Mastercard Promo, Case study MAESTRO ANGELS by Weber Shandwick Brussels

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Industry Banking & Financial Services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency Weber Shandwick Brussels
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Financial Services, incl. Investor Relations and Corporate Finance
Advertiser: MASTERCARD
Managing Director, Belgium & Chairman Consumer Practice EMEA: Paul Baeyaert (Weber Shandwick)
Director: George Candon (Weber Shandwick)
Account Manager: Robin Roothans (Weber Shandwick)
Account Executive: Perrine Sokal (Weber Shandwick)
Business Director: Eva Devos (McCann-Lowe)
Campaign Manager: Sam Desimpel (McCann-Lowe)
Digital Manager: Guy Orens (McCann-Lowe)
Traffic Manager: Federic Sodermans (McCann-Lowe)
Media placement: Print Press - Various Including La Derniere Heure, Het Belang Van Limburg, Het Laatste Nieuws - 24 June 2010
Media placement: Broadcast - Partnerships With Radio Nostalgie And Bel RTL - 28 June 2010
Media placement: Online - Various Including,, And - 9th July 2010
Summary of the Campaign
Maestro is the debit card brand from MasterCard. It features on almost every Belgian bank card, but most consumers didn’t know they could use it in shops when travelling in Europe. MasterCard wanted to encourage Belgians to use their Maestro cards abroad.
A PR-led, two-phase advocacy campaign was developed. Rather than just telling the story, brand advocates would demonstrate what Maestro can deliver: the 'Maestro Angels' concept was born.
In phase one, the results of an online survey into Belgians’ biggest annoyances en route to their holiday were used as a hook to launch a vigorous campaign to recruit the Maestro Angels. The plan was for teams of students to be posted at several points on the busy Dijon-Lyon road to make Belgians’ journeys in July more enjoyable.
In phase two, four teams of Maestro Angels hit the road in France during one of the busiest weeks of the year. The teams competed to complete a series of missions suggested by the public on campaign website while demonstrating the advantages of using Maestro abroad and posting daily movies of their adventures.
Consumers and media loved the campaign and there was a YOY double-digit increase in in-store card transactions.
The Situation
Maestro is the debit card brand from MasterCard. It provides PIN-based, direct cash access to a cardholder’s bank account at home, online, at point-of-sale, and abroad.
The Maestro logo features on almost every Belgian bank card, yet the brand was virtually invisible. Many consumers hadn’t even noticed it and the general perception was that it could only be used at ATMs and not in shops and restaurants.
MasterCard Europe tasked its team of PR and advertising agencies to run a PR-led campaign that would show Belgians how easily Maestro could be used in-store whilst travelling in Europe.
The Goal
The communications objective was to raise awareness of Maestro amongst Belgians and demonstrate the ease of usage for in-store payments abroad. The business objective was to demonstrably change behaviour, with a higher number of Belgian consumers using Maestro when purchasing goods at point-of-sale.
Research showed 1.7 million Belgians would be driving south through France during summer 2010 on holiday. Most found their journey on the Autoroute de Soleil arduous, as the route from Dijon to Lyon becomes one big traffic jam at the end of July with overcrowded service stations, and they would welcome a relaxing break on the way.
The Strategy
MasterCard’s PR agency translated the key attributes of the Maestro brand – payment convenience making life easier and more pleasurable for travellers – into a creative campaign concept: 'Maestro Angels'. These would be Maestro’s 'missionaries' in France who would take some of the stress out of the long holiday drive for Belgian tourists, whilst promoting the usage of Maestro through light-hearted education and giveaways.
Teams of Maestro Angels from Belgium would be fielded at service stations along the Dijon-Lyon road from 21-28 July to make Belgian travellers’ journeys more enjoyable. The teams would compete to perform tasks each day to provide practical help to weary Belgian holidaymakers. The winning team would receive a €1,000 prize and €5,000 for their nominated charity.
The fully-integrated advocacy campaign would comprise offline and online consumer activation, a dedicated digital platform, online promotion, social media, viral promotion, face-to-face consumer engagement and robust media outreach.
The results of a survey into Belgians’ biggest annoyances en route to their holiday, were used as a hook to launch a vigorous recruitment campaign (online, posters in universities, media outreach and advertorials) calling on Belgian students to become a Maestro Angel. Fifty teams signed up, ten were chosen by online voting and then the final four by jury.
The Angels hit the road in France during one of the busiest weeks of the year. The teams competed with each other to complete a series of missions suggested by the public on the campaign website, including giving massages, hugs, car washing, dog walking, and playing petanque whilst promoting the convenience, safety and speed of Maestro.
The campaign was supported by media relations and media partnerships to ensure constant visibility. The teams posted films on the website daily and the public was invited to vote online for its favourite team.
Documented Results
This PR-driven, integrated campaign yielded impressive media coverage and easily met the objective of increasing Maestro visibility among Belgian consumers:
• 1,200 Belgian holidaymakers encountered the Angels in France
• 21 press and 37 online articles, 22 radio interviews, and 50 radio ads – a total that reached 8 million people six times each
The high levels of site traffic achieved during the campaign were primarily driven by PR, word-of-mouth and social media engagement:
• 136,000 website visits
• 112,000 unique visitors watched the film clips posted by the Angels over the eight days of the campaign
• 130,000 votes were cast to choose the best team, with the winners generating an incredible 58,000
Most important, the campaign had a tangible effect on Maestro usage: the number of in-store card transactions by Belgians in France in July 2010 saw a YOY double-digit increase.