MasterCard 'Priceless Edge' Promotion Targets College Crowd

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MasterCard International has debuted the "Priceless Edge" college internship program to build its brand among college students.


The program will give 12 college students the chance to work on the production of "Music in High Places," a music series airing on MTV. Promotion for the program concludes April 23.


The promotion highlights a five-week online distance-learning course that teaches participants about artist relations, TV and concert production, TV distribution, technology and entertainment, entertainment law and entertainment marketing. The 12 students picked to work on the MTV series will be selected from those who complete the five-week course.


"College students are looking for something like this," said Elisa Romm, MasterCard's vice president of brand building for North America. "One of the hardest things is to get a meaningful internship."


Romm also said this is the first time MasterCard has tried such a promotion, which it is marketing online, in print, on radio and through www.pricelessedge.com.


"There's no acquisition element to this," she said. "But there's a pretty good viral component. We haven't really done any one-to-one push." She noted that merely by word-of-mouth, the campaign is drawing recognition on college campuses nationwide.


So far, Romm said, the promotion is proving popular with its target audience. In its first three days, the "Priceless Edge" campaign garnered 1,000 applications through the sign-up form on www.pricelessedge.com.


"We've never done anything like this before," she said. "There's no offer, so we have no benchmark with anything done in the past."


MasterCard also is promoting the internship on entertainment and music Web sites with various-sized banners. The banners, which use Flash animation, link directly to the "Priceless Edge" Web site.


"The promotion is totally integrated into everything we do with the youth market," Romm said. "College-age students need to have a better opinion of credit card companies. Because of the media they have the wrong impression of credit card companies. But they are great users of credit cards."


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