A speaker company asks: Is the neighbour bothered by noise?

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Few subjects seem more relatable and funnier than weird neighbours. We created a story about just that, which perfectly matched the customer’s brand. And – it took off.

Background

Sonos talks about their products and services in the media, but they also talk about relatable subjects in times without launches, software updates, and so on. Therefore, the company stays top-of-mind and relevant with both the media and Norwegian people.

At PR-operatørene we continually get challenged to tell stories on behalf of Sonos. This time, we had to make sure to hit the right tone with the ongoing situation in mind.

Naturally, we based the story on what Sonos provides to its customers, sound experiences, but also the current situation in a summer that most of us spent home. When we brainstormed about the combination of sound and “home summer”, a special theme matched all our demands: Neighbourhood culture. The theme enables talk about sound (neighbourhood noise), which is very relevant when everyone is at home – not to mention – it is a theme that interests the media and public.

A good starting point to a story is often insight. In this case, we choose to conduct a survey to find out how much noise we could make before it turned our neighbour’s crazy.

Goal

Sonos wanted to increase their brand awareness in a way that empathized their credibility within quality sound, as well as a solution that matched the strange year of 2020.

Implementation

While designing the survey, it was important for us to highlight the fun and interesting parts. Moreover, it had to match with what Sonos represents, sound experiences. Therefore, we questioned people from every county about neighbourhood noise, how loud volume is acceptable, what type of music they like or dislike hearing, and ultimately if people would turn down their volume if they had a premium speaker. Based on this information, we seamlessly combined fun and interesting insights with product categories.

The survey result gave us a good laugh since it proved that many Norwegians annoy their neighbours with a variety of bizarre sounds. People experience everything from death-metal music to neighbours that scream and set off fireworks during the weekend. However, a lot of us – in fact 7 in 10 people – said they would decrease their volume if they possessed a high-quality speaker.

We included this information in a press release with a key message on multiroom (If you have a speaker in every room that synchronises with each other, there is no need for high volume in the living room when you are dry cleaning in the laundry room.)

In addition to the survey and quotes from Sonos, we invited the writer of the book “That Bloody Neighbour”, Olav Brekke Mathisen, to inform us about his perspectives on the matter. This helped increase the story’s credibility and make it even more interesting.

Furthermore, we customised each press release to different counties, so that regional- and local media outlets in every county received accurate information on how their local community reacted to neighbourhood noise. And the response did not hold back. The media outlets threw themselves over the story, and one of the journalists even said it was the funniest press release he had ever seen.

Results

The story about the Sonos survey spread like wildfire throughout Norway and ended up with over thirty articles – that reached over half a million people. The news story was published in national outlets like ABC Nyheter, regional papers like Østlendingen and Oppland Arbeiderblad, and by several tech-media outlets. By telling stories based on current affairs, insight, local and fun perspectives in line with the company’s brand, PR-operatørene contributed to earned media publicity for the sound brand Sonos, which resulted in improved brand awareness and credibility for the client.

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