In a world where attention is a currency, the sweet spot sometimes seems to be polarity. Let's call it the Paul Henry effect, where some watch because of love, and some watch because of hate. That formula often applies to the world of advertising. And MasterCard's recent efforts starring an over-zealous (and quite lucky) All Blacks fan called Tim are a good example of that in action. Now he's back in his third appearance for the brand—and he's as violating as ever.
The 30-second TVC titled 'Surprise', shows Tim crashing a press conference to take McCaw on the MasterCard mystery trip he won. The spot aims to promote its PayPass technology—and its All Blacks sponsorship—and encourages people to 'Tap & Go' to register for a chance to win a mystery trip worth $20,000. Entrants can choose from a mystery beach, city or adventure package, each including at least seven nights' accommodation, flights, $3,000 spending money and more. And there's a nice bit of gratuitous cross promotion there too with McCaw's book The Open Side featuring prominently.
Tim made his first appearance as a MasterCard mascot in a campaign to promote card usage in 2012, in a spot titled 'Check In'. And last year he broke ladies' hearts by enthusiastically welcoming Ma'a Nonu, Ali Williams and Richie McCaw to 'check out the missus' at his wedding in the second instalment of the campaign.
Both TVCs were voted by the public as Best Ad at the 2012 and 2013 Fair Go awards. But they also rubbed some the wrong way, and they were also nominated for Fair Go's worst ad category as well.
Head of marketing for MasterCard, Michelle Pilot, accepted last year's award and told Fair Go the key thing was that people knew the ad is for MasterCard.
"Our brand attribution is up around 80 percent which is phenomenal actually, phenomenal, especially with an All Black ad because there are so many. So we're very pleased ... Neutrality is death. So if you noticed either way, it's a good thing in advertising. Mind you, I'm very happy to walk away with this one and not the [worst ad]."
The ads certainly seemed to resonate with the All Blacks themselves. We heard a funny story about 'Tim' (real name Byron Cole) being asked by Dan Carter, who was organising some of the team's social activities, to get into character and bust through the door at a team meeting. Despite the risk of being smashed by large men as he ran in unannounced, he did it, yelling 'fellllllaaaaas', dishing out a few power knuckles and even bravely giving Steve 'Shag' Hansen a hug.
McCann Sydney was once again the agency behind the ad and Adam Stevens from Robber's Dog returned as director for the third time.
In addition to TV, the campaign includes out-of-home, social media and digital. Maybe MasterCard might now actually have something relevant to talk about on its Facebook page, rather than pointing out New Zealand has more penguins than any other nation.
Anthony Dumont, VP, Consumer Marketing
Lauren Skinner, Manager, Brand & Consumer Marketing
Agency McCann Sydney
Executive Creative Director Dejan Rasic
Art Director Andrew Ostrom
Copywriter Jack Wall
National Head Of Broadcast Colin Tuohy
Executive Director Alex Baker
Senior Account Director Jonathon Rhydderch
Account Manager Daniel Larcombe
Production Company Robber's Dog
Director Adam Stevens
Producer Mark Foster
D.O.P Andrew Stroud
Post House Block Head
Sound Studio Franklin Rd
Digital Digital Arts Network