Today’s post was written by Kristen Lueck, senior strategist for Culture and Innovation at Man Made Music, Inc.
Discovering and translating the “who, what, when, why and where” of culture—that’s a simple way to sum up my role at Man Made Music. Our company creates experiences, identities and sonic strategies for entertainment and brands, with offices and personnel across New York City, Los Angeles and the United Kingdom. You may have heard our audio logo work on brands such as AT&T, Southwest Airlines and the IMAX countdown before screenings. There’s no shortage of information on what’s moving and shaking across entertainment, fashion, design and technology, and I distill that knowledge down into shareable, useful and entertaining takeaways for our staff and clients. What differentiates us is not only the sharing of cultural insights, but turning those insights into actionable strategic steps when curating an experience or creating an original composition.
Our biggest deliverable to clients is media based—a visceral and compelling audio file that usually is created as a brand’s anthem—or the entirety of their brand story. Existing on its own or paired with a visual or digital touchpoint, it’s important we present it confidently on a platform that can deliver optimal sound quality and performance every time. Even before our final product, we need to be able to share and talk about audio and bring the emotional piece to life! Let’s be honest, it can be difficult and clunky, and options such as PDF are out of the question right off the bat. I’m always on the hunt for a platform that can perform and be engaging for the types of stories we have to tell.
When I first tried Sway, I had just completed an infographic on the severe problems associated with “alarm fatigue” in hospitals—the constant sounds of alarms and machines that cause fatigue in patients and nurses. I thought this was the perfect subject matter for a Sway as it involved audio files, photographs and charts together to tell a powerful story.
There were three refreshing things about working with Sway: collaboration, customization and curation. Collaboration was fast and easy. Multiple people could be working on the same Sway without hiccups, which accelerated completion time. All you have to do is send a link and they are in. Customization, including the transition between different themes, allowed for quick assessment of different design and flow options. No longer are you stuck reformatting each piece of an entire presentation because you think it might look better another way. With a push of a button, Sway does it for you—not only with fonts and colors, but the direction of movement throughout the piece. Lastly, curation was a surprisingly delightful touch. As I built out my Sway, I noticed the suggestions of photos and other materials available to me continued to update and change. It was as if an assistant noticed I was writing about heart monitors and anticipated Creative Commons photos and other content I might want to incorporate.
Moving forward, I can see Man Made Music using Sway for numerous projects and presentations. Perhaps for the start of building infographics, delivering an engaging pitch or review to external clients, or even sharing cultural insights internally—including movie files, photographs and sounds all richly embedded together. Below is that first Sway we made, called “Killing You Loudly,” which brought to life an industry-wide issue our company was trying to promote within the health industry.