Santander - Simple, Personal, Fair

How we made a unique audio identity for a global advertising campaign as easy as 1,2,3

How we made a unique audio identity for a global advertising campaign as easy as 1,2,3

Santander’s aim was to become the best bank in the UK for its people, customers, shareholders and communities. In order to achieve this objective, Santander launched its simple, personal and fair campaign. The brand was looking to build greater warmth and trust with its customers, and to begin to communicate in a more emotive way. The challenge for CORD was to use the power of music to convey these core brand values, whilst maintaining a flexible approach to complex needs of the modern and global brand.


Santander was looking for an adaptive musical theme that would support Santander’s new emotional positioning now and into the future. It was important that this theme would be flexible enough to allow the brand and its communications agencies to work freely with the newly developed audio assets and to be able to adapt to any genre and mood of specific campaigns. Such audio-visual cues can, over time, become a short-hand brand language that the consumer recognises and understands when seen and heard in connection with communications.


CORD partnered with Santander’s creative agency WCRS to work through our specialist audio branding process. The process kicked off with a mood board exploration and together with the agency and clients, we listened to hundreds of existing pieces of music in order to focus in on a preferred sound world. We crafted a music brief that was based upon Santander’s challenges and objectives and resulted in a vision for the music and future sound of the brand.


Following an extensive creative process, composer David Lowe, was selected to develop a long-form brand theme, to include a distinctive mnemonic. This mnemonic was designed to be truly flexible and to be constantly re-orchestrated to suit new campaigns and pieces of content. Both the theme and mnemonic were recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and launched during the simple, personal and fair campaign.

Since this time, the brand theme and mnemonic have become a key part of the brands toolkit and are being used repeatedly, with a view to developing a ‘conditioned response’, thereby linking the musical notes to powerful brand ideas.