Mastercard is a payment processing network present in over 210 countries, which values the connection of people, from customers to governments. Mastercard has been a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994 and last year, announced the renewal of the partnership for the 2021-2024 cycle.
The UEFA Champions League 2019/20 highlighted a significant moment for generating substantial engagement and brand awareness for Mastercard. As the sponsor, they reached more than double the predicted audience number with Facebook video ads featuring footballing legends, which lifted the brand awareness by 4.7 points as a result.
The company wanted to advertise its cross-channel campaign ‘Priceless’ by giving cardholders the chance to win tickets and experiences throughout the final games of the Champions League.
The Game Plan
Mastercard worked with McCann, the world’s leading creative agency, to come up with a campaign strategy that allowed them to communicate with its audience across several European target markets. The campaign involved collaborations with Mastercard’s high-profile brand ambassadors, Messi and Neymar jr. These football legends shared their Priceless football memories, which were used to build the excitement of the UEFA Champions League in video ads. These ads initiated people to want to find out more about the prizes they possibly could win.
Mastercard then worked with Infectious Media, a Facebook Marketing Partner, to display the ads to four central consumer groups based on football interests, fan engagement behaviours and UEFA Champions League fans. These were then plastered with additional regional and demographic targeting. To ensure the video ads reached a larger audience, Mastercard chose to use Facebook’s in-stream video placement option, as well as Facebook Newsfeed, and Instagram feed and stories.
The Game Play
To increase the reach and magnify the campaign message, Mastercard also used Facebook’s branded content ad option. This allowed the company to turn one of the brand ambassador’s Instagram posts into an ad for the ‘Priceless’ campaign, which showed synergy across the campaign and highlighted the main focal point again. Working with Infectious Media, they monitored the performance of the campaign over two weeks and used the Audience Insights feature on Facebook to help tailor ads to specific markets and demographics. Using Audience Insights, they were also able to adjust bidding strategies mid-way through the campaign and allocate the budget accordingly to the top-performing formats and countries.
The use of engaging ads and branded content, helped it score with its 2020 campaign. As well as exceeding original audience reach targets.