BMW Updates Their Iconic Sound Logo

BMW Updates Their Iconic Sound Logo

When the automotive brand wanted to expand through modern technology they opted for re-branding their 'sound logo' instead of their visual component.

Sofia Johansson
  • 22 march 2013

A recent press release by BMW Group read ‘the new sound logo has a particularly strong recognition value.’ The automotive brand is looking to increase their audience’s attention and recognition within advertising campaigns by replacing their previous logo. Perhaps most surprisingly, the previous logo was the accompanying sound that followed every TV and Radio advertising campaign since 1998- It’s the ‘sound logo’ they are giving a makeover whilst the visual logo associated with the brand will remain untouched. 

Head of Corporate and Brand Identity at BMW Group, Joachim H. Blickhäuser, spoke of the replacement for the 14 year running of the ‘double-gong’ sound to be an important aspect of the brands evolution. Through the creation of a new sound to accompany the logo, BMW hope to take the previous acoustic and bring a ‘dynamic recognition factor’ that follows the brands aesthetic into the 21st century.

Sound designer Thomas Kisser of HASTINGS media music on the development of the new logo:

It was a very intensive process and a wonderfully exciting challenge right from the start. The questions I asked myself at the outset were: What does the BMW brand sound like to me? Which sound themes represent the values I associate with BMW, such as Sheer Driving Pleasure, aesthetic appeal and power? And how can I create a sound logo that clearly differentiates the brand from other brands – especially other automotive brands? Important criteria for the development process included global cultural compatibility, variability of application, brand fit and recognition value.

The finished composition of the logo featured brand-specific dynamic and powerful sound elements to represent the future identity of BMW. Flexible mobility was symbolised within the sound by playing these elements backwards and forwards. The brand describes the melody for their new logo as “introduced by a rising, resonant sound and underscored by two distinctive bass tones that form the sound logo’s melodic and rhythmic basis.” The combination of elements represents the joy of progress and Sheer Driving Pleasure as it builds toward a shimmering finish.

Kisser’s vision for the BMW brand identity will effectively play after radio and TV advertising worldwide throughout 2013. It will be included in brand films and product campaigns with its starting point in the French and UK market from mid-March.


+Brand Development
+brand identity
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