MANILA -- Mike Constantino is taking his love for music to the next level by building brands and connecting audiences through sound.
The DJ, singer-songwriter, and executive producer put up Homonym, an audio marketing agency, in 2016. It is currently the only company in the Philippines to use a music-first approach, serving not just brands but also record labels, rights owners and publishers, and even online platforms.
Through his experience and expertise, Constantino hopes to remind the youth that there are many opportunities in music, saying that it is no longer limited to becoming recording artists, composers, and performers.
"There's really a lot that you can do," he said during his recent stint at CommuniTalks, a series of talks by International Public Relations Association Philippines and the University of the Philippines' College of Mass Communication.
"On the production side alone, there are so many opportunities -- publishing, music licensing, music export, immersive audio, and branding. Hindi na limited sa tugtog-tugtog," he added.
At the center of audio marketing is creating a sonic brand, which Constantino defines as "the strategic, purposeful, and consistent use of sound and music in branding and marketing to shape perception and behavior."
He believes that this is just as important as having a visual logo, especially given the trend of "screenless moments" among many Internet users.
"Merong phenomenon na tinatawag na screenless moments and all of us are doing this right now. Basically you're not looking at your screen, but you have earphones and you're doing something else," he said. "Kapag nagko-communicate ng message na visual lang at walang audio, there's a huge gap na nami-miss. Hindi nako-communicate 'yung message."
"During the pandemic, na-force tayo to wear earphones and earbuds kasi naka-Zoom lang tayo for class and everything we're doing," he added. "This is a great opportunity to promote the power of sound."
"Once you combine good sound with good visuals, the recall becomes much, much higher."
During his talk, Constantino took attendees through the process of creating a sonic brand, from aligning with clients to analyzing the target market based on the music they listen to.
They are then able to create a 2-3 second sonic logo, which will be incorporated in various tracks as part of a brand campaign.
"They can use this for whatever platform. We do different versions like hip-hop and K-pop," he said. "All that from a 2-3 seconder sonic logo."
Among the effective sonic logos with high recall value mentioned by Constantino were McDonald's, Shopee, and Resorts World Manila, which has since been rebranded to Newport World Resorts.
IN-STORE MUSIC AND MORE
Aside from sonic logos, Constantino helps curate in-store music which, he said, is an important element in a customer's experience of a brand.
He pointed out that what is played inside a store can greatly affect a shopper's mood, and is different depending on the kind of establishment.
"All that comes from a sonic identity. It's not just good music. The music we curate for a lobby is meant to welcome you, the music we curate for a gym is meant to hype you up, the music we curate for a spa is supposed to relax you. Again, it starts with a sonic identity, a sonic logo," he explained.
Constantino added: "We've also done walking music for executives, like when they walk in and are introduced when they're speaking on stage. They have their own walk-in song, parang wrestling. We also curate for events, elevators, hotlines, and websites."
POWER OF SOUND
Constantino ended his talk by stressing how powerful sound is in communicating a message to consumers, and wondered aloud why not many Filipinos are taking advantage of this for marketing.
"We Filipinos are very musical people, so it doesn't make any sense that we're not doing [a lot of] audio marketing," he said.
Through Homonym and his talks in different schools in the country, he hopes that he can make Filipinos more audio-aware.
"We believe that sound is the next great marketing frontier. Maraming ine-explore 'yung marketing world, pero it's time for people to pay attention to sound," he said.