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MasterCard succumbs to rebranding madness

Whalesong, joss-sticks, etc etc

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MasterCard: Before and afterLogoWatch It's been pretty quiet of late on the corporate rebranding front - or at least that sector of the front manned by elite Strategy Boutique divisions facing the allied forces of reason and sanity across a no man's land littered with the casualties of previous whalesong and joss-stick driven corporate frontage paradigm shifts.

We're obliged, then, to the artist formerly known as MasterCard International which has been reborn as "MasterCard Worldwide", complete with a snappy new logo which better demonstrates the company's "globally integrated structure and its strategic vision of advancing commerce worldwide".

MasterCard chief marketing officer Lawrence Flanagan told some poor bloke writing the press release: "The launch of the new corporate brand identity follows an extensive analysis of the MasterCard brand and the value proposition it represents to constituents. As we took a close look at the company's unique competitive strengths, we recognised that MasterCard Worldwide is a leader in advancing relationships, insight and commerce around the world. We developed a new corporate brand to reflect the company's strengths in these areas, as well as MasterCard's leading role in defining the industry playing field."

Regular LogoWatch readers know exactly what "extensive analysis" means: Thousands of man hours spent in front of a flipchart with a laser pointer scrutinising meticulously-prepared PowerPoint presentations showing the ying-yang relationship between interlocking red and yellow circles with reference to brand awareness in the mission-critical end-user demographic - all accompanied by the obligatory brainstorming whiteboard sessions in which Strategy Boutique yuppies construct contratexual Venn diagram-laced flowcharts showing how the creative process would be better served if they all hoovered a big line of Bolivian marching powder and hit the nearest wine bar.

Well, here's the end result, according to MasterCard:

The three circles of the new corporate logo build on the familiar interlocking red and yellow circles of the MasterCard consumer brand, and reflect the company's unique, three-tiered business model as a franchisor, processor and advisor.

Erm... that's it. We leave it to your imagination to calculate how much bolting an extra circle to the logo has set MasterCard back, or indeed how much the company will now spend unleashing the new identity on a world which, let's face it, couldn't give a tinker's cuss how many tiers the organisation boasts. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Simon Gray for hearing the distant sound of whalesong.

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