Mastercard takes advertising in music to the next level. I’m not sure about this.

CES is the place where all kinds of interesting tech is unveiled to an unsuspecting world. Mastercard came to Los Vegas to show off it’s new “sonic brand identify” (translation: a jingle as part of the company’s evolution.

Companies have used these sorts of audio signatures/mnemonics since at least the 1920s. Think Rogers, Intel and even “By Mennon!” (It’s in your head now; don’t deny it.)

But Mastercard is taking things to the next level. They company is partnering with artists to include their little jingle within the structure of their songs. It’s the equivalent of someone dropping a brand name into the lyrics somewhere.

This is definitely clever–and it could be one of the greatest corporate bastardization of art ever imagined.

Let’s go deeper, starting with this explainer:

The first artist to buy into the concept is a Swedish singer named Nadine Randle with her song “Merry Go Round.”

Here’s a quote from a Mastercard spokesperson: “Sound is our next frontier for brand expression and a powerful way for us to reach consumers through the passions that connect us all. We’re THRILLED to be partnering with Nadine on ‘Merry Go Round’ to integrate the recognisable sonic melody – underscoring the many ways that the branding can be used beyond traditional means.”


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Mastercard takes advertising in music to the next level. I’m not sure about this.

  • January 11, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    This reminds of the Coke branding for Olympics past. Especially the Katy B / Mark Ronson Anywhere in the World. It was an excellent pop song but you couldn’t ignore the Coke jingle as a theme in the song.


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