We have been hearing audio signatures in TV commercials for a long time now and we’ve been loving them — everything from a simple ‘ding’ from Apple to the “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle from McDonald’s. An audio signature also referred to as a sound logo or a sound trademark is a short, distinctive sound that represents a brand and helps create an emotional connection with its customers. These sound logos have been around for decades, but they’ve become even more critical in recent years, as people consume more content on their mobile devices and on the go. A sonic logo can be heard even when the screen is off, making it a powerful tool for brand recognition.
One of the best examples of a recent audio signature is Netflix’s “Tudum” sound. I’m sure you would have heard it even if you are not a Netflix user! The “Tudum” sound was introduced in 2015 and has since become synonymous with the streaming giant. It’s a three-second sound that plays when you open Netflix, signaling that you’re about to embark on a new viewing experience. The sound is short and memorable, and it perfectly captures the excitement and anticipation that comes with starting a new show or movie.
The “Tudum” sound has become so iconic that it’s been parodied countless times, and there are even TikTok challenges dedicated to recreating it. The sound has become a part of popular culture, and it’s a testament to the power of a well-crafted audio signature. But why is the “Tudum” sound so important for Netflix? For starters, it helps differentiate Netflix from its competitors. When you hear the “Tudum” sound, you know you’re on Netflix, even if you’re not looking at the screen. This is especially important in today’s crowded streaming market, where people have numerous options for entertainment.
Additionally, the “Tudum” sound has created an emotional connection with Netflix’s customers. It has evolved into a sound that people associate with relaxation, entertainment, and enjoyment. This emotional connection is exactly what a brand needs to build brand loyalty and encourage the customers to come back for more.
In 2020, Netflix decided to update the “Tudum” sound, making it longer and more cinematic as the original three-second sound was not effective in theaters. So, Netflix approached the renowned composer Hans Zimmer to create an extended version of the audio signature for theatrical releases. As he always does, Hans Zimmer did his magic and the new version of the sound was created with a full orchestra, and it was meant to capture the grandeur and epicness of the Netflix experience. The updated sound debuted in Netflix’s original movie “Army of the Dead” and has since been rolled out across the platform.
The Netflix "ta-dum" soundmark is one of the all time greats, but doesn't work as well in a theater because it's only 3 seconds long.— Siqi Chen (@blader) August 9, 2020
So Netflix commissioned Hans Zimmer to extend it for theaters and … it's … so … good.pic.twitter.com/RGw26vCAGY
While we know that Netflix approached Hans Zimmer for the cinematic version of their “Tudum”, it’s still unclear who specifically was responsible for the original sound signature, as Netflix has not publicly disclosed that information. However, it’s likely that the sound was created by a team of sound designers, audio engineers, and music producers working together to create a memorable audio signature for the company. While the composer of the original “Tudum” sound may be unknown, the sound itself has become a cultural phenomenon and has helped establish Netflix as a major player in the entertainment industry.
Today, the “Tudum” sound is recognized worldwide and has become a part of our culture. However, with the recent launch of “TUDUM,” Netflix has taken its audio branding to a whole new level. The launch of “TUDUM” also coincided with a major marketing campaign from Netflix, which included a global fan event, a social media blitz, and a series of announcements about upcoming content. The use of the “TUDUM” sound throughout the campaign helped to create a cohesive brand message and build anticipation for the company’s new releases, above all, connect with more fans!
When we talk about marketing campaigns, it’s really interesting to see how Netflix has been trying to integrate its “Tudum” sound in everyday situations. As a part of one of its latest campaigns, Netflix has outdone itself in emphasizing the idea that even everyday situations can be the start of a captivating TV show or movie if we are attentive enough to notice them. The familiar sound of “Tudum” serves as a signal that something exciting and engaging is about to begin. It’s a perfect example of how a well-crafted audio signature can change everything for a brand. The “Tudum” sound has helped Netflix stand out in a crowded market and create a strong emotional connection with its users. It’s a sound that will likely be around for a long time, as it continues to be a powerful branding tool for Netflix.