What Does a Black T-Shirt Sound Like?

We can describe a black t-shirt in a lot of different ways; its texture, its hue, and collar style. But what if we were to describe what it sounds like?

I’m Jeanna Isham, writer of music and designer of sound, and I’ve been working with Adsonica® for the past year. They have strategically aligned themselves with a very unique opportunity within display advertising where distributing a product sound at scale is now a viable option.

Adsonica is an advertising tool that allows you to embed audio into an image file, and even synchronize the audio to multiple images for a highly engaging ad unit. You can also add a PASSKIT digital discount coupon which is saved to the user's smartphone wallet.

Adsonica's patented coding-free technology compresses these media deliverables into a digital audio display ad. The single file is then ready for upload to any of the major programmatic ad platforms such as Google Ad Manager, Verizon, The Trade Desk and Choozle.

Sound Optimization in Fashion Advertising

Remember when you were on Target.com last week and you were searching for a black t-shirt, then black t-shirt ads started popping up across the internet. From the ad image alone none are particularly astounding. A t-shirt is a t-shirt is a t-shirt. There are just so many angles you can photograph before there’s nothing left to show.

But add text to that and you have something more comparable. This one is cotton as opposed to this one being made of polyester. This one has a crew neck and this one has a v neck. One is more of a true black and another is more of a grey/black. One has a 4 star review with 100 reviews while another has a 3.5 star review with 40 reviews.

With Adsonica technology, you can take it even further. You can embed sounds within the black t-shirt display ad to depict that product’s specifications. Put anything in there (ex. The text in the description through voiceover, music, sounds, etc.) so that the shopper can learn about the product audibly while the ad's memorability and engagement dramatically increases thanks to the power of audio.

Such a personal touch drives engagement and awareness while building customer relationships.

Oh The Possibilities

I recently had a fun dialogue online with some colleagues about this exact example. What does a black t-shirt sound like? Here’s what transpired.

“What does a black t-shirt sound like?”

“It sounds like a very low sine wave.”

“I suppose it would depend on the texture of the fabric. I think the rougher the texture, the more harmonics. A pure sine wave would be for some very fine fabric indeed!”

“I agree with low sine waves and I’d add in overtones with a low pulsing. Black is strong and confident but laid back from my thoughts in my head. The texture definitely would play into this too. Cotton would be more neutral and calm while corduroy (going extreme as I’ve never seen a corduroy shirt) would have more edge and be a bit more aggressive.”

“So a black leather jacket could sound something like a guitar run through an orange amp or a distortion pedal!”

Keep in mind that this conversation happened between 2 UX designers and a sonic brander (me) so if it’s far nerdier than your preference, I understand. The point I’m trying to make is this:

“Sound in marketing doesn’t just have to be specs and stats, it can be actual tonal or atonal creative interpretation.”

Imagine This

Imagine, if you will, this scenario. Keep in mind this all speculative as I don’t believe it’s an option just yet.

You are a new e-commerce clothing brand. No one has “seen” you yet other than your homepage but you have an option of turning your images into audio display ads and uploading them in a way that a smart speaker or a screenless shopping experience device could “speak” your product? Would this give you an edge or at least an equal opportunity alongside a brand like Target if you had a space in the voice first technology world? What if you were to discover that space before Target does?

Again, this is not possible yet as far as I know, but what if it were? I truly believe it will be; it’s just a matter of time. So if you’re a forward thinker and you want to get into the voice search space, incorporating audio into your marketing efforts is the place to start.

A Unique Opportunity

Voice first technology creates a unique opportunity to market differently. And seeing as Post-COVID is “different”, it’s massively important for companies such as those in the e-commerce space to pay attention to what voice and sound has to offer. With the decline of brick and mortar stores, those that have goods to sell still need to be seen. However, sight isn’t the be all and end all of shopping nowadays.

Before COVID, smart speakers and smart technology was just starting to see a rise. I can tell you from an inside perspective that amidst COVID it boomed forward at an exponential rate. What was already predicted to be the technology to watch has accelerated all expectations and companies are not just watching but implementing said technology into their marketing strategy.

Blink and You’ll Miss It

Sound in marketing is changing and evolving in real time.

With multi-image, multilingual and smartphone coupon audio display ad technology like Adsonica available, paired with rapid developments in voice technology and AI, the sky truly is the limit. There is so much space for creativity and discovery that we can’t possibly rationalize it all right now. But we can dream and we can experiment.

Are you listening?

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