Mastercard Releases 'Sonic Brand' Digital Branding, and It's Kind of Weird
Mastercard has been doing some work to revitalize the brand and get the kids really amped up on credit card spending. Last month, Mastercard dropped the text from its logo, switching to a very trendy, minimal design featuring the classic interlocked circles.
Rather than subtracting even more from Mastercard’s current brand identity, the company is adding something. Specifically, it’s adding a “sonic brand,” i.e. a little noise that plays when you interact with the brand in different ways.
The company called it the “sound equivalent of our iconic red and yellow circles.” Check out this “audio press release.”
So, when you go to the website, you’ll hear part of that song. When your card gets selected, you’d hear another little sound. It’s all sort of Pavlovian—you begin to strongly relate a sound to something, in this case spending money using your Mastercard.
That’s a big bet on Mastercard’s brand experience. If people like using Mastercard and associate it with positive emotions, that sound will be a welcome one. If they’re the type to go a little overboard on spending, and every time they go on the site to check their balance, that sound could be like nails on a chalkboard.
Whether or not it's a success, it's at least a pretty forward-thinking move to experiment with a new branding and logo treatments for digital applications.