By Erika Stutzman     |     March 24, 2017

When Facebook announced earlier this year that sound would auto-play on videos on its platform, we can guess that the only people who were thrilled were videographers. Sounds on social are rarely artfully done, and the speakers and headphones used with most devices and desktops are usually not great.

As creatives, the move did bring up question: How can we explore sound on internet videos in a way that could spark some inspiration? What sounds work, or don’t? How is music — or voices, or silence — used in a way that tells a story, or moves us?

With sound as our theme, here is a small sample of the videos we reviewed as a team for inspiration:

This 360-degree video by Honda is compelling: The user can control the view and different sounds are associated with what the scene shows: A car camping site, a suburban welder, children playing in a sunny front yard. The sounds change along with the view: Cackling campfire, children’s laughter. Many of us found the only constant “sound” — a somber, spooky music score — distracting. We kept waiting for something creepy to happen. (It didn’t. Happily for the children playing so close to the street.)  

We played a game where we tried to guess the video based on the sounds we heard before viewing it online. In this first example, most of us thought the advertisement would be a car commercial or fitness technology. We were wrong.

For the second, we guessed the ad would be travel-related, or perhaps an alcohol brand. Wrong, again. Creatives should challenge themselves to think about sounds that can enhance videos that may not be the norm, or the most obvious.

We liked the Allure Dispelling Beauty Myths for what they lacked. The videos feature women telling their unscripted stories — and no music. The underlying silence, when soft music would have been the obvious choice, and the lack of a visual background gives their stories more power.

About Erika Stutzman

Erika Stutzman was an award-winning reporter and editor for 20 years at newspapers in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C. and Boulder, Colorado. Erika enjoys helping Room 214’s team and its clients tell their own unique stories in compelling ways. If she's not writing, she's probably skiing, camping, trail running or at the farmers' market.

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