Cannes Lions

CREDIT CARD

UNIVERSAL McCANN AUSTRALIA, Sydney / MASTERCARD / 2002

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As this was a one-off episode rather than a campaign, our goals were based less on traditional measures of reach and frequency and more focused on uplifting the consumer’s perception of MasterCard. With a current perception of conservatism, we wanted to lift our image via association with a fun & edgy television show skewed to a younger audience. We were fully aware that a one off show would not immediately improve our image, however it was step in the right directionThe television objective was based on added value & brand exposure, which we over delivered on. We received multiple positive brand mentions within the show, with subsequent mentions in following showsThe show won it’s timeslot against our core youth audience and created a buzz. The campaign also created huge talkability amongst MasterCards primary client – the banks, some of who contacted the client to comment (positively) on the exposure MasterCard received. At the time MasterCard sponsored Big Brother, the show was reaching its peak in viewing. MasterCard owned a ‘special’ episode dedicated to ‘games/challenges’. MasterCard’s involvement was to provide $100K towards prizes and receive heavy inter-programme coverage.We negotiated that each of the four remaining housemate would wear a MasterCard around their neck for the duration of the episode (with their names printed) and MasterCard would be positively mentioned throughout the course of the show. After completing various tasks the housemates were awarded with a credit on their MasterCard. MasterCard totally owned the show and made the ‘official sponsors’ appear practically obsolete. The concept alone was very strong, however the amount of added value and exposure media negotiated ensured that all other advertisers in this episode and in comparison other episodes were completely out-shoutedFor $100,000 in prizes we negotiated:60 minutes of MasterCard exposure – PRICELESS!Five national ads with priority placement - $100,000Opening & Closing Billboards - $15,000Constant positive product mentions - $190,000Logo Association with all pre-promotion - $70,000The Look on American Express & Visa’s faces – PRICELESS !A TRULY PRICELESS MOMENT FOR MASTERCARD WAS ACHIEVED We devised a highly ingenious way to sponsor a major television program without paying for it!Universal McCann recommended that MasterCard become involved in a television property, which could provide product integration to help strengthen the relationship MasterCard had with the youth market. We forged a partnership with the television network and developed an idea tailored to meet MasterCard’s needs…CREATING A PRICELESS MOMENT FOR MASTERCARDOur passion behind this idea gave the client the confidence to proceed despite initial reservations. We negotiated MasterCard’s integration into an entire episode of Big Brother for a fraction of the cost in comparison to what we actually received. Research had highlighted that MasterCard’s image was old & boring with an air of conservatism versus Visa and Amercian Express. (MasterCard’s major competitors in Australia) Our challenge was to create A PRICELESS MOMENT FOR MASTERCARD that was fun, edgy and engaging for Youth.We knew that a traditional television sponsorship was not enough. The entire episode of Big Brother was dedicated to MasterCard via “THE MASTERCARD CHALLENGE”. At the climax of the first series, only 4 housemates remained. They had to complete various tasks, which won them credits on their MasterCards…each having the chance to win $25,000.

The MasterCard credits of $100,000 is ALL we paidAnd the exposure for MasterCard was PRICELESS with the actual MasterCard’s worn around the housemate’s neck for the 60-minute episode, not to mention copious amounts of positive brand mentions

Execution

We devised a highly ingenious way to sponsor a major television program without paying for it!Universal McCann recommended that MasterCard become involved in a television property, which could provide product integration to help strengthen the relationship MasterCard had with the youth market. We forged a partnership with the television network and developed an idea tailored to meet MasterCard’s needs…CREATING A PRICELESS MOMENT FOR MASTERCARDOur passion behind this idea gave the client the confidence to proceed despite initial reservations. We negotiated MasterCard’s integration into an entire episode of Big Brother for a fraction of the cost in comparison to what we actually received.

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