TRT is Türkiye’s national public broadcaster, and as Turkish TV series prepare to surpass $1 billion in global sales in 2023, Sonic Minds undertook the task of creating a sonic brand for tabii, the ultimate online destination for top-quality Turkish film and TV content, catering to over 800 million fans in 146 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and the Americas, boasting a repertoire of more than 150 TV series. As a new player in the industry, tabii is poised to become the leading digital streaming platform in Türkiye, capitalizing on the projected substantial increase in TV series exports starting from 2023.
The audio brand we collaboratively developed with the creative teams at TRT and Saffron goes beyond cultivating a strong sense of community. It reaches out to underrepresented audiences in rapidly expanding regions, fostering a closer connection between tabii’s Turkish and international users than ever before. Our goal is to provide an inclusive and welcoming platform that embraces diverse cultures and allows viewers to bond over shared stories. With something for the whole family, these inspiring stories weave together love, bravery, empathy, and triumph, embodying the collective human values. With this objective in mind, we endeavored to create a modern and inclusive audio identity that seamlessly incorporates Turkish heritage.
Based on these needs we chose the following team for this project;
Anton Sherar: Project Lead & Audio Branding Consultant
Karsten Kjems: Audio Branding Consultant
Lars Bork Andersen: Composer
Mike Lesirge: Composer
Here’s what Lars had to say on building an audio identity for tabii;
“It’s always an interesting and inspiring challenge to make music that sounds regional, yet global. With regards to the tabii project, what excited me was making music that had to sound authentically Turkish, but at the same time feel universal, timeless, and global. Working towards the perfect balance between these elements was immensely fun and rewarding.”
When creating an audio identity for a brand, it’s crucial to identify opportunities that highlight key aspects or design foundations of the brand. Fortunately, tabii had plenty of such elements.
For example, tabii’s visual branding was based on the kaleidoscope, which inspired several musical ideas that formed the foundation of the audio logo. The kaleidoscope symbolizes seeing the world in new ways and represents change, growth, balance, and harmony. The visual identity of tabii also draws inspiration from arabesque decoration, a decorative style characterized by rhythmic and mesmerizing linear patterns. This provided us with inspiration to create an evolving sound that plays around with perspective and uniqueness.
The Turkish word “tabii” means “of course,” inspiring us to create a snappy, intuitive, and straightforward audio logo. However, since tabii aims to be a bridge between cultures, it was crucial that the audio identity be experienced as such by people from all around the world and not just Türkiye.
After an extensive strategic and creative process with TRT creative teams and Saffron Brand Consultants, we identified five key attributes that we wanted the audio identity to communicate.
Sonic Minds collaborated closely with TRT’s creative teams, working continuously to understand and capture the authentic Turkish identity within their sound. Through continuous feedback and the combined knowledge of TRT’s experts and Sonic Minds’ global experience, we were able to create something truly unique, reflecting the essence of Turkish culture while maintaining a connection with a broader audience.
“We sought a full-spectrum sound with large interval leaps and a swelling, upward contour that evokes excitement and adventure.”
Using specific keywords, we aimed to incorporate various vital elements into the music, ensuring the sound was brave, Turkish, universal, entertaining and family-friendly.
To represent “Brave” we sought a full-spectrum sound with large interval leaps and a swelling, upward contour that evokes excitement and adventure.
For “Turkish” we aimed for a vibrant and energetic Turkish touch that empowers and aligns with the brand identity. TRT’s invaluable involvement throughout the process provided deep insights into the nuances of Turkish culture
Since inclusivity was important, we aimed for a “Universal” sound that bridges cultures without relying on stereotypes.
To align with the entertainment industry, we prioritized creating an “Entertaining” audio identity that is modern, explorative, and dynamic.
Lastly, we aimed for an element of relatability and trust with the “Family-Friendly” keyword, creating a sound that people can connect with on a personal level.
To ensure that the audio identity could be applied to a wide range of shows, genres, and holidays, we designed its architecture to be highly flexible. We achieved this by creating a clear melody that could be adapted to different genres and instrumentation without losing its identity. Together with Saffron, we took this further by creating two distinct audio logo variants – Long and Short – that complement each other, providing a cohesive and memorable audio identity.
Listen to the short variant below.
Additionally, we developed specialized brand music that can be used as ambient background elements or to highlight important events and content.
In creating the tabii audio logo, we experimented with various attempts and concepts that combined Turkish, Arabic and Western sounds and instruments. The final result is a melody that blends Turkish melodic elements with contemporary production techniques like synths and drum programming, adding excitement to the mix. We incorporated a minor key for the Turkish-influenced melodies that ends on a more upbeat major key final note to create a more positive and forward-looking ending that resonates with a modern sensibility.
Mike, an all-round multi-instrumentalist, remarks;
“I was most excited to try to blend elements of traditional Turkish music with more contemporary instrumentation. It was a good opportunity to combine live recordings with modern production and sound design elements.”
The audio logo combines various elements to make it memorable and recognizable, including an easy-to-sing and rhythmically fun melody, a mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments from both east and west to create a global feel, and the use of the key A Major, which is often associated with happiness and positivity.
