Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has partnered with Sixième Son to develop the most ambitious and robust sonic system ever created by an airline. Staying true to the brand’s mission to bring the world to Abu Dhabi, the sonic identity is sprung from Arabic roots and includes an innovative sonic across the customer journey from booking to landing and sharing.
The unique identity helps the Etihad stand out in a competitive industry where brands are competing to inspire and entice travellers.
From booking to landing, music guides traveller through the journey
Etihad’s sonic branding accompanies the traveller through each phase of their journey, and is present in digital communication, TVCs, terminals, lounges and onboard.
Bringing Emirati traditions to crossroads of the world
Etihad Airways wears its heritage with pride, and aims to bridge diverse cultures by welcoming the world to Abu Dhabi. That ethos was incorporated into the sonic identity design, ensuring that the brand’s Emirati roots and outward-facing cosmopolitanism were front and centre.
In creating the identity, Sixième Son was inspired by the traditional Al Sadu weaving method; an emblematic Emirati craft requiring skill and creativity. In turn, the agency blended traditional instruments with both organic and electronic textures, overlapping and responding to one another, mirroring the weaving method. They also worked with local musicians to ensure authenticity, using instruments such as the ney, kanoon and oriental percussion, and to produce a melody exclusive to the Etihad experience.
A first for both Etihad Airways and Sixième Son, the Etihad sonic brand won Gold in the Transform Awards Middle East/Africa for ‘Best Use of Audio Branding’, truly setting new higher standards in the industry, perhaps all industries.
Amina Taher, vice president of brand, marketing and sponsorships in 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, not just of our home, but of our culture. It is an eclectic mix of Emirati and international instrumentation and arrangements, played by musicians from the UAE and around the world. Etihad guests will hear dozens of bespoke music tracks which have been built from the same sonic DNA when on board our aircraft, in our lounges, at events, when calling the contact centre, on the radio or when watching our videos.”