That is fantastic news! What a wonderful recognition. A true testament to the value of a close relationship between brands and their agency partners! Well done.

Manuel Bartolini - Director, Brand Strategy

Bringing a unique aspect of the brand to life

Optimism, camaraderie, rigor and authenticity


After a competitive analysis of the banking and insurance sectors, it became clear that USAA had the opportunity to increase brand awareness among its key targets. USAA identified sonic branding as a key tool.

For decades, the US insurance category boasted some of the oldest branded and recognizable musical cues in the market.

Inspired, USAA launched a sonic brand that would help create awareness that strengthened emotional bonds with existing customers.

The sonic identity strove to capture the USAA idea “We serve the military but we’re not the military” and convey the values of optimism, camaraderie, rigor and authenticity. In order to break through, the brand needed to be strong, distinctive and recognizable.

Sonic identity

Optimism, camaraderie, rigor, and authenticity.

People’s fondest memory of military service was the camaraderie they shared, often expressed through call-and-response chants or “cadences.” Sixième Son saw the value in those associations and set out to create a new sound based on that emotional territory.

The idea that emerged for the brand’s sonic logo was completely different from anything in the marketplace with a voice call, “U-S” and the answering “A-A.”


Quick, measurable impact.

Less than a year after the launch of the new USAA sonic identity, there were new attractions and positive market results. The sonic logo was reported by the Veritonic Audio Logo Index to have ranked high on authenticity, inspiration and trustworthiness. It scored higher than the much older Nationwide sound and placed 12% higher than the iconic McDonald’s theme. It also ranked in 5th for “correctly recognized” audio logos, higher than many logos that had been in the market for decades.

The lively logo has also been awarded the AMA’s BrandSmart Gold in Innovation as well as a Transform Award in recognition of the “best practices in brand design and strategy.”



Tony Wells – Chief Brand Officer
Sergio D.Trujillo – Brand Marketing Leader
Manuel Bartolini – Director, Brand Strategy
Kreg Lauterbach – Director/Editor/Photographer/Guitar Dude
Darlene Freeman-Rosser – Lead, Brand Strategy
Ted Yun – Assistant Vice President, Creative & Brand
Linda Aguayo – Marketing Director
Wes Laird – AU.Ranger Marketing Consulting


Michael Boumendil – President & Chief Creative Director
Colleen Fahey – Managing Director
Daina Todorovic – Director of Client Services USA
Philip Guignon – Project Manager, Producer
Valentin Fleur – Head of Strategy Managing Director Canada
David Delazyn – Music Designer
Vincent Turbé – Artistic Director
Alice Lépine – Composer, Designer