DDB creatives share insights on the power of audio and why we should be listening more to its signals.


Listen to the Signs

Radio has always been able to create a more personal connection with people. We take it with us wherever we go, listen to it while doing other things and use our own imaginations and experiences to fill in the blanks. That’s why we are seeing such a renaissance of podcasts today. Audio has power. The audio signal travels through space, touches us physically and emotionally and takes us places in our mind.

When we were preparing all our submissions for this week’s Cannes Festival, I was happy to see so many great audio ideas, not just in the radio category, but crossing over into a number of other media. I asked some of our teams around the world to comment on their work and the power of audio to share here with you.

For Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen, we created an under water radio station to bring our message to people exactly where they where, even while they swam. “People take their radios to the beach to liven up the party and it fused seamlessly into the human experience, just in the place where it’s most relevant for this product,” Enrique Renta and his team in Puerto Rico commented. They faced a number of obstacles in the production to meet all the requirements of the various regulatory agencies and ensure they were reaching people, both literally and figuratively. “In the end, every time the Sea Radio Station is deployed it’s so rewarding to see our message welcomed and enjoyed as naturally as a dive in the beach.”

Our team in St. Louis found a natural and more powerful fit for their Don’t Text and Drive campaign through radio, allowing people to create their own personal spots. Even as radio becomes more digital, it was traditional car radio that allowed them to create the real emotional and relevant connection.

DDB Budapest used music, the “language of love”, to express their message of equal love for all in a way no other media could. The campaign demonstrates what can be achieved when we understand how to use the power of audio. As our Budapest team says, “Stop thinking of audio as a museum piece or charity case that needs our help to survive, and simply use it as a handy tool.”

And as technology and data continue to develop new ways for audio to adapt to us and our personal preferences, it is a tool we should be looking at, and listening to more. If we’re not careful, audio might become the biggest missed opportunity for our industry in the future.