Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been nominated in the ‘Best Audio Branding’ and ‘Best Brand Experience’ categories at tonight’s Transform Awards in Dubai, a global event that recognises excellence and rewards innovation in branding.
Created in partnership with leading sonic branding agency, Sixième Son, Etihad is the first airline in the Middle East to develop a robust sonic identity. It expands across the full suite of the airline’s internal and external touchpoints to deliver a consistent experience and drive brand recognition.
Amina Taher, Vice President Brand, Marketing & Sponsorships, Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad’s brand promise is to bring the world to Abu Dhabi. Inspired by the UAE capital, the launch of our sonic identity is an expression of not just our home, but our culture. It is an eclectic mix of Emirati and international instrumentation and arrangements, played by musicians based in the UAE and around the world.
“Our guests and stakeholders will hear dozens of bespoke music tracks which have been built from a single sonic DNA when on board our aircraft, in our lounges, at events, when calling our contact centre, on the radio, and across our branded content.”
The airline’s sonic identity was composed by adding layers of instruments that overlap and respond to each other; a technique inspired by Al Sadu, a traditional form of weaving in the UAE. Traditional Arabic instruments with both organic and electronic textures were blended to create a unique melody that is culturally Emirati, while elegantly modern.
Laurent Cochini, Managing Director, Sixième Son, said: “The tailormade sonic experience will create positive brand memories. Etihad really understands the power of sound and how it can enrich the conversation with its guests. A first for both Etihad and Sixième Son, we are delighted to be shortlisted for the Transform Awards. Working with the Etihad team has been mutually enriching and we’re truly grateful they worked with us to challenge industry norms.”
To create the music,18 musicians came together in the UAE and France to record Etihad’s sonic identity. The musicians used a wide variety of local Arabic instruments the ney, kanoon, oriental percussion and oud, while also highlighting more modern sounds from the acoustic and electric guitar, keyboard, piano, bass, drums, violin, cello and synthesiser.