Air India Express Unveils Brand Sonic Identity with Festive and Middle Eastern Renditions Across Touchpoints

Air India Express launched its sonic identity across touchpoints, with a festive twist to its inflight music. The airline also revealed a Middle Eastern rendition, acknowledging the significance of its 13 destinations in the Gulf, its largest overseas market.

Bengaluru, 26th December 2023: Incorporating an auditory extension to its new brand experience, Air India Express infused a festive spirit in its signature sonic identity, infusing holiday vibes to its brand music in-flight. Alongside the festive addition, Air India Express also recorded a Middle Eastern version of its sonic identity.

The sonic identity of Air India Express was developed in a meticulous three-stage process originating with the brand’s distinctive personality of intuitiveness, style, accessibility, and warmth, while capturing the spirit of New India infused with optimism and confidence. The Air India Express sonic identity artfully embodies the brand essence depicting three distinct rasas of Indian classical music – karuna (empathy), adbhuta (wonder) and veera (valour). The sonic identity also incorporates a distinct take on the signature two-tone airline announcement ‘chime.’ The Christmas-themed sonic identity is designed to resonate with the holiday spirit, offering a unique and memorable sensory experience.

Talking about the brand sonic identity, Siddhartha Butalia, Chief Marketing Officer, Air India Express, said, “Travel is meant to be about new experiences and lasting memories, and music resonates emotionally with both a universality in the way we experience it as well as a cultural specificity. Like our brand, our sonic identity has been crafted to deliver a more holistic and memorable sensory experience. It encapsulates the essence the new Air India Express brand and positioning, embodying the ‘Explorer’ and the ‘Everyperson’ archetypes, and inviting travellers to ‘Fly as You Are’ with a more liberating travel experience empowered by digitally driven personalisation. Our brand identity is reflected in our vision to inspire new possibilities and make meaningful connections with unmatched Indian warmth. Like the unique patterns of India on the tail of every new aircraft we are inducting, our sonic identity reflects the rich heritage and tapestry of our culture while resonating the vibrancy and confidence of a progressive and pluralistic future.”

The sonic identity for Air India Express amalgamates the dynamism of exploration with the familiarity and accessibility that define the brand. Using the science of sound and the art of music, the sonic identity was developed in collaboration with BrandMusiq, a leading sonic branding firm in Asia. Certain scales or ragas were identified, such as ‘Raag Savitri,’ that express the brand’s ethos. These were incorporated with a fusion of traditional instruments such as the violin (South), sitar (Pan India), santoor (North), and flute (East), as well as rhythm instruments such as the ghatam (South) and tabla (North), and modern melodic instruments like the electric guitar and synth bass arpeggiator, with rhythmic instruments, including kick drums, snares, and hi-hats. The result is a homage to the rich cultural heritage of India, while its modern and futuristic vibe is very reflective of the New India. The Air India Experience sonic experience is designed to resonate the spirit of a young, vibrant, and forward-thinking India.

The Explorer avatar comes alive with the use of an Electric Guitar motif and Synth Bass Arpeggiator while the Everyperson avatar is brought alive with the use of the Sitar, Ghatam and Tabla. The dynamism, confidence, and optimism of the brand are expressed using a Synth Bass in combination with Kick and Snare Drums.

Taking inspiration from the Indian ‘Raag Savitri,’ which evokes feelings of upliftment and cheerfulness, the sonic identity of Air India Express is based on the dominant scale of Western music. The moving electric guitar motif and a synth bass arpeggiator were harnessed to express the airline’s adventurous, ‘Explorer’ personality. This was thoughtfully balanced by the sound of the ‘Everyperson,’ achieved using sitar, ghatam, and the tabla in the MOGOSCAPE®. The essence of karuna (empathy and understanding) was invoked through the melody, using the violin, santoor, and sitar. The combination of the synth bass arpeggiator with the drum and snare rhythm evokes the confidence and dynamism of the brand. The resulting melody is a beautiful fusion of Indian organic and modern Western instruments.

For the Middle East, Air India Express has thoughtfully adapted its sonic identity to resonate with the rich cultural nuances of the region. The Middle Eastern rendition of the sonic identity uniquely interprets sound as a unifying force between diverse regions, recognising music as a universal language. This adaptation incorporates distinctive instruments indigenous to the Middle East, such as Oud and Bağlama (string instruments), Darbuka and Mirwas (percussion instruments), Bouzouki (another string instrument), and Rebab (a traditional bowed string instrument). By infusing these authentic elements, the airline adds a captivating Middle Eastern flavour to its signature brand melody, reinforcing its commitment to cultural inclusivity and creating an auditory experience that resonates with the diverse communities it serves.

Air India Express is featuring various artistic renditions of its sonic identity in its brand launch film, brand manifesto audio-visual, in-flight and at various customer engagement platforms including in its website, contact centre and multilingual Chatbot Tia. The sonic identity is also available to download on its website airindiaexpress.com and in-flight exprience hub, AirFlix. The Sonic Identity System includes a MOGOSCAPE® (sonic palette), a MOGO® (musical logo), and a Mini-MOGO® (the signature two-tone airline announcement ‘chime’). The powerful auditory signature has been meticulously designed keeping in mind the profound impact of sound on human emotions and decision-making, to reinforce brand recognition and the association with an irresistible groove that mirrors the airline’s commitment to delivering a seamless and uplifting travel experience.

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