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MasterCard crowdsources #PricelessNewYear via mobile, social

Consumers can post images and wishes on social media using the hashtag #PricelessNewYear. MasterCard will then display the user-submitted content on MasterCard’s digital billboards at Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

“#PricelessNewYear, one of the company’s largest integrated digital/social campaigns to date, was designed to connect people around the world and celebrate families, friendships and community during the holiday season,” said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president and group executive of U.S. marketing at MasterCard, Purchase, NY. “This initiative integrates TV, Online, Social and Outdoor in a truly global Priceless experience.

“Mixing traditional media spots with a global social activation in 175 countries the program will curate peoples holiday ‘priceless moments’ via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share them for display and engagement this New Year’s Eve via the world famous digital billboards that make up Times Square,” she said.

“At MasterCard we recognize that social media is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘need to have,’ particularly for a brand like ours that is built upon our engagement with consumers. As a result, social and digital marketing elements are a core component of our marketing mix and are closely integrated with traditional media channels and advertising, as well as communications.”

Priceless moments
According to MasterCard, this is the company’s biggest social media campaign ever.

The company is asking consumers to share their most priceless moments from 2013. Most of this sharing will happen from mobile devices, since these moments happen on-the-go and at any time.

MasterCard has been tweeting about the campaign since December 20. One tweet read, “Tag your selfie with #PricelessNewYear and it could be featured on the Times Square big screens on New Year’s Eve!”

Besides for promoting the campaign on its Web site and own social media channels, MasterCard also created a 30 second TV spot that will air around the world and during ABC’s New Year’s Rocking Eve with Ryan Seacrest. The spot, titled “Arrivals”, features real footage of families welcoming loved ones home.

The spot will also be running on video screens in 7,000 taxis throughout the New York City area until December 31. Digital banners during the spot will encourage passengers to share photos and wishes on social media.

On New Year’s Eve, the user-generated content will appear on Times Square billboards, including the Nasdaq and Reuters signs. Content will run between 6:00 a.m. and midnight on December 31.

Mobile master
MasterCard has been very active in mobile, particularly when it comes to mobile payments.

MasterCard PayPass recently enabled Commonwealth Bank of Australia customers who own a Samsung Galaxy S4 to pay via a mobile app (see story).

The company also teamed up with Visa and American Express to create a new standard that would streamline mobile payments (see story).

The #PricelessNewYear campaign, however, leverages mobile for a more creative use case, inviting consumers to join the brand’s community and share priceless moments.

MasterCard is picking up on a recent trend in mobile social that asks consumers to be a part of the conversation and submit their own content. The trend is especially popular when it comes to selfies (see story).

“The campaign integrates digital, social and mobile,” Ms. Guerin said. “In Today’s environment, ensuring our content is optimized for mobile is critical to every campaign’s success.

“MasterCard is activating the most popular social channels to create an unforgettable branded presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, leading into New Year’s Eve where people will connect, celebrate and engage via social media in New York at Times Square on their mobile phones,” she said.

“MasterCard engagement and content will focus on encouraging consumers to share their wishes and images for a #PricelessNewYear.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York