Etihad Airways has revealed a brand new boarding music track that will be played at the start of every flight, the latest addition to its new sonic identity which will accompany passengers through every step of their journey with the Abu Dhabi-based airline.
From the telephone hold music when calling Etihad’s reservations line or the sonic branding that will accompany an Etihad television commercial or YouTube video, the airline now has a singular sonic brand that passengers will instantly recognise as belonging to Etihad Airways.
It’s the same concept as the audio logo or signature you hear when you switch on a Microsoft computer, view an Audi television commercial or begin watching a Disney movie.
Some companies have, however, taken the concept to the next level by creating an entire sonic identity so that consumers instantly recognise the brand across a range of platforms. One of the biggest names in the sonic branding world is French consultancy Sixième Son which was behind the Etihad project.
“Etihad really understands the power of sound and how it can enrich the conversation with its guests,” says Sixième Son’s managing director Laurent Cochini.
Cochini says the team were inspired by Al Sadu – a traditional form of weaving in the United Arab Emirates which Sixième Son replicated in the new music by weaving traditional instruments with organic and electronic textures.
18 musicians came together to record the new music with a wide variety of local Arabic instruments including the ney, kanoon, oriental percussion and oud used in the soundscape.
“Our guests and stakeholders will hear dozens of bespoke music tracks which have been built from a single sonic DNA when on board our aircraft, in our lounges, at events, when calling our contact centre, on the radio, and across our branded content,” explained Amina Taher, Vice President Brand, Marketing at Etihad.
“Inspired by the UAE capital, the launch of our sonic identity is an expression of not just our home, but our culture. It is an eclectic mix of Emirati and international instrumentation and arrangements, played by musicians based in the UAE and around the world.”
The new boarding music replaces a track that was specially composed for Etihad by Ramesh Sathiah as part of its ‘Flying Reimagined’ branding. The music featured in a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign created by M&C Saatchi and starring Hollywood A-Lister Nicole Kidman.
Etihad has since moved away from this Flying Reimagined campaign as it seeks to become a profitable bespoke carrier.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.