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McCann London

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TitleFemale Friends
Campaign Priceless
Advertiser MasterCard International
Brand MasterCard
Business Sector Credit Cards

The challenge for MasterCard was to represent a differentiated offer to consumers, encouraging them to use their MasterCard rather than any other of their plastic options. Via the Priceless campaign, MasterCard succeeded in capturing a distinctive emotional high ground for credit for the emerging audience of affluent modern credit users; the “Good Revolvers”. This positioning has allowed MasterCard to increase its market share to the tune of billions of dollars across markets in Europe.


Up until MasterCard’s introduction, credit cards had largely been provided and promoted to wealthy consumers as status and lifestyle symbols. To break into this market as a latecomer the company had to do something very different with its marketing approach.

A large-scale piece of qualitative research was carried out in Europe to establish the fundamental insights, experiences and relationships that constituted a richer life for the ‘Good Revolvers’. Core themes of Family, Friendships, and Travel came up time and time again.

These consumer insights were then matched directly to the core expenditure areas that in all markets were driving the ‘new enrichment’ sectors for affluent Europeans; home, travel and leisure. In all cases these spending segments are illustrated to build up to a Priceless moment that spending can help achieve but that money just can’t buy.

MasterCard has sought to drive its basic brand awareness across Europe with football sponsorship programmes of the Champions League and the European championships.

- Broadcast
- Print

Between €10 to €15 million.

The media strategy was developed to deliver against the primary objective of increasing competitive awareness and reducing the awareness shortfall versus strategic competitors. For individual campaigns in each market, the following media strategy was employed:
- Selection of target audiences specific to each creative theme and market segment.
- Selection of appropriate media channels based on the media consumption of the target audiences.
- Identification of media connection moments across these channels to create resonance between the themes and the target audience.


- Demonstrate that MasterCard was acceptable for all of the emerging types of enrichment expenditure that makes up ‘good revolving’.
- Ensure that consumers understood that MasterCard was a distinctive and more relevant sort of brand than its key competitors.

“Good Revolvers” tend to be heavy users of debit and credit cards and credit plays a valuable role in allowing them and their friends and families to manage and enjoy richer lives. They are very credit worthy and present good risks but they do not feel bound to pay back all monthly expenditure in one go. The categories on which they typically spend are 'life enriching' categories such as travel, the home and leisure.

From 2002 to 2003.


- The Gross Dollar Value performance grew strongly in absolute and share terms in each of the markets that were reviewed, amounting to in excess of $ 15 billion.
(Source: MasterCard Internal Data)
- Tracking study data shows that MasterCard brand and advertising awareness is fuelling this strong growth.
(MasterCard Global Tracking Survey GCT)
- More detailed analysis in the UK showed how MasterCard’s image has developed strongly and how specific creative executions targeted at specific enrichment expenditure sectors of travel, home and eating out, are yielding a strong Gross Dollar Value impact within those specific markets. (Hall and Partners UK Tracking Study)

Media Type Television & Cinema
Market United Kingdom, Spain, Italy
Creative Director
Account Planner
Advertising Manager
Advertising Manager
Marketing Director
Marketing Director

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