Mastercard Releases Music Single as Part of Sonic Branding Initiative

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'Merry Go Round' is the first release from a forthcoming album created by the credit card company.

On Wednesday (Jan. 8), credit card company Mastercard unveiled its first-ever branded music single, a collaboration with Swedish artist Nadine Randle. The release of the song, entitled “Merry Go Round,” ties in with Mastercard’s recently-announced “sonic brand,” a six-note jingle that plays when users make a transaction with one of the company’s cards.  

According to a press release, the song -- which was first played at today’s Live @ CES event in Las Vegas, in partnership with iHeartRadio -- “authentically integrate[s] the company’s brand values and sonic identity.”  

“Sound is our next frontier for brand expression and a powerful way for us to reach consumers through the passions that connect us all,” said Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nadine on ‘Merry Go Round’ to integrate the recognizable sonic melody -- underscoring the many ways that the branding can be used beyond traditional means.”

Mastercard notes that the original six-second melody -- which was actually clipped from a longer 90-second “soundscape” developed in tandem with a variety artists, agencies and musicians, including Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda -- has been integrated at over 7.6 million payment points globally.

“Merry Go Round,” which is now available on streaming services, is the first single from a forthcoming album that will integrate Mastercard’s sonic brand. The company has been collaborating with songwriter and producer Niclas Molinder to commission emerging artists who will build upon the company’s “sound architecture to curate an auditory experience that brings new meaning and purpose to the brand.”

Though sonic logos are nothing new, they’ve become an increasingly important branding component with the quick rise of voice commerce and smart speakers. Mastercard’s main competitor Visa announced a “sensory branding” suite in January 2018, while streaming service Pandora revealed its own sonic logo last March and in June introduced an in-house sonic branding consultancy named Studio Resonate. That same month, iHeartMedia and ad agency holding company WPP announced they had partnered on an audio branding service.

You can listen to "Merry Go Round" below.