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Sound on: Mastercard debuts sonic brand

One knows what Mastercard looks like, but what does Mastercard sound like?Mastercard is setting a new tempo for brand recognition by debuting its sonic brand identity. Wherever consumers engage with Mastercard across the globe – be it physical, digital or voice environments – the distinct Mastercard melody will provide simple, seamless familiarity.

Click through to hear what Mastercard sounds like, and read more about the sonic brand.

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The news comes on the heels of 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,” says Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at 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.”

Global Resonance, Local Relevance

In pursuit of this resonance, Mastercard contracted musicians, artists and agencies from across the globe, including Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.

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

The Mastercard melody is the foundation of the company’s sound architecture and is expected to extend to many assets, from musical scores and sound logos to 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,” says Mike Shinoda. “It’s great to see a big brand expressing themselves through music to strengthen their connection with people.”

A Digital Brand for a Digital Consumer

Audio identities not only connect brands with consumers on a new dimension, but they are also tools enabling consumers to shop, live, and pay in an increasingly digital and mobile world.

“Audio makes people feel things, and that’s what makes it such a powerful medium for brands, says Matt Lieber, co-founder and president of 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.”

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Microsoft Surface Hub 2 – 85″ panel for workspaces

Microsoft has unveiled an 85-inch model of its Surface Hub 2 interactive wall display, much larger than the original model. The product is aimed at businesses that want a smarter collaborative board.

Click here to read about the business smartboard.

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Microsoft’s Chief of Surface, Panos Panay, introduced the new 85-inch model at Microsoft’s Surface Event in New York this week, and briefly showed it between two of the Surface 2S 50-inch panels. 

The panel is likely to include features of the 2S, including a removable cartridge that will be upgraded next year. This will allow businesses to upgrade their computers with a new CPU, RAM, and GPU, and won’t have to replace the expensive display panel.

Pricing and regional availability has not yet been announced, but the company says it’ll be available in 2020.

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Xbox One S – All Digital Edition

Putting the first nail in the coffin of physical media, Microsoft has launched a disc-less version of its Xbox One S. It also saved the company on the costs of embedding optical disc drives.

Click here to read more about the new console.

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In efforts to make gamers ditch the discs, Microsoft’s Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is being sold with the premise of building a library of digital games in the cloud. This way, players can take their cloud saves on the go, and enjoy the ability to preorder and pre-install upcoming games so they’re ready to play the moment they launch. The console comes with three games preinstalled: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3.

The Xbox Game Pass subscription allows for a Netflix-style of gaming, where one can play games from a large library of games for as long as one has an active subscription. This seems to be a response to Google Stadia’s gaming platform.

Apart from the disc drive, it comes with all the features of the original Xbox One S, including 4K gaming, HDR support, Dolby Atmos spatial audio output, and a 1TB hard drive.

The console will launch on 7 May and is available for preorder now on Microsoft’s website. The recommended retail price is $250 in the US, while local pricing and available has yet to be announced.

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