How a British breakfast icon got its audio identity
Weetabix has been fuelling the UK with high-quality cereals since 1932. From their iconic biscuit to today’s many different flavours, shapes, and textures, there have never been so many ways to enjoy Britain’s favourite breakfast.
Weetabix believes that everyone has the right to a good and proper breakfast that makes you ready to take on life’s challenges. And in order to communicate this efficiently, along with their global aspirations, Weetabix needed an audio identity.
Their logo pictures the iconic and distinctive lozenge. embodies the movement, energy, and warmth of Weetabix. Here’s how we unlocked its inner sound.
Weetabix wanted an audio identity that perfectly summarized their tagline “Have you had yours?” and the empowered feeling you get, when you’ve had your bowl of breakfast cereal.
We chose to collaborate with our vendor Dave Reynaud. Dave has been working as a Composer & Sound Designer over the last 20 years for commercials, idents, and trails for TV, radio, podcasts and online, TV shows, documentaries, film and mobile games, mobile apps, even theme parks, stadiums, concert halls and for onboard transport use. Regarding his involvement in the process, Dave said the following;
“Weetabix has always had a very strong and distinctive visual brand profile, but I believe this is the first time that Weetabix has explored ideas of how their brand should actually sound by finding its own sonic identity. To be involved in the evolution and discovery of this collaborative process was a great honour and really exciting.”
A common tool we use is archetype mapping, which aims to answer the question: “If this sound was a person, what traits would it have?” While archetypes don’t tell the whole story, they give a strong picture of the perception that Weetabix would like to have, and what personality the audio identity should signal to the audience. Dave adds;
“When analyzing the key attributes of the Weetabix brand as to how they wanted their audiences to engage with and enjoy the products, we endeavored to find ways to interpret these attributes in musical ways not just to evoke the desired emotional response but also to make sure that the true personality of the brand came through.”
Weetabix is an iconic British breakfast food, so we knew their audio identity had to reflect that. Finding the right sound was a result of trial and error. We tried to go two ways. The first direction we went was more nostalgic and acoustic sounding, using a lot of natural-sounding orchestral instruments, as well as human elements, such as whistles and cereal boxes. This approach was based upon the Jester archetype, which is characterized as light-hearted and comedic. However, together with Weetabix, we quickly discovered that it didn’t sound modern enough. Weetabix wanted their sound to reflect their forward-facing paradigm.
“Our brief called for a degree of experimentation with organic as well as electronic instrumentation (…) This would involve a little bit of thinking outside the (cereal) box, quite literally.”
Therefore, we decided to go in another direction, based upon the Magician archetype, which is characterized as being charismatic and innovative, with the instrumentation having an emphasis on feeling bold and energized. This approach resulted in a much more contemporary sound, which felt right for the brand and their goals. Dave had this to say about the various approaches taken;
“Sometimes, so many attributes can be identified that this can start to reveal contradictions. These can be easily avoided through reassessment and simplification, so the challenge lies in keeping the focus on the most important qualities while maintaining a holistic view of the main goal.”
Thinking Outside the Cereal Box
The Weetabix audio logo is modern, upbeat, and fresh. It reflects the brand’s playful personality while still sounding professional. The melody is easy to sing and remember. Plus, the spoon-like sound effect creates an instant association with the brand and its products. Utilizing sounds recorded from the physical Weetabix products had been a point of emphasis for us from the start. Here are some of Dave’s reflections;
“Our brief called for a degree of experimentation with organic as well as electronic instrumentation in order to find sounds that evoked the excitement and anticipation of a brand new day fuelled by Weetabix. This would involve a little bit of thinking outside the (cereal) box, quite literally, by exploring the sound design possibilities of the physical product and any associated utensils or sounds that were commonly associated with a breakfast-eating environment. Great fun!”
The audio logo tells a story of the excitement towards that first spoonful of Weetabix you have each day. The percussion drives you forward, building tension, while the brass signals the feeling of excitement for a great day ahead. The ending is a representation of a spoon hitting a bowl giving the listener a release from the tension that the percussion and brass have built up.
Listen to the audio logo below.
Listen to how Weetabix has used the audio logo in their advert “Wolf” below.
Words from Weetabix
“Sonic Minds made the process of creating a new audio identity simple. They guided us through the definition of the brand sound, prompting us and challenging us when needed in a series of workshops. They worked collaboratively with all our internal stakeholders and our lead creative agency, and have delivered an audio logo that is flexible to stand the test of time. They have been brilliant, totally responsive and collaborative helping us through the process.”
Gareth Turner, Head of Marketing