Lars had this to say about the challenges of working on this audio logo;
“It’s easy to jump headfirst into the pool of musical stereotypes, and because of this danger, lots of time was spent trying to find a sound and style that felt authentically Turkish. Things like researching instruments, their styles of playing and their place in a musical arrangement, took a good amount of time.”
“It was about bringing together a variety of different sounds that wouldn’t always instinctively go together, and making it work. The hardest part was to try to make the Turkish instrumentation fit in a natural way, whilst retaining a modern identity.”
Now we’ll break down the four main elements in the audio logo, and what they represent for tabii.
First up we have the percussion layer which highlights the universal nature of the brand by going from west to east using a stylistic change. With an introductory melodic and rhythmical setup, the music catapults from its organic/acoustic starting point, and launches into a unknown universe of adventure and excitement.The first half of the logo uses a dubstep beat, commonly associated with western electronic music. The second half of the logo uses a quarter note beat which is reminiscent of eastern parties and community get-togethers. The snap highlights the simpleness of the tabii (“of course”), as the snap sound is a symbol for quick action and intuitiveness.
To give an entertaining and brave feel to the logo, we employed a minor to major shift. This shift is felt as an uplifting energy and a transition into a new world. It is especially highlighted with synthesizers which also provide a modern feel to the logo. The chords from the synthesizers rise in energy as the audio logo progresses, providing a surge of energy and forward movement.
On his approach to the harmony and melody, Lars notes;
“My approach to harmony and melody was a little different from normal on this project. Typically for a commercial project, crazy or unexpected harmonies can easily throw people off. (…) for the tabii project, a bold and surprising element was highly encouraged. This meant that it was also okay to try more bold and surprising harmonic elements. (…) it was wonderful to work with less harmonic boundaries.”
Through various attempts, degrees of experimentation and concepts, we created a melody that had Turkish melodic flavours combined with an easy to remember structure. We employed different instruments such as kabak, saz and piano, as well as techniques such as trills. This provided tabii with a very unique sound in the audio branding space.
To add even more intensity and build-up in the latter half of the logo, a rising acoustic element consisting of saz and choir is applied to make the major shift even more fulfilling. This acoustic element also helps give a feeling of being warm and family-friendly.
The audio logo architecture was designed to be flexible and skinnable with the holidays, as well as the various shows and genres of the tabii platform, while maintaining recognizability, memorability, and effective branding. We created two main audio logo assets called Long and Short. The start of the audio logo remains the same, but the ending changes depending on the content to match it aesthetically. This transition is signified by a “snap” in the audio logo.
The full version of the tabii audio logo serves as an opener to get the listener excited about what’s to come, while the short version is meant as a sign-off. Its open-ended sound symbolizes the endless possibilities of tabii. Creating an audio identity for TRT’s streaming service “tabii” required a careful blend of traditional and modern elements, flexibility, and attention to brand identity.
The brand track “Coming Home” was created using the same melodic and harmonic elements as the tabii audio logo, giving it a cohesive and recognizable sound. However, unlike the high-energy audio logo, the brand track was designed to showcase the more ambient and atmospheric side of the tabii brand. This was achieved through the use of deep electronic pads and a soft piano, creating a calming and introspective mood.
The track was created with parts that can be used in different settings and for different emotional purposes, making it flexible and adaptable for various brand videos, marketing materials, and events. Additionally, there are two versions of the track – Full and Ambient – each with a distinct purpose. The ambient version is intended to be played in the background, adding a subtle and consistent presence to the overall brand experience. The full version, on the other hand, is meant to be used to highlight important events or content, providing a more dynamic and impactful auditory experience.
Overall, the “Coming Home” brand track was designed to complement the tabii brand identity and create a cohesive audio identity across all brand touchpoints.
Creating an audio identity for TRT’s global streaming service “tabii” required a careful blend of traditional and modern elements, flexibility, and attention to brand identity. By incorporating various Turkish and Western sounds and instruments to create a melody that was memorable, recognizable, we created an audio identity that aligns with the brand’s key attributes: brave, turkish, universal, entertaining, and family-friendly.
Lars said this about our team effort in creating this identity;
“It was great to work with a co-creator [Mike Lesirge], rather than as a solo composer. Four ears are better than two, and two brains have more ideas than one. Finally, the Sonic Minds guys are just great and wonderful. It was fantastic to work with people that gave good and honest feedback, and also gave valuable inputs and ideas. Again, the whole process felt very much like a team effort.”
Mike agreed, adding;
“Working with another composer is always fun – they might spot something in your work that you haven’t even noticed yourself, and develop it further (…) likewise you can be inspired by their ideas and techniques.”
Overall, the audio identity successfully represents tabii as a bridge between cultures, while also incorporating Turkish heritage. By working hand in hand with the creative teams at TRT and Saffron, we ensured that the audio identity not only captured the essence of Turkish vibrancy but also resonated with TRT’s vision and the diverse audience they serve.
Learn more about the creation of tabii’s brand from Saffron Brand Consultants.
Words From Client
“Our experience with Sonic Minds has been very valuable in every sense; not only because of their professionalism creating sound brand fully aligned with the brand essence and personality, but also because of their flexibility and ability to connect with our team, understand the end client’s needs and nuances, making the overall process a true pleasure and a success.”
Roberto Verona, Creative Director, Saffron Brand Consultants