The World of Coke museum is less of a museum and more of a huge advertisement for Coca-Cola beverages. From getting funneled in a short guided tour of memorabilia and then getting herded into a huge theater to watch a 7 minute commercial for Coca-Cola, the entire experience feels very much targeted at emotion, sentimentality, and and nostalgia.
The most interesting thing to me about the visit throughout the museum was the lack of actually seeing the brown liquid. Outside of a miniature working version of the Bottle Works, where you get to see them bottling Coca-Cola, you don’t *see* it. However, you certainly hear it.
Coca-Cola is no stranger to “sonic branding” as this article by Abe Sauer at brandchannel mentions:“Also called audio branding, Coca-Cola may have done more than any brand to develop sound as brand equity. In 2015 alone, Coca-Cola has already made two efforts to tell its story through sound. The latest coveys Coca-Cola’s history with the “sound of a freshly poured Coke over ice.'”
And later “… Coke has developed a new short film called Coke Thirst—A Sound Experience by Dolby. The film trailer, shown in cinemas in Brazil, explores the auditory experience specific to opening a bottle of Coca-Cola and pouring it into a glass full of ice.”
In my own experience: the Lobby and hub areas of the Coke Museum have loudspeakers that I don’t remember playing music, or TV ads. Instead I remember hearing bottle cap: “TSSSH” opening, the sound of coke being poured into a ice filled glass which fizzed, drinking, and “Ahhhhh” sighs. I found it quite interesting that the space wasn’t filled with music from past Coka ads or some other blaring and most certainly annoying music to keep people from talking/thinking too much. Instead it was filled with sounds anyone who has had a soda before would know quite well and remember instantly what the taste of a soda and the feel of the fizz on their tongue was like. All this would come back to them simply by playing a few sounds.
So my experience makes me wonder: is there an increasing trend of “sonic branding” in advertisements? Is this a net positive not only for us sound designers but for the world in general? Is this just more noise pollution, or is the actual well-thought design of branding going to lessen “bad” audio in ads?