Dec 15, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

SMWF 2014: MasterCard 'Priceless Surprises' Campaign 'Successful' Using 'Storytelling, Emotion, Surprises'

Jul 13, 2014 01:26 AM EDT

MasterCard credit card
(Photo : Håkan Dahlström/Flickr)

MasterCard's "Priceless Surprises" campaign launched in January, and the campaign has proven successful for the credit card company in terms of social media presence and against rivals.

At the 2014 Social Media World Forum (SMWF), MasterCard's Vice President and Senior Business Leader of Digital Marketing and Social Media JR Badian elaborated on the company's efforts to extend their 17-year-old "Priceless" campaign.

According to Badian, during the "Amplify Your Message through Creative Partnerships: The Priceless Surprises Campaign" session at SMWF, "people is the most important" aspect for a brand.

"If there's only thing you need to know as a brand is people," said Badian, adding that 70 percent of global brands could disappear and "no one would care." The aforementioned percentage is higher in the United States (U.S.).

He continued, "So many things are changing, the question is 'are you changing?'"

Badian emphasized that in a world of people participation, a shift needs to occur from "brand narrative" to "brand interaction."

"We need to do things with people," he added.

Original "Priceless" Commercial in 1997:

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Although there has been a surge of brand utilizing social media, Badian noted brand participation has taken place "forever," even before Facebook's 2004 launch.

While citing an eMarketer report that social advertising spending will increase 40 percent per year for the next four years, Badian said digital ad spending will surpass television by 2018. As a result, and to build on people interaction, brands "need to adjust [their] structure" from teams, functions, and more.

"Everything has to be integrated," said Badian, who noted, "through connections, we build affection."

Establishing affection with a brand is important, and MasterCard has built on it since 1997's first "Priceless" campaign. Now in its third generation, the card company debut their next campaign last January.

According to the MasterCard executive, storytelling has been used to connect with the next generation of people.

"How can you increase the value of something through surprises? Add emotion through surprises," he continued.

He presented a visual, which read, "Surprises can equal emotion capital, emotional capital can fuel connections, and connections can produce commercial intent."

Capitalizing surprises, emotions, and connections, a new commercial intent rose with the "Priceless Surprises" campaign and teamed with cardholder Justin Timberlake.

"Justin Timberlake Surprises a Fan: MasterCard Priceless Surprises" Commercial:

The campaign featuring Timberlake launched during the Grammy Awards earlier this year, and saw the singer meet a fan at her home. While the commercial aired on national television, MasterCard set a team to track "Appropriate Time Marketing" instead of "Real Time Marketing." Social media interaction following the commercial helped the "#PricelessSurprise" campaign launch effectively.

"Priceless surprises works universal," Badian said.

The "#PricelessSurprise" also arrived in the United Kingdom during the country's BRIT Awards featuring singer and producer Pharrell.

"A Priceless Surprise for Pharrell Williams' fan Queen" Commerical:

In comparison to rivals and their social media campaigns, the "#PricelessSurprise" hashtag attracted 617,000 tweets since January while Visa's "#Everywhere" attracted 579,000, however, the latter's campaign launched 16 months ago. American Express's "#EverydayMoments" garnered 46,000 tweets, but the campaign launched in February.

The "Priceless Surprises" campaign is scheduled to last a year worldwide. Badian stated the third-generation campaign has been the "most successful" social media campaign for MasterCard due to higher consumer engagement. Consumer who use the "#PricelessSurprise" or use their credit card become eligible to win prizes from MasterCard.

The "Priceless Surprises" campaign is scheduled to last a year worldwide.


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