Sound Logo – Audi Heartbeat
The Audi Heartbeat is Audi’s acoustic trademark and gives us a recognisable sound the world over. In purely audio-based media, the Heartbeat always comes at the end of a commercial, following the spoken version of the claim “Vorsprung durch Technik”. In the case of shorter commercials (less than 20 seconds), the claim is omitted (see “Structure” for details).
The volume is to be adapted to comply with the specifications of the medium in question and to suit the preceding music and voices. There is always a quarter second of silence before the Heartbeat.
The Heartbeat is unchangeable in every way – frequency spectrum, tempo, dynamics. Only the original version provided may be used. For purely audio productions, please use the Heartbeat Solo.
“One ad – one message” – this ensures radio commercials are effective and reflects the clarity that is characteristic of all Audi communication. This means: limitation to the essentials.
Statements are short, comprehensible and focused on a theme, while diction is clear and music supports the message. Sound effects and noises are only applied to the extent that the concept makes them absolutely necessary. The volume levels of the music, sound effects and language must be well balanced.
For the purpose of separation and improved perception within an advertising block, an “artificial” break is inserted before and after the commercial. A short sound intro can also be applied at the beginning of the commercial.
Another means of increasing interest is to incorporate a particularly long (10 seconds) reminder spot. This is designed according to the same principles as the main radio commercial.
The selection of voices contributes to identifying the Audi brand. The key role is assigned to the so-called “Brand Voice” which can be said to act as the voice of the Audi brand. It articulates the claim “Vorsprung durch Technik” and acts as the main voiceover.
The properties of the “Brand Voice” are as follows: male, audible age 35–45, medium to deep pitch, no dialect.
The phrasing is natural without artificial emphasis or affectation. The voice is self-confident without coming over as arrogant or egoistic. The speed is calm but vibrant: neither a lecture nor a hectic announcement.
If possible, the “Brand Voice” should always be spoken by the same individual within a language area/market on all communication channels (TV, cinema, brand film, radio commercials, online, trade fairs).
In addition to the “Brand Voice”, other protagonist voices can occur in commercials which are of course different from the “Brand Voice”. These have to be easily attributable to the various speaking parts in acoustic terms. The same principles essentially apply to these voices, too.
Every commercial essentially has three sections: introduction, content and sign-off
- The introduction consists of two beats of the Heartbeat bass drum (recommended) or a break of one seconds. This ensures a good acoustic separation within the advertising block.
- The content section features voices (voiceover and/or protagonists), music and sound. The length is variable.
- The sign-off consists of the claim and sound logo (in that order). If the commercial lasts less than 20 seconds, the claim is omitted. A general pause of one quarter of a second is applied before the claim and sound logo. Finally, a break of one quarter of a second should be incorporated as a separation from the following commercial.