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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

MasterCard Gwen Stefani #PricelessSurprises - Pride Week

Finalist in Real Time Response


The MasterCard brand is built around the central belief that everyone, everywhere, deserves to live a richer life, and to be accepted for who they are. For the past 25 years, MasterCard has been a brand that has been accepted in more places than any other card. The idea of Acceptance has a double meaning, and as a brand, we were uniquely positioned to champion the progressive side of Acceptance.

We wanted to bring our brand belief to life in a new way, so we launched #AcceptanceMatters in 2013. Since then, the campaign has championed our belief that all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc., deserve to be accepted for who they are.

In June 2015, with the U.S. Supreme Court poised to officially legalize gay marriage, VaynerMedia's objective was to further the emotional dialogue with consumers around Acceptance at a time when the conversation was at an all-time high.

Strategy and Execution

The importance of right message/right time/right audience is always top-of-mind for us. It's not just about joining a conversation because it's trending, but rather because we can add value in a relevant manner. Often times, being prepared in advance is the best way to ensure real-time success.

With the impending legalization of gay marriage, we were prepared to respond immediately and show our support in a major way, with a Priceless Surprises video that we knew would resonate. If the Supreme Court decision were to go in the other direction, the timing still aligned with NYC Pride Week, which meant the video would still be relevant.

Rather than waiting until the official Supreme Court announcement to post the video, we decided to dark-post the video on Twitter & Facebook the day before and support it with paid media.

This would allow our content and the #AcceptanceMatters hashtag to build up engagement and momentum so that when the official ruling was announced, MasterCard's video would already be a Top Post in news feeds. Throughout the day of the Supreme Court announcement, we constantly optimized our video posts by adding the trending hashtags as they emerged in real-time, keeping our posts in the Top Post section throughout the day.


MasterCard became one of the first brands to participate on Facebook and Twitter, supporting the LGBT community. At a time when everyone was trying to capitalize on this trending topic, MasterCard stood out with incredibly authentic, relevant, unique, engaging and timely social content true to our core brand beliefs.

We wanted the world to understand how strongly we support Acceptance and we succeeded.

The #AcceptanceMatters Priceless Surprises campaign drove a total of 8MM impressions, 2MM engagements and 3.77MM video views on Social.

MasterCard received praise and recognition for our timely response and highly engaging content from several industry and news outlets including Ad Age, Adweek, Huffington Post, Twitter Blog, Buzzfeed and Mashable – earning over 500MM potential impressions.

- AdWeek named MasterCard as one of 12 "winning brands" on Twitter for its real-time response to the Supreme Court ruling

- Mashable praised MasterCard's social real-time response to the Supreme Court ruling as one of the best brand reactions

- AdAge recognized MasterCard for joining in the Supreme Court gay marriage conversation


Video for MasterCard Gwen Stefani #PricelessSurprises - Pride Week

Entrant Company / Organization Name

VaynerMedia, MasterCard