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The music has to say it all, and the sonic branding stems from that.​

Case study
MATTEL / HOT WHEELS - Sonic Branding

How did Hot Wheels motivate kids to fuel their play with raw creativity, excitement and grit?

Mattel – Hot Wheels SONIC BRANDING package

The goal is to get kids pumped to unleash their play imagination with Hot Wheels toys.  To motivate kids to fuel their play with raw creativity, excitement and grit.  Sonic branding for Hot Wheels consists of a speed punk brand anthem where the mnemonic is also the chorus payoff - kids chanting "hot hot hot wheels!"  The sound world uses car sounds infused within a legit garage production track which acts as a call to action and imagination. The lyrics tell a story of experiencing a race, letting you feel the adrenaline - and the car sounds help bring these toys to life.

Competitive sonic analysis
Strategic sonic positioning
5 pillars of Hot Wheels' sonic branding

There are 5 pillars to the sound of Hot Wheels.  They work together as parts of a sonic identity system (SIS) to create the intended effect of getting kids pumped for imagination and experimentation of play - raw play with Hot Wheels.

The mnemonic had to come from the song that encapsulated the spirit of play, and the payoff of the chorus is the mnemonic - kids shouting Hot Wheels.  A perfect distillation of the brand, reinforcing 5x by mixing melody and brand name.

Narrative song structure

The song is from kids' POV and takes us through a pretend drag race.  Imagine the music young boys would make if they could encapsulate the play experience in a song – a wild ride, experimental and fun.  We needed to give them that empowerment to experience whatever they want.  The song is arranged in sections that act like chapters of a story that captures the excitement of a race.




Creative Director

Amanda Moldevan - Global Director Brand Creative / Mattel




Toys / Kids

Michael Ballou

Clifton David Broadbridge

Creative Director
Marco Vitali / Sonic Lens


Executive Music Producer

Marco Vitali / Sonic Lens 

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