Campaign Touches All Bases

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MasterCard International's new holiday promotion is the company's largest integrated campaign to date.

Each time MasterCard members use their cards, they are entered into the company's "A Home for the Holidays" sweepstakes, with a grand prize of $250,000. Other prizes include an online scratch-and-win game featuring a Palm VII, a Just Go scooter and a $250 MasterCard Gift Card.

The holiday campaign also features discounts at the offline and online locations of MasterCard's merchant partners. These include The Sports Authority, and JCPenney (20 percent off regular-price items).

"This promotion is a natural extension of our brand positioning as 'the best way to pay for everything that matters,' and this effort marks MasterCard's most integrated promotional program to date," said Larry Flanagan, senior vice president of marketing at MasterCard.

The campaign, which includes 50 million direct mail pieces, also uses print ads in Sports Illustrated, Good Housekeeping and other publications; online ads; interstitials on various sites; point of sale for merchants that accept MasterCard; and direct mail through member banks. An extensive television campaign features prime-time 30-second spots on ABC, NBC, CBS and select cable networks.

"You can use each medium at its most effective level ... and it really begins to work seamlessly across all mediums," said David Coffey, director of North American promotions at MasterCard.

At the beginning of the campaign in October, consumers who visited the site were able to participate in chat sessions on planning the holidays. The Gift Finder, in which featured retailers offer specials on decorations and gifts via a search engine, came into play in November when shoppers were starting to choose and purchase gifts.

"We wanted to take them through the shopping experience as easily as possible," Coffey said.

In December, the campaign's focus is the spirit of the holidays. MasterCard hosted a Dec. 13 chat on its site in which TV moms Florence Henderson ("The Brady Bunch") and Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") shared thoughts about being home for the holidays.

MasterCard kicked off the campaign at a New York event with TV moms Henderson, Barbara Billingsley ("Leave It to Beaver") and Marion Ross ("Happy Days"). The three, along with decorating and baking experts, demonstrated how to prepare the home for the holidays: decorating trees, stuffing stockings and preparing baked goods. They also took part in online gift shopping with other moms and children.

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