Hearing Health Science (HHS) is an independent neuroscience company dedicated to resolving the problem of noise induced hearing loss. Their product, Soundbites, is the result of three decades of pioneering medical research. Soundbites is a safe vitamin and mineral formula made and tested as a pharmaceutical to preserve hearing by protecting the inner ear from damage. We were entrusted with creating the HHS Soundbites brand communications platform and launch packaging. The challenge was to communicate the benefits to three, diverse but equally important, key audiences in the launch phase: music performers, music fans and the medical community.
Having such divergent audiences required a balanced, thoughtful approach. The designs should be credible from a pharmaceutical point of view while also appealing to the style-conscious music and entertainment community. After an initial period of research and consultation, including a stimulating branding workshop in Amsterdam, we identified the core characteristics and personality of the brand. These were then articulated in a document with a key visual, which was shared with other stakeholders and partners. The objective was to achieve a coordinated communication style across multiple channels including web and packaging.
We selected the sound wave as the basis for our key visual – a sound wave composed of many small coloured dots. While deceptive in its simplicity, the visual is in fact, imbued with many layers of meaning. Sound is a positive, vibrant celebration of life. Sound is the thread, which links the consumer with the provider. The dots represent the people who make up the friends of the Soundbites movement: Scientists, Artists, Physicians, Patients, Consumers, and so on, while also symbolizing the vitality of the ear’s “happy cells” and the micronutrients in the product. We used the full spectrum of colour to add warmth and emotion and to symbolize healthy hearing.
Having established a creative platform we concentrated on executing this key visual across multiple pack sizes. The packaging design is minimal but not clinical; modern but not cold. The use of generous white space underlines the medicinal nature of the product while the colour of the key visual appeals to the core consumer: performers and music fans. The sound wave adds movement to an otherwise rigorous system while the back-of-pack is dedicated to the brand story. Soundbites is not just a product; it is a movement where diverse communities come together, united by sound in a vibrant celebration of life.
Initial public feedback was astonishing. Data from a June 3, 2016 readers survey by De Telegraaf, Netherlands largest morning daily newspaper, indicated 33% of responders would try Soundbites, a percentage thirteen times greater than anticipated by the company.