Music Q&A: Walter Werzowa

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Walter Werzowa perhaps is best known in the industry for crafting the familiar chime that IDs the Intel brand. The Austrian-born composer was recently called upon by branding agency Lippincott Mercer to create a mnemonic for Samsung, which is launching a new global branding campaign. Here, he chats with Creativity about what went into creating the audio tag.

C: How would you describe this new mnemonic?

Definitely melodic, with a spin of technology. This is the new generation of mnemonics. It seems over the last five years we created technology-driven mnemonics that often evoke a "cold" feel. It's OK to use organic sounds!

C: How did the Samsung project differ from Intel?

It's very multilayered; Intel had different layers but a very monophonic feel. There's more harmony to Samsung. They have totally different functions, too. For Intel, the agenda was to find something memorable and recognizable for an instant-not so much about the message. Samsung's sound is a lot about the brand message, conveying where they want to see themselves, what they are, where they're going. It's almost about being didactic and analyzing music that works.

C: What were the challenges on this job?

For Samsung, the brand itself is shifting, so the name should reflect all the aspects of that-human, dynamic, passionate, design-minded. That's the tough part. You have all these adjectives and you have to find ways to translate that into music, yet make it short enough to fit in 3.5 seconds. Some words are easier than others. "Dynamic" is about volume increase and decrease. "Passionate" is a little bit more complicated-it might be different in Shanghai, Paris and Los Angeles. It's trying to boil down those elements and make it multicultural. Passion is often conveyed by strings, especially a high solo violin. This mnemonic incorporates a high solo line played very dynamically. We worked for weeks to create a bass heartbeat sound that translates into low lo-fi speaker environments as well as premium speaker systems.

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