Mastercard Expands Sonic Branding With ‘Priceless’ Album

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Mastercard’s “Priceless” album demonstrates how a brand can use its sonic identity to integrate with culture, an imperative for marketers looking to engage with younger consumers. The payments company, in 2019 introduced its sonic brand identity as part of a larger rebranding effort that recognized the growing role of mobile and audio marketing.

For the “Priceless” album, the brand collaborated with producer Niclas Molinder to find artists that span cultures, languages and genres who could turn the chirps of Mastercard’s melody into songs. The album features artists from the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Sweden, Colombia, Algeria, India, Australia, Slovenia and the US, potentially giving it a larger reach.

The global focus of the music campaign is similar to that of Sprite, which launched Sprite Limelight in June. The soda brand’s first unified global music program revolved around a hook and lyric produced by musician James Blake that was used by artists from around the world to create original songs.

In-kind, Mastercard’s effort pairs the brand with an award-winning, hitmaking producer in Timbaland and his Beatclub platform, which seeks to connect creators and artists with record labels, music publishers and brands. Mastercard’s sponsorship of memberships for members of disenfranchised communities is in line with other purpose-driven efforts, especially around boosting underrepresented creators across the media and marketing landscape.

Since launching its sonic brand identity in 2019, Mastercard has used the sound as part of a full-length pop song and a TikTok campaign. The sonic brand identity remains central to Mastercard’s branding as audio marketing continues to grow, driven in large part by the growth of podcast ad spending, which is forecast by eMarketer to surpass $2 billion in 2023 and $3 billion by 2026.