Case Study

Case Study

Mastercard "Priceless" New York

MasterCard brand enjoys almost universal awareness. Its “Priceless” advertising campaign is iconic and well-loved by advertising fans and consumers alike. But this hasn’t necessarily translated to preferred card usage, particularly among the Affluent. While small, the Affluent segment generates a ton of revenue for MasterCard. They’re concentrated in the top 10 metro cities in the US, and it should be no surprise that New York City is on the very top of that list.

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Affluent New Yorkers are culturally adventurous men and women, who are busy and can’t find the time to constantly discover interesting experiences beyond what they already know. MasterCard saw an opportunity to move the brand from an observer of “Pricelessness” to an enabler of culturally-rich priceless experiences that can only be purchased via a MasterCard card, thereby driving increased usage of and preference for the brand. Priceless New York, a platform of exclusive priceless experiences and offers in dining, shopping, sports and the arts, was born.


In July 2011, MasterCard launched a multi-platform integrated media plan against the Affluent New Yorker target group, to not only build awareness of and engagement with the Priceless New York platform but also work with media partners to create the Priceless New York product offering. The campaign comprised TV, radio, print and digital. High impact OOH was also an important element of the plan to create buzz surrounding relevant consumer experiences, and provide a valuable and timely resource for MasterCard cardholders as they traveled in and out of the city.


The target for this campaign was Affluent New Yorkers who are culturally adventurous, well-traveled and in-the-know men and women, 35+ with a $150K HHI, who live and love in the metro-New York area. They likely carry multiple credit cards in their wallet, including a MasterCard card, but they do not have a strong relationship with any one card brand. 


The OOH plan included ads on bus shelters and phone kiosks in New York City’s surrounding neighborhoods where MasterCard Priceless New York events and custom experiences were happening. The plan also used card ad units on Metro-North and the LIRR, along with subway station dominations to reach the target, as they commuted throughout the city and to and from work. 

Around the holidays, MasterCard provided free cab rides to holiday shoppers. The wrapped cabs were stationed at Columbus Circle and Union Square. Riders could enjoy MasterCard PNY spots within the cabs courtesy of Taxi TV.


In six short months, the Priceless New York campaign boosted the brand, across all key performance metrics:

  • MasterCard brand awareness among the Affluent target increased 20%.
  • MasterCard’s Net Promoter Score, which measures the percentage of respondents who would recommend the brand, increased significantly. The score was the highest MasterCard had ever seen in the US, and was fast movement for a typically slow-moving metric.
  • Among consumers who purchased an experience, their total MasterCard spend rose 35%.