Evolving the Sonic Dimension of Startup Identity

Given the huge importance and necessessity for developing video-driven narratives for startups, I was interested recently to explore Artgrid, a new stock footage company who provide story-driven content from top cinematographers from around the world. This was interesting to me since Artgrid’s purpose is to try and elevate the art of stock footage away from the bland and obvious, and into the realm of art.

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Image: Artgrid

For those on a budget it really is possible to produce video content with high production values on a modest budget. This is great news for people like myself who produce short-form content as one of our key inbound marketing channels.

The great challenge though is the sonic landscapes that accompany many startup pitch videos. For a long time much of this genre of music has irked me, due to it being so formulaic and lacking in imagination. Maybe it is much more difficult to write and produce original music which is happy. To borrow a phrase from Tolstoy, sonic landscapes of all happy startups are alike, with very little differentiation.

To help illustrate my point, this fifteen-minute video essay on this theme is really worth watching.

I myself have grappled with the issue of creating an audio identity for my own company, Holonomics, and have really tried to avoid the clichés found in corporate videos. As someone who loves synths and plays effects-driven guitar, my first attempt was a short motif which I found in Garage Band which I created to provide an opening and closing identity for some of our videos. Here is an example in the first ten seconds of this interview with Maria:

The idea was to create a motif to signal soul and a deeper form of thinking compared to the corporate music industry.

I love music, I love live music and I love making music, both electronic as well as guitar. Music can lift our souls, revealing inner truths about ourselves, but it can also be a way to shortcut our emotional circuitry when true soul is absent.

I woud love to see startups evolve in their creative use of music to match the developments and improvements in visual storytelling, and hopfully we will soon be moving away from generic whistling, mandolins and cellos to more soul-stirring production.

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