MasterCard - Priceless

Years ago, on a Sunday morning around 10 AM, Joyce King Thomas and I decided to meet at the offices of McCann and work some more on ideas. We were months into the Mastercard pitch and while we had ideas, we weren't happy with them. The night before, I had taken my two sons Aaron and Benjamin to a Mets game. Sipping our cappucinnos, I found myself complaining to Joyce how going to a baseball game, buying last minute tickets, peanuts, drinks, and souvenirs for the boys added up to $173. But something unusual had also happened at the game. It was a slow summer game that went well into the 11th inning and when I asked Aaron, to get some sodas, Benjamin, turned to me and started a conversation that was unusually real and wise. It was just one of those moments when a parent knows that their child is entering a new phase. So while I spent all that money on a game, something great came out of it, something... priceless. "Let's go over that again, said Joyce." We left in the late afternoon with about 5 to 6 scenarios. The baseball game became the first spot to launch the campaign with. The rest is history.

The campaign's formulaic approach, ending with the word "Priceless" has been imitated by "Saturday Night Live," David Letterman, "Today" and countless consumers. It's aired in 112 countries and 53 languages. And it's had a significant impact on how consumers view the brand. During the launch of the campaign, Mastercard's brand was valued at $7 billion. Four years later the value had gone up to $20.8 billion.