Mastercard debuts its new melody as Kenya’s national anthem is ‘copyrighted’ in UK

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Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard

In an effort to set a new tempo for its brand expression and positioning, Mastercard has debuted its sonic identity, a comprehensive sound architecture that signifies the latest advancement for the brand.

This has happened at a time that the Kenya national anthem which has had a fettered history of independence found itself mired in controversy following reports of the nation’s patriotic song allegedly copyrighted by the British firm De Wolfe Music.

The move by De Wolfe Music copyrighting Kenya’s National Anthem has opened a vicious fight for the country’s symbol of independence and unity. The issue is for how long will De Wolfe’s move hold?

Kenyan Flag

As for Mastercard, wherever its consumers will engage with with it across the globe – be it physical, digital or voice environments – its recent released distinct melody will provide simple, seamless familiarity. 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 recognise Mastercard today and in the future,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard.

“With the introduction of the new visual identity in 2016 and our most recent evolution to a symbol brand, we are continually evolving to meet consumers’ ever-changing needs while maintaining the simple, secure and seamless experience people have come to expect from Mastercard. Sound is our next frontier for brand expression and a powerful way for us to create an emotional and culturally-relevant connection with consumers.” 

Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, 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,” added Rajamannar.

Global Resonance, Local Relevance

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.

Mike Shinoda, Music Innovator, Linkin Park

The result, 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.

“With the introduction of the new visual identity in 2016 and our most recent evolution to a symbol brand, we are continually evolving to meet consumers’ ever-changing needs while maintaining the simple, secure and seamless experience people have come to expect from Mastercard. Sound is our next frontier for brand expression and a powerful way for us to create an emotional and culturally-relevant connection with consumers,” said Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

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.”

A Digital Brand for a Digital Consumer

With voice shopping set to hit $40 billion by 2022[1], audio identities not only connect brands with consumers on a new dimension, they are 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, 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.”

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