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Sonic Logos Now a 'Sound' Business Practice

Stocks in this article: INTC AAPL NOK MSFT GE

Intel inside
In 1988, the Austrian band Eelweiss scored a best-selling dance single (No. 1 on European charts) with Bring Me Edelweiss, a frenetic mash-up of ABBA's SOS and Indeep's Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, layered with a healthy dose of yodeling and cowbell.

Walter Werzowa, a member of the band, scored a much bigger "hit" with a much shorter tune a few years later: the three-second, four-note (five, if you count a chime that precedes the main melody) "Intel Bong," as it is known.

Hear the "Intel Bong":

Since 1994, by Intel's reckoning, the "song" has been played more than a billion times worldwide, making it among the most heard tunes in history.

The proceeds from Edelweiss' success prompted Werzowa to move to Los Angeles. When a friend working on an ad campaign for Intel tapped him to tackle a musical hook, the result was a corporate branding phenomena (even though its architect claims that, as a Mac user, he had never heard of the company). Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by Intel on commercials that incorporate the song (a recent version performed a cappella by "employees") and to subsidize its inclusion in ads by various computer manufacturers.

Werzowa has parlayed the success of the Intel tune to found the L.A.-based music production studio Musikvergnuegen. In addition to composing music for films and television (including Arnold Scharzeneggers' Eraser) he has been active in the field of sound branding, which he describes on the site as "mnemonics," for such clients as Verizon's (VZ) FiOS, Avaya and ESPN's 2010 World Cup coverage.

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