SoundCloud’s new “sound banner” marks the sound-sharing platform’s first-ever online advertising campaign.
Rather than create standard display banner ads, the SoundCloud team set out “to create a twist where audio comes first,” according to Mark Dewings, Head of Brand Communications at SoundCloud. “The team looked for ways to make banners work for sound, by applying elements from our iconic waveform, product references like the play button, and our brand imagery.”
Developed in-house by Gerrit Kaiser, SoundCloud’s Creative Technologist in Berlin, the sound banner is intended to showcase the platform’s capabilities.
Using an advanced audio-enabled HTML5 specification and CSS3 animations, the sound banner infrastructure uses the same SoundCloud software development kit (SDK) as their widgets, which means the ads are consistent with the tech used on the company’s open platform.
The new ads intentionally blur the line between the product and the message. As Dewings points out, “there’s no way to drink soda straight from a banner” for a soda ad. But by interacting with the banner, someone can actually experience SoundCloud.
“This format lends itself nicely to stories about the experiences people have with SoundCloud, how they hear unique music and audio, and how they collaborate with people who create sounds,” says Dewings.
Since the campaign’s message is “Hear the World’s Sounds,” it seems fitting that the ads should feature audio. As Dewings says, “sound is at the heart of everything.”