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From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

Sonic Melody

Finalist in Global Campaign

Entered in Brand Identity, Financial Services, Multi-Platform Campaign


With voice commerce set to hit $40bn by 2021, 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. Setting a new tempo for brand expression, Mastercard launched its sonic brand identity in 2019 – a comprehensive sonic architecture that signifies the latest advancement for the brand. Wherever consumers engage with Mastercard across the globe – be it physical, digital or voice environments - the distinct and memorable Mastercard melody will provide simple, seamless familiarity. Data and insights were used indetermination to ensure Mastercard Sonic Brand at Checkout would promote a sense of safety, security and completion for transactions made. 

Marketers must compete against the realities of distracted consumers scrolling between numerous screens with divided attention. At any given moment, an individual may be scrolling between 4-5 screens at the same time. The beauty of sound is that an individual can only hear and process one sound at a time. With the growing demand for voice commerce, Mastercard embarked on an adventure to create a sonic melody that was hummable and recognizable to its consumers around the world. The Mastercard melody needed to be adaptable and pleasant to people in all regions around the world and needed to be appropriate to be played in a football stadium or an opera. After two years of painstaking work, Mastercard developed its sonic identity. The data has shown incredible results, for example that the Sonic Brand at Checkout can increase confidence in consumers’ ability to purchase products via voice commerce, and when sonic is coupled with the Mastercard transaction animation it creates a feeling of increased security, completion of transaction and affinity with the brand. Mastercard has additionally taken this to the new level, working with up-and-coming diverse artists such as Nadine Randle to create music that incorporates the sonic brand. The sonic brand is transforming Mastercard brand and giving consumers a new and pleasant way to connect with the organization.

Strategy and Execution

With the trend towards voice & audio becoming more prevalent in consumers’ lives, Mastercard has developed its Sonic Brand at Checkout which will be deployed upon transaction approval. As such, this research was conducted to identify the consumer benefits associated with Mastercard Sonic Brand at Checkout in eComm & Voice, to provide support for merchant adoption. A previous study in August 2019 explored the benefit for In Store checkout. Research was conducted online. A point-of-view video of a checkout experience was exposed monadically. Preference & head to-head comparison questions were also asked. 400 interviews were completed per market for each cell. Respondents were 18-65, banked consumers who used a credit, debit and/or prepaid card in past 3 months.


Adoption of the Mastercard Sonic Brand at Checkout across channels beneficial for consumers, merchants & Mastercard. Across transaction types, the Mastercard Sonic Brand at Checkout creates an experience consumer want to engage with, building perceptions of the store/site & reinforcing critical equities (trust, security, speed & acceptance). Since last year, Mastercard has worked with business to ensure the Mastercard Checkout Sound is available at more than 48 million points of interactions already. This number is growing exponentially every day.

Adding Mastercard Checkout Sound and Animation elicits stronger brand recall and further improves the consumer experience. It will also help develop Mastercard Sonic Brand at Checkout as a key brand element.


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