Spreading the word about sound

Julian Treasure on the importance of sound

Our chairman Julian Treasure has been speaking about the importance of sound at high-profile events in the UK, Europe and the US.

Retail sound was the subject of Julian’s talk to a meeting of Point-of-Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) at De Montfort University in Leicester. Mark Hillier, POPAI’s Marketing Communications Officer, said:  “This long-anticipated annual event proved to be one of the best-attended and best-received for some time. Julian gave us a fascinating and educational look at sound with invaluable insights into this important, albeit often overlooked, aspect of the retail environment.”

Julian also took part in Lab Day Live, a day of talks, panel discussions and performances from a range of key figures from across the music industry hosted by ad agency Ogilvy. He spoke about how sound affects humans in four ways – physiologically, psychologically, cognitively and behaviourally – and how brands can optimise their sound to gain sales, brand value and customer satisfaction. “Major brands spend millions on how they look, but often nothing at all on how they sound,” said Julian after the event. “So it was great to see all sides of the equation – sound, branding and advertising – coming together to focus on this issue.”

Other recent talks included workshops at the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) research summit in Copenhagen; a talk to senior marketers from many of the world’s leading luxury brands at the very impressive L2 Innovation Forum 2011 in New York; the keynote address at the xSolutions exhibition for the pro audio industry at London’s ExCel; and a major address to the Finnish radio industry at RadioMedia’s conference in the amazing brand new, Toyota-designed Helsinki Music Centre. Also, along with top sound installation specialist and Heaven 17 alumnus Martyn Ware, Julian took part in Brighton’s White Night Festival, an all-night event marking the end of British Summer Time on 29 October. A pioneering Noise Abatement Society initiative now in its fourth year, this year’s sound-related strand of White Night was themed ‘Utopias’ and included a sound art programme for the first time in a ‘cultural reclaiming of the streets’ that aimed to inspire a new generation of sonic artists, sound designers and acoustic ecologists.

Last, but very definitely not least, Julian’s newest TED Talk on conscious listening is the highest-viewed talk from this year’s TEDGlobal event, with over 900,000 views (at the time of posting this) on ted.com since it was posted in late July. Our friends at TED reckon the total number of web views (with embedded posts in blogs, YouTube and so on) is about double the number of views on the TED site, which means that the talk is heading for two million views by Christmas. Now that really is spreading the word!

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