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The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy
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The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A surprising look at the hidden power of sound, revealing how people and brands can use it to inspire and persuade — or annoy

From horror movie scores to national anthems to the crunchy sound of potato chips, sound and music greatly impact how we feel about our lives and the messages and products we encounter every day. With the right tools and understanding, anyone can cut
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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M
Jan 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
God this book is fluff. The author takes an interesting subject that he obviously knows a large amount about and turns it into a 150 page advertisement for his services. It's obvious that his flat out rejection of hard science in his writing points to his assumption that there's something special, something only HE knows, about this subject. Ugh. Also, this book is horribly redundant, which is amazing since it is under 200 pages. I would skip this book- huge disappointment.
Palmyrah
Oct 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
A wonderful subject, and one that I am very interested in. I spent most of my working life on the creative side of advertising, and the way music and sound act on people’s feelings and behaviour is highly relevant to anyone who works in that or any other marketing-related industry. Over and above this, I love music and have played an instrument for most of my life, am naturally attentive to the acoustics and ambient sounds of any environment I find myself in, and even studied the physics of musi ...more
Febi Eka Putri
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
It's interesting to know that harnessing sounds can influence company's brand and our everyday life.
Garrett Warshaw
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beckerman walks you through a variety of case studies, some his own consulting projects, to illuminate how sound is and can be used to enhance experiences from shopping to working to dining.
Ankit Mittal
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nothing much, fluff with a bit of science.
Darren
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sound has a much bigger contribution to our daily life than we might realise, especially when it comes to encouraging us to buy things. This book sets out to show just how much it can shape our decisions.

When you think about it, it is hardly a shock revelation. Mood music has been deployed for an eternity. Classical music in a top restaurant or store, high-energy pop music in a sports store, relaxing water music in a spa - it all has its place. Yet perhaps we don’t think so much about how sound
...more
Kate
I read an advance reader copy of this book, so it may differ slightly from the final publication.
I liked this book, though it's hard to write about music and sound. Throughout the entire book I was really wishing it was a podcast or audiobook instead, so I could hear examples of the music that Beckerman was talking about.
It was interesting, though Beckerman has the tendency (as happens in many books like this, written by experts in any field) to put too much importance (in my opinion) on sound a
...more
Marc E
Apr 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science
Disappointing. I heard an NPR interview about this book and was excited only to find about 2 chapters of information repeated over and over in 9 chapters. The NPR article covered the entire spectrum in less than 5 minutes. My other beef with the book was that the author took every opportunity to plug himself and his company in every story. It's one thing to relate actual experiences; it's another to pat yourself on the back with the same information over and over again.
Margaret Sankey
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
From the cheerful startup sound of a Mac to the catastrophe in marketing that was the Sun Chips Green bag, Beckerman explores the commercial soundscapes we live and buy in, including the carefully curated playlists of grocery stores, selling fajitas via sizzle, car door clunks, the misuse of music in minivan ads and the silence that divides areas of Disney parks.
Casey
May 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: music-related
Absolute capitalist junk. Should have been called "selling with sound." Not only is it a boring rundown of companies that use "audio logos" or some shit, but guess what, that author has some ideas on what works and doesn't and is available for hire!
Roger Wu
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was kind of bored, and realized that for me anecdotes are more powerful than "guidebooks" ... I did receive this book from the PR team.
Aaron
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music, media-theory
Might have gotten 3 stars if I hadn't heard basically the entire book recapped on an episode of Freakonomics. Interesting, but way more marketing fluff than I expected.
Jay Thompson
A very interesting topic, but the book was very repetitive - more so that pushing a theme but rather to boost the page count. Also, Beckerman spent a lot of time talking about how good he was.
David Wen
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Synopsis: Sound is important. You just don't seem to notice all the time.

Nothing real surprising regarding sound that people don't already know. I would look for another book.
Liz
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
i listened to it on Blinklist. Interesting concepts to consider
Jon Arnold
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Solid book covering the various ways sound engages the consumer and human experience. Covers psychology, behavior, emotion, branding, etc. As an audio nerd, this hit all the right spots for me.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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