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Special Project

Special Project
From the 1st Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

MasterCard Restroom For All

Finalist in Social Justice

Entered in Financial Services


MasterCard firmly believes that #AcceptanceMatters, yet this year in the US, acceptance in the form of gender equality has been challenged more than ever.

Mastercard's objective was to show cardholders and fellow humans, that we accept and support them by challenging recent discrimination in the US and, provoking thought on what it means to be human.

Strategy and Execution

As a brand that promotes global acceptance through cause, business and partnerships, MasterCard wanted to turn North Carolina's "HB2" law or "the bathroom bill," which mandates that individuals must use public restrooms corresponding to the sex specified on their birth certificate, into a powerful rally cry for equality.

The strategy was simple: create a restroom that accepts all humans and show that #AcceptanceMatters.

At NYC Pride, Mastercard gave attendees access to a plush restroom, which was unlocked by proving they had something every human has regardless of their sexual identity: a heartbeat.

To create this experience, Mastercard developed a custom API for a pulse sensor and an Arduino Yun micro controller that wirelessly communicated with the restroom's Bluetooth lock.

By simply touching the palm sensor on the door, the technology read participants' heart rates, lighting up LEDs to their heartbeats' rhythm and wirelessly unlocking the door.

To spread the message of the restroom organically, we amped up one of the most common places for shameless selfies: the bathroom mirror. We shaped it as a giant heart and tagged it with #AcceptanceMatters, making visitors naturally inclined to share the experience with their friends and families.

To further promote the installation and its message, MasterCard partnered with 3 influencers and NYCPride outlets, which shared their visits to the bathroom across social, driving awareness and conversation among their followers.


On-site, thousands visited the restroom. Between photos, shout-outs and bathroom selfies, Mastercard and #AcceptanceMatters earned over 350 social mentions and nearly 10MM earned impressions of its message for equality. The restroom was featured on Ad Age (Creativity Online), Campaign Live, Little Black Book and The Drum, which earned the activation hundreds of thousands of media impressions. By organically reaching millions, we successfully and effectively spread the message of love, acceptance and equality for all.


Video for MasterCard Restroom For All

Entrant Company / Organization Name

McCann New York, MasterCard


Entry Credits