New York, NY (January 14, 2014)—New York broadcaster and producer of award-winning public radio content, WNYC, has debuted a holistic audio rebrand for its radio stations, 93.9 FM and AM 820, working with its agency of record, eyeball.
As a creative strategic design agency, eyeball has executed complete rebrands for major television networks including Ovation, PBS and, most recently, Oxygen. eyeball is also a pioneer in the field of audio branding, a strategic approach to communicating brand values through sound.
The first step was a complete brand audit wherein the agency explored every facet of WNYC. eyeball then wrote a large number of promo scripts to serve as best practice reference for WNYC producers, and conceived a new tagline for the station, “Just Keep Listening,” a twist on the agency’s popular campaign for WNYC, “Never Turn It Off.”
One of the key issues that WNYC raised during the brand audit was a desire for a strong, unified voice that would reflect the personality of the station. eyeball recommended Scarlett Johansson, a native New Yorker and fan of the station.
eyeball created a musical interpretation of WNYC’s visual logo, representing the iconic cityscape/graphic equalizer by assigning pitches to correspond with each bar height. Each of the four sounds is a distinct chord, rhythmically syncopated and layered with an eclectic mix of sounds. eyeball then produced a bespoke toolkit that would afford WNYC the flexibility to mix this audio logo into music beds in any key, at any tempo.
eyeball also produced a package of 10 original, forward-thinking tracks, each tagged with the new audio logo. These music beds, combined with Johansson’s VO and the new audio logo, comprise a new system of cross-platform IDs, including the digital stream and new WNYC app.
The agency assigned the original music to different day parts, depending on the mood of the compositions, and created a new collaborative workflow to regularly update a curated playlist of new, innovative music for WNYC to use in their productions.