Maker Moments: The Critical Role of Audio in Modern Marketing

Welcome to Maker Moments, our series where we feature guest contributions to our blog from QuickFrame makersThis month’s post is written by maker Nathanael Sams, an award-winning video editor and sound designer.

Amplifying Stories: The Critical Role of Audio in Modern Marketing

Stories matter. Stories allow us to feel connected with each other, experience the significance of emotions, and harness the power of representation. In my advertising journey, I’ve found that the most successful campaigns highlight not just the visual story but also the auditory experience. Sound is one of the most impactful tools we have as creatives. 

Choosing the right music to evoke a specific feeling, creating a soundscape to activate the hearing sense, and incorporating a human voice to relate to the audience can transform an ad from good to unforgettable. Music, in particular, has a beautiful way of instantly transporting the viewer into the exact emotion I want them to experience. For example, an ad showcasing expansive views of beautiful destinations can be amplified by soaring strings and building drums. This combination allows the viewer to respond emotionally and sets the stage for the rest of the ad. 

Read more: What Makes a Perfect Melody on a Connected TV Ad?

Sound Design

Sound design can further enhance the already existing emotions curated by the music. Pairing the sound of a small stream, light wind, and birds automatically makes the experience relatable due to past experiences the viewer may have had with similar soundscapes. This also references other senses like smell and touch. The sounds transport the viewer so they can almost smell the trees and enjoy the birds singing. Sound allows you to sense the wind coming off a beautiful ocean surf, drawing the viewer into the place and time the maker has so carefully crafted. 

In the last few years, especially with the growth of TikTok and ad-supported Connected TV, sound has become more important than ever. Being able to grab someone’s attention quickly with an interesting piece of sound design or an intriguing voiceover creates immediate curiosity and, hopefully, a significant connection. 

Over the last decade, we’ve been collectively shaped by the continuously evolving landscape of social media platforms. With each new platform comes new opportunities for advertising growth and brand awareness. With anyone able to distribute content on YouTube, Meta, Snapchat, and TikTok (to name a few), the importance of visuals has never been greater. The same goes for audio. There were several years when data showed users were watching the majority of social content with the sound off, focusing solely on the visuals. However, 2020 changed everything. During the height of the pandemic, there was a boom in social media consumption, specifically on TikTok, which revolutionized the game. Gone were the days of users watching videos without sound; the incorporation of a clever soundscape became a must for influencers and brands alike. 

The Importance of Audio

The influence of audio on creativity cannot be overstated. For Connected TV (CTV), sound is paramount. Understanding and leveraging sound creatively significantly enhances engagement. 

In a world where consumers are bombarded with content, a well-crafted audio element can make someone stop scrolling and engage. This is the essence of thumb-stopping sound — creating audio that is so compelling it captures the audience’s attention instantly. 

Audio is one of the most underrated yet significant parts of current-day advertising. I feel fortunate to be able to tell stories utilizing both visual and auditory elements. By tapping into the power of sound, we can create deeper connections, evoke stronger emotions, and craft more memorable campaigns. In the evolving landscape of advertising, mastering the use of audio is not just an advantage — it’s a necessity. 

Nathanael Sams is an award-winning video editor and sound designer who has been working in marketing for over 15 years. Nathanael lives in Los Angeles with his wife but was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. He has been fortunate to work with an eclectic array of brands and clients, including industry giants like HBO and Disney, as well as world-changing organizations like The Innocence Project and Movember. When he’s not creating work for clients, he enjoys listening to vinyl records while enjoying a glass of wine or traveling with his wife.

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