Netflix extends iconic 'ta-dum' intro sound

Netflix is taking sonic branding to the next level by roping in German film composer Hans Zimmer to jazz up its iconic "ta-dum" sound heard at the beginning of every episode on its platform. Netflix's famous "ta-dum" debuted in 2015 and while the short and sweet version might be well suited for TV, a longer version is deemed to be required when Netflix's films are being played in theatres.

According to Netflix's brand design lead Tanya Kumar, the company has been producing plenty of original films which are now played in theatres worldwide, such as The Laundromat and The Irishman. Kumar said during the recent Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast episode that it wanted to set the movie mood and set people up for the experience they are about to witness with Netflix's films. She explained that the "ta-dum" sound is "extremely important" and the team wanted to ensure that the extended sonic branding tied back to the Netflix brand. As such, the brief was to make use of the current sound and turn it into something longer.

Netflix collaborated with Zimmer as he worked on one of its popular series The Crown and was familiar with its original content and had experience on Netflix's production sets, Kumar explained in the podcast. The team initially received about six different compositions of the extended sonic branding and eventually narrowed it down to three before landing on the current one. Zimmer is popularly known for his film scores in movies including Pearl Harbor, The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk and Hidden Figures.

Separately, CEO of fintech company Runway, Siqi Chen, also posted the extended version on his Twitter. The tweet has since accumulated 14k retweets, 45.7k likes and 3k quotes.

Sonic branding is becoming increasingly popular nowadays, being one of the factors that allows brands to stand out from consumers. Mastercard, for example, believed that melody used for an audio branding should be pleasant, memorable, and also neutral so it does not dominate the situation in which consumers hear it from.

Chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar said during Marketing's Content 360 virtual conference earlier this year that it created a sonic DNA and decentralised the process of creating contextually different melodies, by getting local folks in its different markets to come up with an adaptation of the melody that is consistent with the brand guidelines.

Meanwhile, Visa also landed on a single “energetic” and “optimistic” sound, and complementary animation and haptic vibration to allow consumers to see, hear and feel Visa when they pay. Other brands with sonic branding also include Audi, Volkswagen and BMW.

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Photo courtesy: 123RF

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