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The Importance of Sound Design In Advertisements

By Chase Kirshbaum, Creative Content Producer


Have you ever wondered why a video advertisement makes you feel a certain emotion after watching it? Well, the answer is sound design! Sound design is a major part of advertisements and commercials that often goes unnoticed, but is incredibly important and can make a huge difference in the way you perceive the ad.


A big goal of any company that creates an advertisement is for the audience to remember it. This means they are doing their job correctly. Advertisers reach this goal by expressing words and music to their audience, rather than just using text and photos. The use of sound design and voice-overs draws the audience in and gives them a reason to listen. For example, specific sounds and a song can make the audience feel connected, sad, happy, and other emotions, depending on what they are watching.


However, it can be a tough task to do sound design. Sound designers must go through tons of sounds before they find what fits in an advertisement. Often there are hundreds of different sounds along with music and dialogue that creates the total tone. Advertisements are short and made to attract an audience to a specific product or service of a company, but there is still a story that needs to be told. The sound design is what drives the story within an advertisement and will encourage the viewer to purchase something, sign up, or call the company.


Two commercials that use sound design well are Nike’s “Dream Crazier” (2020) and Pepsi’s “Okurrr” (2019).


In Nike’s “Dream Crazier” commercial, there are uses of sounds, powerful music and a voice-over. The sounds of action at a sporting event, the powerful building of music in the background and Serena Williams’ voice-over makes this advertisement incredibly emotional and ambitious. This commercial shines a light on female athletes that have broken barriers and inspired generations of athletes to chase their dreams, and the sound design used makes the viewer feel that. If this commercial had no music or happy uplifting music, it would have had a completely different feel.


Pepsi’s use of sound design in their “Okurrr” commercial creates a funny and uplifting vibe. If you listen closely, you can hear that they added common sounds you would hear in a diner, such as silverware hitting plates and people slurping drinks. This makes the viewer feel as if they are in a diner setting. Additionally, people trying to copy Cardi B’s phrase, “Okurrr” is very funny as it is a difficult catchphrase to say.


Sound design is a critical part of creating successful advertisements and commercials. The message a company is trying to portray through their advertisements and commercials is enhanced with the use of effective sound design. If sound design is not present, advertisements and commercials would not be as persuasive or capture the attention of the viewer.

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