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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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