The Newsy Sonic Brand

About Project

The sound and music associated with media outlets is among the most iconic that we experience as consumers. The scale, the impact, and the history — combined with the preexisting sonic architecture presented a unique and exciting opportunity for the Gwynne team to help Newsy express their brand appropriately and strategically in the space.

Live Project
Category
Sonic Identity
Client
Newsy
Release
March 2021

The sound and music associated with media outlets is among the most iconic that we experience as consumers. The scale, the impact, and the history — combined with the preexisting sonic architecture (shows, bumpers, loops and more) presented a unique and exciting opportunity for the Gwynne team to help Newsy express their brand appropriately and strategically in the space.

Newsy, a Scripps® company since 2014, is an American news network that delivers unbiased news brought to you by relatively younger and certainly more diverse on-screen talent. Their mission? Be informed, not influenced. As a modern source for concise video news and analysis, they strive to fuel meaningful conversations by highlighting multiple sides of every story.

They address their viewers with the following sentiments:

“You're a seeker of information. Challenging popular opinion and forming your own world view. You're asking why. Looking for answers. Looking for the truth. You've inspired us to find those answers and put them in perspective so you can make up your own mind.”

With a nationwide reach, Newsy set out to strategically strengthen their brand as a tool to unite and inspire their audience and their workforce. 

As part of a total brand refresh, Gwynne Sound was offered the opportunity to discover and develop the sonic strategy, identity and guidelines for Newsy, including the creation of a new brand theme, mnemonic and an entire ecosystem of original sfx, loops and other sonic assets. 

The Competitive Landscape / Positioning

This mission and perspective is certainly a main point of difference for Newsy within the competitive landscape. As we researched music and sound within media, fascinating trends and observations began to arise. We noticed consistent trends as it relates to bias and a brand’s sonic expression. This was consistent across all areas of the bias chart. In the center, closer to Newsy, we noticed large arrangements with a heavy use of orchestral instrumentation. This sonic expression imparted formality which is often perceived as credibility. Credibility, of course, is a key component of most media and news brands, Newsy among them. But, these more direct competitors shared few other brand characteristics with Newsy. It became evident that following suit in the category would not be an authentic or accurate expression of the Newsy brand. 

News networks are arranged on a chart depicting reliability of reporting on the vertical axis and political bias on the horizontal axis.


The Process

Understanding Newsy’s positioning, we set forth exploring tones and textures with the Newsy Creative Team. These sessions were done remotely, utilizing new ways to communicate and execute our discovery process. We listened, laughed, and inspired each other through a series of exercises — carefully combining qualitative insights and potent conversation with surveys and stakeholder engagement. The result? A sturdy sonic strategy from which to begin composing and crafting sonic landscapes.

We began to explore a variety of sonic landscapes for Newsy. Each with a name, a distinct melody, and a unique array of instrumentation, cadence and energy. These environments were directly inspired by the results of our discovery phase and in line with the Newsy sonic strategy. 

All of the landscapes created expressed the different facets of the Newsy brand. As we refined each of them internally, a series of surveys were conducted with the Newsy audience as well as internal stakeholders. The results reflected that one landscape in particular, “Enigmatic Duality”, was unique enough, like-able enough, and most importantly delivered the desired emotional response from the Newsy audience.

With “Enigmatic Duality” as our due north, the Gwynne team got to work crafting and refining the holistic sound of Newsy. Long form pieces of music, mnemonics, loops and SFX were carefully sculpted to reflect the principles of the sonic strategy and the creative “hierarchy” of the chosen landscape.

The Newsy Sound

The Newsy Sound is rooted in driven, dichotomous human curiosity expressed through familiar sounds acting in a new way — imploring you to question what you hear and reevaluate your relationship with the instruments and sounds you have to come to know. Where there is grit, there is forbearance; with gravitas, there is levity. It contains omnipresent growth, resulting in a climactic rallying cry; ushering all that hear it to come together in strength and in truth.

The Newsy sound is duality brought to life. 

Whether they’re covering an important election, wildfires, the health of humankind, or the successful rescue of a child — the Newsy sound is there, sparking curiosity and critical thinking with the brand theme, driving recall and familiarity with the mnemonic and cueing emotional setups with unique loops and SFX.


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