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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

The Priceless Engine - JT Campaign

Finalist in Financial Services

Entered in Facebook Campaign, Most Creative Use of Technology


MasterCard launched The Priceless Engine: a combination of people, process and more than 20 technology platforms to crunch data, track trends and insights, and study social media conversations as they happen.

This innovative marketing platform provides MasterCard and its bank and merchant partners with deep insights to break through the clutter and deliver the right offers and messages to the right people at the right time.

The Priceless Engine was used across the APAC region to power the 'Who is your VIP'-campaign, which leveraged Justin Timberlake.

It was used to first create an emotional spark with people and encouraging them to share stories about the VIP in their lives. Their responses were turned into insights that were then used to push hyper relevant offers to them .

This campaign resulted in never-before-seen business results for MasterCard and it's partners, turning social-media into an actual business generating channel.

Strategy and Execution

All financial services businesses push merchant offers and content to consumers through banner ads, Google Adwords, social media, popups, and other digital marketing tactics. This approach quickly became spam without relevance. The industry had lost the ability to link insights to offers and deliver inspiring content that is truly relevant to consumers. Financial services marketing was all about digital advertising, not digital business.

MasterCard works in a complex business model that involves banks who issue MasterCard cards, merchants who accept the cards, and consumers who use the cards. MasterCard is not a bank, and they do not issue their own cards. They are a network technology company, and a payments processor. Therefore, they don't know their card users directly, making it difficult to do 1-to-1 targeting.

The main challenge was to define a new innovative and scalable media model that would enable MasterCard and their bank and merchant partners to cut through the clutter and reach the right consumers with the right content and offers, at the right time. It was about building an innovative marketing model to drive transactions and real business value.

Across the region the following objectives and KPIs were formulated:

1) To build deep relationships with consumers through inspiring content to find deep insights about their behavior. Measured against organic social engagement rates:

a. Australia KPI: 100% growth in engagement rate

b. India KPI: 100% growth in engagement rate

c. Hong Kong KPI: 100% growth in engagement rate

2) To drive cross-border and e-commerce transactions for MasterCard, and their partnering banks and merchants. Measured against number of click-to-merchant rates:

a. Australia KPI: 35% growth in click-to-merchant rate

b. India KPI: 15% growth in click-to-merchant rate

c. Hong Kong KPI: 7% growth in click-to-merchant rate

3) To create efficiency in social media buying. Measured against cost per engagement:

a. Australia KPI: 15% reduction in cost per engagement

b. India KPI: 39% reduction in cost per engagement

c. Hong Kong KPI: 62% reduction in cost per engagement

4) To drive MasterCard's Gross Domestic Value (Key business metric) in campaign markets. Measured against GDV growth:

a. Australia KPI: 5% growth in GDV

b. India KPI: 7% growth in GDV

c. Hong Kong KPI: 6% growth in GDV

The results of this campaign – powered by The Priceless Engine - were unlike MasterCard has ever seen.

The campaign drove over 300% higher engagement rates in every market, compared to any previous MasterCard campaign. The highest engagement growth rate was in Hong Kong at over 1700% growth.

The growth rates didn't grow all of a sudden, but were the product of the Priceless Engine planning principles of constantly listening and acting accordingly.

In India for example, a lot of chatter was picked-up about an upcoming movie – Mary Kom. The nimbleness of the Engine and the campaign meant that via listening it was already understood that family is truly important to people in India, so we could go to a merchant partner with an insight and a real time opportunity.

MasterCard in conjunction with created a merchant offer and we posted it to our audience, all in the space of 12 hours. That offer received 400% greater CTR than the benchmarked average.

The brand engagement drove up to a stunning 129% higher click-to-merchant rate than benchmarked, driving consumers to redeem offers at Merchant websites. The gross billings volume lift across all the markets during the campaign hit high double-digit growth .

In terms of overall card transactions there were lifts in all markets vs the same period (July –30 September) last year.

• Australia grew 10%

• Hong Kong grew 28%

• India grew a massive 39%

Through the different hypothesis being tested in real time MasterCard optimized to a 50% cost reduction per engagement over the campaign period at total campaign level.


Video for The Priceless Engine - JT Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

MasterCard & Digital Arts Network & Carat

Entry Credits