Mastercard comes up with sonic brand identity 

Mastercard has roped in musicians, artists and agencies from across the globe, including Grammy-nominated artist Camila Cabello

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Feb 8, 2019 3:38 PM  | 3 min read

Mastercard has unveiled its sonic brand identity, a comprehensive sound architecture that signifies the latest advancement for the brand. This comes close to the company’s recent transition to a symbol brand and is part of its continued brand transformation.

“Sound adds a powerful new dimension to our brand identity and a critical component to how people recognize Mastercard today and in the future,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard. “We set out an ambitious goal to produce the Mastercard melody in a way that’s distinct and authentic, yet adaptable globally and across genres. It is important that our sonic brand not only reinforces our presence, but also resonates seamlessly around the world.” 

To ensure the Mastercard melody would resonate with people the world over, Mastercard tapped musicians, artists and agencies from across the globe, including musical innovator Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. 

They created a memorable melody with adaptations across genres and cultures, making it locally relevant while maintaining a consistent global brand voice. The use of varying instruments and tempos also helped to deliver the Mastercard melody in several unique styles such as operatic, cinematic and playful as well as with a number of regional interpretations.

The Mastercard melody is the foundation of the company’s sound architecture and will extend to many assets, from musical scores, sound logos and ringtones, to hold music and point-of-sale acceptance sounds. 

“What I love most about the Mastercard melody is just how flexible and adaptable it is across genres and cultures,” said Mike Shinoda. “It’s great to see a big brand expressing themselves through music to strengthen their connection with people.”

"Audio makes people feel things, and that's what makes it such a powerful medium for brands, said Matt Lieber, Cofounder and President, Gimlet. “With the explosion of podcasts, music streaming, and smart speakers, an audio strategy is no longer a “nice-to-have” for brands – it’s a necessity. A sonic identity — the audio calling card for a brand — is now just as important as a brand’s visual identity.”

In the lead up to the 61st Grammy Awards, Mastercard will launch a new multi-channel marketing programme, starring Grammy-nominated artist Camila Cabello, which will be the first creative output to feature the brand’s sound logo. 
“I am so excited to be partnering with Mastercard and being able to offer new opportunities to fans,” said Cabello.
The company will also showcase its new sonic brand at the Mastercard Sensory Lab at Fred Segal, a one-of-a-kind space filled with interactive experiences and exclusive merchandise from Joe Freshgoods and KYLE that will engage visitors’ senses and bring the brand to life in an entirely new way. “Fred Segal Sunset is Los Angeles’ premier destination for new and innovative retail experiences, which is why we are thrilled to be the first retailer that will feature the new Mastercard sonic brand at the point of sale in our store,” said John Frierson, president, Fred Segal. “The Sensory Lab will be a uniquely fun and engaging kickoff for the many things Fred Segal and Mastercard are collaborating on this year.”

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