Harrods

An 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.

We carried out a detailed sound audit of the entire store and presented our recommendations to senior management. These included dozens of bespoke playlists and soundscapes in over 140 separate sound zones.

Of particular note were our installations in Harrods’ Toy Kingdom. 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 unifying sound strategy that integrated traditional playlists with bespoke soundscapes. For example, our soundscape in the luxury glassware department was composed entirely of sounds made by glass, so that visitors were listening to the objects they were looking at.

We also worked with Harrods on its wider audio identity by selecting appropriate voices for its advertising and 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).

Awards and nominations

  • Winner Gold Audio Branding Award, Audio Branding Awards (now called the International Sound Awards)

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