When it comes to designing sonic branding (how a brand sounds), where do you start? With Philips, whose legacy has since spawned areas of the business that include not only home appliances and utility instruments, but also dimensions such as healthcare, the challenge lies in finding that one common factor that binds everything about that brand into one sound.

When Massive Music gives you a call, you know it’s going to be an interesting one. Inspired by the success of our short documentary Portrait of a Sound Design Artist, we were asked to follow our close friend and audio bright spark Ali Lacey as he explores a rather unique approach as part of Philips’ sonic rebrand.

Storm & Shelter was a mere infant when this project was shot—a humble production with a skeleton crew (a one man, curly-haired skeleton crew) on a shoestring budget.  Ali’s concept was a simple one, to take Philips back to its origins—lightbulbs. Using his creative and colourful (and bloody talented) brain, Ali realised he can make playable instruments by recording the intimate sounds of a Philips lightbulb.

The video sheds light on Ali’s process and was originally part of an initial pitch from Massive Music to secure the rebranding work, however, this little bundle of visual delight infused such a sense of pride within the Philips camp that it was seen fit to transform this teaser into a fully-fledged Philips branded film.

We then used animation to visualise what would be come to be known as “The Philips Instrument”—a playable digital instrument containing all sorts of sounds made using lightbulbs—giving an understanding behind both the creativity and the thought process that went into its creation. Combined with a soundtrack composed solely using the instrument, it demonstrated the full application of this instrument throughout the suite of audio-based content that would be needed for the Philips brand.

It was a mega-interesting project to be part of and shone a light on the amount of creativity that actually goes into that little tune you hear when you turn on your TV at home. So the next time you hear that jingle, think of the big ol’ team of people who pulled together to make it all happen!


Josh Bennett
Gruff Vaughan
Yoke Creative
Josh Bennett
Executive Producer
Nick Patterson

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