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Source Name: WPP

WPP Acquires Sonic Branding Agency amp, Expanding Generative AI and Brand Experience Design Offering

Apr 21, 2023 10:57 IST 
London, United Kingdom

WPP today announces the acquisition of amp, one of the world’s leading sonic branding companies. 

amp’s expertise will strengthen WPP’s offer in experiential branding and its ability to create high-quality, differentiated, and ownable sound experiences for clients. The acquisition comes as sound continues to grow as a vital branding element, with 75% of GenZ consumers saying that music helps them to feel more connected to brands1

amp will join WPP brand and design consultancy, Landor & Fitch, adding to the agency’s expertise in delivering immersive brand identities that transform customer and employee experiences and set brands apart in a competitive marketplace. 

Founded in 2009 by Michele Arnese, amp is based in the US, Europe and Asia, with main office hubs in Germany and the US. Its global team of more than 60 people has created award winning sonic identities for some of the world's most influential brands, including Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz, Kraft Heinz, Deloitte, Shell, and General Motors. 

amp’s strategic rigour and deep expertise in music and sound is based on its Sonic DNA® design approach. This unique creative platform is elevated by Sonic Hub® - its AI toolset - allowing it to analyse, create and manage sonic assets, delivering these at scale by harnessing the potential of generative AI. This innovative approach ensures that a brand’s audio content is consistent yet tailored to diverse audiences, delivering a seamless experience across all consumer touchpoints. 

Mark Read, CEO, WPP, said, “With the rise of streaming, podcasting and short-form media, audio has become a critical component of the marketing mix. The acquisition of amp enhances our offer to clients, helping them create immersive experiences that engage consumers on a deeper level and drive their competitive advantage.”

Jane Geraghty, Global CEO of Landor & Fitch, said, “I’m delighted to welcome amp into the fold. The team is truly best-in-class and has effectively defined the rapidly growing sonic branding space with its work on clients like Mastercard and Mercedes-Benz. This acquisition gives us an unparalleled breadth of capability – graphic, digital, motion, physical, product and experiential – and now sonic. It will also help us accelerate our rapidly growing accessible design practice. I’m enormously excited about what we can achieve together.” 

Michele Arnese, Global CEO of amp, said, “We are excited to join the WPP family. This industry-first move shows the significance of sound as a must-have brand design and experience component. Integrating more closely with Landor & Fitch, true pioneers in brand design and consulting, will give us the opportunity to scale our award-winning Sonic DNA® design framework and our sonic AI platform Sonic Hub® within a broader brand identity context. Our global team of creatives, sonic experts, producers, client leads and researchers will team up with Landor & Fitch and WPP to unleash the power of audio, making brands sound better. We are beyond thrilled to begin this new chapter.” 


1 A study by PHMG found that 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 62% of under 45s say music helps them feel more connected to a brand, compared to just 41% of those 55 and over. Source: PHMG (2019).

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