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Jean-Michel Jarre updates HSBC’s “sound identity”

By | Published on Thursday 24 January 2019

Jean-Michel Jarre

HSBC has hired Jean-Michel Jarre to create its new “sound identity”. Because once you reach a certain level of corporate music making, “jingle” just doesn’t sound right.

Seven different versions of new composition ‘Together We Thrive’ will be used by the bank. It has been “created to be relevant to the 66 markets in which HSBC operates by working across different languages and cultures”.

If you phone up HSBC today you can hear it while you’re on hold. So that’s something to do. It’ll also start appearing in adverts, in branches, in HSBC’s app, on its ATMs and at its offices around the world. So if you engage with HSBC a lot, you’d better prepare yourself to start getting very tired indeed of this new track.

“This is the first time that I have worked with a brand on a project like this but I really connected with HSBC’s deep focus on the notion of thriving”, says Jarre. “My music has always been about the future and in order to thrive in the 21st century, I truly believe we need to focus on the environment, education and technology. Once I understood their value to the HSBC brand, suddenly it seemed that we were speaking the same language”.

Christ. And here’s HSBC Global Head Of Brand Andrea Newman: “Sound is an increasingly important part of brand building in a world where our audiences are busy and distracted. Having a distinctive sound which works alongside our visual branding and logo means we can be easily recognised wherever and however our customers interact with us. We are delighted to have partnered with Jean-Michel Jarre who has created a sound identity which will work across the many countries and cultures in which we operate”.

Despite all this probably making you feel like you need a bloody good wash, ‘sonic branding’ is actually really interesting. Have a listen to this episode of the excellent 20,000Hz podcast on the subject.