What is Sensory Branding?

Hello readers. We are back again to illuminate your minds with one more article and this time it will be more interesting than others. Before reading this article, we would request all of you to have a look at this ‘tasty’ (yes, you’ll know why we are saying this) advertisement of Skoda (an automotive company) ready to launch its vehicle named as ‘Fabia’. 

Have a look & come back again to get one more concept of branding. Click here.

Done? What did you see in the ad? Yes, it’s brainless to ask. But we still want to ask you what did you see?

A cake? A car built by tonnes of cake? Correct.

Yes, here is the thing now. Was charity the rationale behind this advertisement? Or was it to allow target groups to see how a car can be manufactured with cake? Or was the company interested to celebrate cake day for employees? The answer is a big NO.

Now let us open the Pandora box of knowledge & share with you the intriguing insights from this advertisement.

Here, it’s an impeccable strategy which the company used in its advertisement campaign, known as “Sensory Branding‘. They used a cake to capture the imagination – and the stomachs – of UK viewers, and prompted several people to try to take bites out of the cars in the forecourts of Skoda dealers across the country. Low tempo background music was chosen because as per the study by Hwan & Hang in 1999, using a low tempo music improves recall of an advertisement & brand compared to high tempo song, especially if the music is familiar.

Skoda majorly instigated three senses:

  • They made the ad ‘visually‘ appealing
  • To develop the ‘taste‘ & craving, the cake was used
  • Low tempo music – ‘sound‘ was used to recall the brand

With these invoked senses, it was said that there were increased activities of the footfalls in dealerships of Skoda. Sources within Skoda tell that the campaign is still internally regarded as a marketing benchmark even after a decade, and that workers in the UK head office still have cake each Friday in a tribute to the advert. 

Similarly, we take another example. Have you heard about the transaction sound of various companies like Visa, Google Pay etc.?

The creation and selection process of the sound by Visa, took a little over a year & involved focus groups, three specialist agencies and rounds of elimination to whittle down 200 different sounds. The new sound, vibration and animation are the culmination of months of global research spanning eight markets, including neuro-research—hooking people up to machines and studying their physical reactions to the various sound options.

Ultimately Visa successfully implemented this project & created a unique consumer experience in digital payments which helped them to grow their customer base by 10%.

Let’s take one more example. It’s always a pleasure to read & take insights from Britannia. 

The oldest video of Britannia ad showcasing a ‘Marie biscuit’ in 1980’s ends with the signature sound & every ad of Britannia ends with this sound. It was probably one of the earliest examples of sensory branding in the Indian context. Remember the concept which I earlier explained of low tempo used for brand recall? Britannia had been doing this since years.

Why sensory branding is relevant to present marketers?

Marketers in the recent times have become aware of the need to market to the sensory organs that get translated into sensual pleasure. Given the price of a brand within the plausible price range associated with the target segment, sensual quotient could work in a manner that even makes the consumer rise over the price sensitivity threshold very much & leads to sales of the product.

Sensorial marketing in today’s time is essential for brand marketers to instigate their brands through these senses. It can be successful for tonnes of companies if done correctly.

We hope this article would have given you some good examples to understand the strategy used by the companies to build its brand in the market. Deeper insights will be given in upcoming articles related to sensorial marketing. Till then stay tuned & happy learning.


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