Country Base: Germany
Industry/Sector/Keywords: Public Transport, Transportation, Mobility, Trains, Railway, CO2-Neutral, Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Purpose-Driven, Audio Branding, Sonic Branding

Below: Explainer Video, Explainer Images in Slide Show, Summary, Credits

Industry Setting

The Deutsche Bahn is the national railway company of Germany, and a state-owned enterprise. It is headquartered in Berlin. Deutsche Bahn is the largest railway operator and infrastructure owner in Europe.


Deutsche Bahn has had a unique brand sound since 2014. At the heart of the audio branding is the D and B tone sequence, which is based on the familiar platform gong. It is driven by a powerful rhythm and has established itself in the brand communication landscape with the DB sonic logo.

A lot has happened since then: The DB brand has evolved and renewed its image. It has become more human, warmer, more colorful and more flexible. This change should also be expressed in terms of sound – while at the same time preserving the strengths of the existing sound.


This is particularly evident in the sonic logo: the notes D and B remain, but now sound softer, played by the piano. And the concise rhythm? It has been transformed into a heartbeat – emphasizing the proximity to the train’s customers and the brand’s mission on becoming a love brand.


The brand sound can be heard in many places: in social media, TV, and radio, in voice interactions with Alexa, in podcasts, on the service hotline and soon even on the trains themselves.

Our brand has become more human, sympathetic, and ecological in recent years. This has been evident in our appearance and marketing communications for some time. Now it was time to follow suit in sound. We have not lost any of our power and dynamism within the Group, but we now want to focus more on our customers in terms of sound. The agency team has implemented this perfectly in terms of sound, without losing sight of our brand strategy.

Jürgen Kornmann, Head of Marketing & PR at Deutsche Bahn


Client/BrandOwner: Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) –
Head of Marketing & PR: Jürgen Kornmann

Agency: why do birds –

Creative Direction, Sound Strategy:
Leopold Hoepner
Sebastian Waschulewski
Sebastian Jautschus
Hannes Volz
Vanessa Hartmann

Sound Design:
Johannes Lehniger
Holger Schuhmann
Olimpio Petri
Sebastian Damerius
Sebastian Budde
Carlo Maierski
Emma Nydén

Account Direction, Consulting:
Lydia Schulze
Ann-Christin Ahrens
Alexander Wodrich