There’s no sound quite like a Mercedes-Benz engine. That’s partially the premise behind an interactive audio-visual experience from integrated production company B-Reel and ad agency AMV BBDO.
The experience, Sound With Power, enables users to create audio mashups by combining the purr of the Mercedes E63 AMG engine with multiple sounds – ranging from performers like Tinie Tempah and Sub Focus to children’s classic Stingray, as well as everyday sounds – which ultimately all play in sync.
The site launched in early October. Reps for B-Reel and AMV BBDO did not have usage stats. A Mercedes rep was not available for comment.
To create a mashup, users start with the sound of the engine and choose between a track from Tinie Tempah or Stingray to layer over it. Users are then given the option to add one of two additional sounds, which is layered on top of the mix and so on and so forth as the user decides between additional tracks featuring sounds like thunder or roller coasters.
The site features dozens of potential combinations, reps say.
“The idea was to recognize that all sorts of sounds have emotional power [including] music and other sounds such as babies,” says Martin Loraine, copywriter at AMV BBDO. “[We ask users to] interact and choose the most emotionally powerful sounds…it’s a really engaging, fun experience.”
Further, the audience’s ability to choose between older favorites like Dusty Springfield, as well as newer tunes, helps the experience resonate closer and result in “a nice mix of memories and choices,” adds Alex Jenkins, creative director at B-Reel.
“It works best when you pull a range of different pieces of music together,” Loraine says. “That’s the thing about sounds and emotions…they’re random [on the site] and don’t go together, but they’re emotional, like thunder mixed with orchestral strings mixed with a sitar. These are things that have no reason or right to go together, but create a really brilliant piece of music with an emotional response.”
B-Reel says it created a “fully responsive and intuitive platform that enables seamless and simultaneous playback of multiple video clips across all desktop and mobile platforms.”
The system adjusts the size and quality of the videos to individual hardware and browsers and synchronizes the video clips to the audio.
“It proved a significant technical challenge, but the results speak for themselves with a perfectly synced and fluid experience for the audience,” B-Reel adds.
Users can also share their mashups on Twitter for the chance to see them included in upcoming television commercials in the U.K.
A TV spot about the experience has about 88,000 views on YouTube as of November 10.
“The idea came from an insight we heard from the client. Mercedes dealers anecdotally told us when potential car buyers get behind the wheel of the AMG, if they could get the engine turned on, they knew they had a sale because the sound was so emotionally powerful,” Loraine says. “We wanted to do a whole campaign based on the emotional power of sound in a bigger way than just talking about the car – talking about human response to sound.”
The campaign targets a “much younger audience than Mercedes traditionally has,” or men and women in their thirties, with a bullseye on 35-year-old men and women, Loraine adds.