MasterCard: Priceless Cities

Social Media Based Experiential Marketing Promotion
Concept, Creative Direction, Copywriting, Client Presentation by Ted Johnston

This digital-only experiential promotion was created to take advantage of the immense reach of social media to encourage consumers to travel to one of four great American cities, possibly even permanently.

More than 92% of consumers around the world say they trust ‘earned media,’ such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising (Neilsen 2016). By connecting their social media accounts to this promotion, consumers spread the brand’s message amongst their friends in an extremely effective manner, and earned points toward once in a lifetime experiences.

By taking part in this campaign, consumers were not only able to enjoy virtual tours of these beautiful cities for free, but the real world excitement of these amazing cities was made available to them exclusively through MasterCard.


MASTERCARD: Priceless Cities

Client Presentation

The current site and contest are not performing as they should, with low consumer engagement and confusing navigation on the site itself. It’s not visually engaging enough, and drop-down menus don’t invite further investigation.

Create a more robust concept to engage consumer imagination and recruit new and existing cardholders to explore further. A simpler design and more prominent prize visuals will make the overall idea clearer and exploration more fun, leading to greater consumer involvement and success of the campaign.

Shopper Marketing
Retail environments are where MasterCard’s convenience and reputation shines. At the register in any number of consumer purchase points are small video displays that sit next to the credit card reader, displaying beautiful vistas of the four cities and reminding purchasers to use their MasterCard to be automatically entered to win. This tactic will be used in any of the three concepts.

Concept 1

A single key opens a single door. The MasterKey opens them all.

MasterCard is offering consumers a chance to earn the Key To The City with the Priceless Cities Sweepstakes. Open doors you never dreamed possible!

The potential for growth through social diffusion is infinite. According to a 2016 Neilsen study, consumer trust is far higher when a brand is recommended by someone they know. More than 92% of consumers around the world say they trust ‘earned media,’ such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising.

The use of a simple entry mechanism allows for larger profit margins by prompting users to remain on the site for a longer amount of time. A fully consumer-promoted campaign allows organizers to remain hands-off.

Create a self-generating awareness campaign based on social diffusion by utilizing social media channels to attract consumers. Users enter by connecting a MasterCard Priceless Cities account with their existing social media accounts. By recruiting friends into a group, users earn points toward a trip to their chosen city.

Inviting their friends to join in the fun allows consumers to use the established trust among friends as the primary method of recruitment. Social media communication will never appear like advertising this way, and will appear more like a game. Likes, Shares, Retweets, Pins, etc. can be tracked to keep score, and friends can then form groups of their own with the original friend as the first member. Only Group Leaders collect points, promoting deeper consumer involvement. The top five earners per city earn MasterCard “Key To The City” status.


Concept 2
Virtually Priceless

MasterCard wants to virtually send you around the United States to experience four of the world’s greatest cities from the comfort of your own home with the Priceless Cities Sweepstakes.

Then, come with us and experience the real thing for yourself!

Creating virtual trips will give consumers a chance to “try before they buy” and reduce hesitancy in traveling to an unfamiliar place. Rewards points earned in simulations on the website can generate excitement to follow through with the sweeps entry.

Furthermore, the gameplay format adds another dimension of entertainment to the campaign. A 2016 Entertainment Software Association study indicates a significant portion of the target consumer falls within the average gamers’ demographics.

Create Second Life/SimCity-style simulations embedded in the website (alt: Google Earth, Street View animations), showing real places within cities to create familiarity and excitement among consumers. A simulation in a game format accessible to everyone is used to entertain, and will further encourage consumers to enter sweeps.


Concept 3
Life Is Priceless

Life is nothing without experiences. Luckily, there are more things to do in these great cities than you can possibly fit into one lifetime. Now get out there and experience the best the country has to offer.

Create a sense of urgency to get out into the world and experience life, and to take an active and vigorous approach to living life to the fullest. This concept focuses heavily on life’s enjoyment, achieved directly through MasterCard’s extensive connections to the world.

A quick registration process and simple entry mechanism offer ease of use that is continued at every stage of the campaign. By focusing on the unique activities available in each city (tours, history, dining, memberships, activities, etc.), this idea reveals the mystique and wonder of the metropolis.

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©2024 Johnston Creative Studios, Inc., all rights reserved. JCS and the shield logo are registered trademarks of Johnston Creative Studios, Inc.