Harrods

A creative industry first, including magical plant pots, burning planets, and soundscapes made entirely of glass. Our work with Harrods won the Gold Audio Branding Award.

Development

Harrods is a huge and varied environment with over 90 departments spread across seven floors. The store had a world-famous brand but no sonic strategy: sound was random and often counterproductive.

Over many days, we undertook a detailed sound audit of the entire Harrods store, and presented our recommendations to senior management. These included dozens of bespoke playlists and soundscapes in over 140 separate zones.

Of particular note were our installations in Harrods’ Toy Kingdom. These consisted of ambient background soundscapes combined with foreground sound effects: fairies whispered from magical plant pots; a mural of fictional sound accompanied the Reading Room; car and train sound played from display stands; and we sonified a “burning planet” display using surface transducers to turn the entire structure into a giant speaker.



Across the rest of the store, we oversaw a unified sound strategy that consisted of traditional playlists and bespoke soundscapes. For example, our soundscape in the luxury glass department was composed entirely of the sound of glass, so that visitors were listening to the objects themselves.

We also worked with Harrods to select appropriate voices for announcements.


Outcomes

The work was a retail first in both scope and creativity. Harrods’ bespoke sound received positive media coverage and endorsement at CEO level. The innovative creative work in the Toy Kingdom won the Gold Audio Branding Award (now called the International Sound Awards), which was presented to the single most outstanding case study showcased at the awards.

Awards and nominations

  • Winner Audio Branding Award, Gold, International Sound Awards

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