunch having a party in people’s mouths. Figuratively speaking. No disco balls are actually present. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it on Hershey’s Kit Kat’s website. No words are spoken. It’s a simple commercial with a brilliant objective; place an emphasis on what people hear in their mouths rather than what a commercial says about a product.
Same went for Kelloggs. Years ago, they patented and trademarked their Cornflake’s crunch. They wanted people to be able to tell if a bowl of Cornflakes is Kelloggs or not by the authenticity of the crunch. Many cereal bowls and friendships are shattered daily because people are given what are deemed fake flakes.
Sound plays a crucial role in brand recognition, but is often overlooked. It’s emotionally direct, triggering memories and responses. We don’t have to see to know what it is. Sound can speak for our eyes. If I am in the other room and hear the static sound of a dead TV channel, I’ll shout to my roommate, “yo home skillet, what show is coming on HBO?” There are numerous opportunities for brands to benefit from expanding their identity beyond the visual, like the sound of Diesel jeans zippers, Snapple lids, or the Kool Aid man busting through walls. What’s stopping them? Rocking our eardrums is just another way to stand out and be memorable in this cluttered world.