Colgate's sonic logo aims to convey 'optimism in action'

Brand worked with MassiveMusic on mnemonic inspired by the human hum

Published On
Jun 15, 2021

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Colgate has joined the likes of McDonald's, Intel and Mastercard in having its own "sonic logo," with the creation of an audio identity designed to convey its brand promise of "optimism in action."

Developed by MassiveMusic in London, in collaboration with its New York office and agency Red Fuse, the brand identity consists of a suite of sonic assets and compositions called "The Sound of Colgate," which will run across more than 200 countries in Colgate's online content, radio, product and TV commercials. It will be rolled out across North America starting next month. It will also run in Latin America, Europe, Africa-Eurasia, and Asia (where the branding has already gone live in some markets including in a TikTok Asia ad for Valentine's Day).

MassiveMusic worked with academics, ethnomusicologists and neuroscientists to find the right music to capture optimism, as seen in the case study below. The research pointed it towards the human hum as the perfect timbre (or sound quality) for the sonic logo. This was captured in both male and female tones, in a D Major key which was decided on as the most optimistic in nature. According to Colgate, the final blend "creates an activating feeling without being overbearing."

“Colgate is one of the most recognizable brands across the world—a brand many of us have grown up with," said Roscoe Williamson, global creative strategy director at MassiveMusic, in a statement. "It was important that the new sonic experience not only felt fresh and exciting, but that it also embodied  the brand's promise of ‘Optimism in Action.’ The need was complex—a system of branded ‘watermarked’ music stemming from a sonic DNA and an iconic sonic logo. This needed to work across more than 200 countries via online content, radio, product and TVCs. And so we created a sonic architecture that could handle this complexity and an overarching aesthetic to the new Colgate music and sound that has universal appeal."