Hey Google, play The National. Sound stuff.

I need to start this post by admitting I am a huge Sonos fan. The Beam was one of the first pieces of tech we got when kitting out our apartment in NYC. The hardware looks sleek and the software has always been so simple. What’s not to love? The inevitable introduction of voice activated control has only further enhanced the capabilities of the product portfolio. The June launch of Google Assistant on the Sonos devices in SoHo, NYC was a true immersive sensory experience so where better to launch the offering in London than well, yeah… Soho… and before you ask the H or h is a big deal depending on where you are.

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The experience in London aims to emphasize the power and nuance of sound. Unlike other brand-driven immersive destinations, “The Brilliant Sound Experience” has a sonic mission, first and foremost. Guests test out Google Assistant’s impact in audio booths before slinking through three rooms of sound dissection—where visualization couples with a whopping eight Sonos Amps, nine Sonos Ones and 35 Sonos Play:5s.

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We have high hopes for the London experience following on from the success in NYC. It’s important to that success that the rooms rise above just being selfie-stations. Yes, the first does stun with its use of 1,720 globes of light set on 236 strands; but its mission is to pull the track “Eternal” by Holly Herndon into its parts and assign movement through the lights to each sonic component.  


The second room also divides a track, “RYLAN” from The National, into its instrumental and vocal channels, affixing them to glowing geometric forms.  


The most important room, however, is the third and final, where sensors are strapped to guests’ foreheads—allowing for large-scale visualization of their emotions during a listening session. Sound experience is an appropriate title for the limited event, because it’s driven by the need to express to listeners the value of every note in a song. 


Sonos gets it. It has put the guest experience at the heart of this campaign and laid off the hard sell. You would be amazed at how many live experiences we run where people just want to touch, listen and immerse themselves in the product. Let them play. We always advocate the benefit of allowing guests to just play with the product. Yes. Provide a show. Wow them but also create an environment where play is central. 


“Hey Google… Play Fake Empire by the National” 


Gavin Coffey