MasterCard Asks People to Write Its Priceless Ads


Fully embracing the notion and value of consumer generated content, MasterCard, during the Oscars, will air two commercial which say basically nothing. The ads, Sailboat and Typewriter, will follow the customary format of listing prices for various items and closing with the final item labeled "priceless." However, the item lines in these ads will be left blank. The ads will close encouraging people to go to, click on "Write a Priceless Ad Contest" and complete the commercial by filling in the blanks using their own words.

A judging panel will select one overall winning entrant which MasterCard feels best completes either of the two commercials following judging criteria including creativity and originality, overall appeal and relevance to the Priceless theme. Following the selection of the winning language, the commercial will then be re-created complete with the winning consumers' Priceless verbiage and broadcast in the third quarter of 2006.

We've seen plays for consumer generated advertising before but not quite to this scale. MasterCard is spending big bucks betting on people's understanding of its long-running campaign and people's willingness to take interest in writing their ads. We have to wonder, though, how many industry creatives will anonymously go after this and then gleefully add the ad to their portfolio once it airs.

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leave it mccann to force fit ideas about consumer generated content and social media into an outdated old school media format. seeing this is like watching a senile geriatric try to explain how to download a ringtone. there's convergence and then there's this crap. plus wasn't the "fill in the blank" ad concept done by bbdo LA for apple in 1996? the campaign was called "leave your mark".


Posted by: angry_youth on March 1, 2006 4:57 PM

Lame ___ idea.

Posted by: KRank on March 1, 2006 8:01 PM

i don't think it is that bad or cliched.
it's something different, and the campaign as been around long enough for people to get it.

or maybe i am not an expert marketer like the rest of you who think it's such crap

Posted by: sally on March 2, 2006 6:24 PM

So, the ad agency/client thought that it will be a cool idea to do something “user generated”. Oh I know… let’s make them create their own ad. Wow.

This should be the winner for the “Most original idea” award in the “We’ve heard it all before” category.

Sorry Sally, but you don't need to be an expert to smell a fart.

Posted by: tamir berkman on March 2, 2006 7:42 PM

Anyone know where this absolutely hilarious Mastercard commercial came from? I would think that it's consumer generated, but then the descriptions say that it's 'banned'

Posted by: Shig on March 3, 2006 11:40 AM

Oh yea...that one's been floating around for eons. Best spoof ever!

Posted by: Steve Hall on March 3, 2006 12:20 PM

The actor is Benoit liénd
Performed by Stephen Gaghan (Syrian, Traffic...)

Posted by: troca16 on March 6, 2006 10:17 AM

This is for a commercial:

"A new outfit for the Christmas party: $285.00

A Merrcedes-Benz ML500: $68,000.00

A bottle of Jack Daniels: $22.50

Returning home safely after the party...PRICELESS

Posted by: Lena McCurdy on June 14, 2006 7:52 PM

Canoe rental's for 5 days: $278.99

Hotdogs,Marshmallows and four 24 packs of Budweiser: $146.96

4 bottles of bug spray: $16.72

Getting lost in the woods for 5 days with 4 guys...Priceless

Posted by: Kyle on October 30, 2006 7:55 PM