Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
On 26 December 2019, from 6:30 am to 8:30 am, Mastercard leveraged a unique solar eclipse by creating an equally unique promotion for Mastercard holders, with offers tied directly to the eclipse.
Entitled Astronomical Sales, this immersive e-commerce and e-retail customer engagement idea didn't just activate a dead retail season, it also increased usage and registrations for Mastercard.
In a region where shopping online is dominant, yet paying online is not, Mastercard has to find new ways to encourage shoppers to move away from a cash-on-delivery system, and to embrace and trust online payment solutions.
At the same time, Mastercard is in an ongoing battle for preference above other competitive cards; and in an ongoing pursuit to build both brand loyalty and affinity. Since Mastercard removed their name from their logo recently, there has been a drive to increase brand awareness and highlight the brand’s relevance in every piece of communication.
With this brief, Mastercard set out to change behaviour by building trial and trust in online purchasing, while becoming the “card-on-file” i.e. the card that’s registered on users’ online and e-commerce platforms, thereby positioning itself as the most valuable card in your wallet.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
The day after Christmas, at 6:30 am, Mastercard held a unique sale tied directly to a unique eclipse. The region hadn’t seen a similar eclipse for 172 years, making this the ideal opportunity to capitalise on what would essentially be Mastercard’s logo in the sky.
During the eclipse, 97% of the sun disappeared. For this reason, 97% of the price disappeared on a range of products sold by the region’s biggest online retailer, noon.com.
When the eclipse started, so did the sale. And as the sun diminished, so did the prices, reaching discounts of 97%, and returning gradually to full price. For those who purchased at the exact moment the eclipse formed the Mastercard logo, priceless prizes were awarded.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
We targeted shoppers across the UAE with the aim of getting their Mastercard cards to be the card-on-file on noon.com, and building trust by trial for online payments.
Historical data proves that the period from December 26 to January 2, right after the Christmas holiday and shopping bonanzas across the UAE, tends to be the slowest retail season. Everyone has shopped and spent all their shopping budgets, with very little remaining in their wallets.
So, we hijacked the pre-Christmas shopping festival with news, content and PR about the sale of the century that was linked to the eclipse happening on December 26, thereby encouraging people to hold on to part of their holiday season’s shopping budgets for December 26.
Describe the execution (30% of vote)
Before the eclipse, by means of a transmedia content strategy across social, digital, mobile, on-ground and PR, we created a buzz around the promotion.
On the day of the eclipse, events were held across Dubai, where attendees could watch the eclipse from premier locations while tracking the sale live on their phones in order to get the best prices.
When the eclipse started, so did the sale.
And as the sun diminished, so did the prices, reaching discounts of 97%, and returning gradually to full price.
To those who purchased at the exact moment the eclipse formed the Mastercard logo, priceless surprises and prizes were awarded.
List the results (30% of vote)
Astronomical Sales helped Mastercard win attention, share-of-wallet and grow users. It also built trust by trial in a predominantly cash-on-delivery shopping culture.
+116% increase on engagement levels vs. industry benchmark
18,000 new registered Mastercard users on Noon.com
All products promoted were sold out during the eclipse – a record for e-commerce in the UAE.
15 times higher than usual in the banner click through rate on Noon.com’s homepage.
Says Faraz Khalid, Noon.com CEO: “A vast majority of customers use cash-on-delivery as a payment method upon checkout, and very rarely do credit cards become the dominant mode for payment. This is unique not just for Noon.com but also for e-commerce in our region. This has helped create awareness among customers to come online and shop with trust and that’s the real success of this campaign for us.”