Priceless

by Ben Perreira

Remember the first time you saw a MasterCard “Priceless” commercial? Here is the first one, which aired during the 1997 World Series.

Almost seventeen years later people remember and emulate the construct in everyday conversation and on social media: “Item 1: price, Item 2: price, Experience: priceless.” It is such a powerful construct because of its simplicity.

I wonder if “Priceless” would experience the same longevity had it launched during the 2012 World Series instead. It would have had an accompanying hashtag and microsite where fans could “share priceless experiences.” The output of this would be metrics that marketers could tell their clients or bosses were indications that consumers had increased their affinity for the brand. Raises abound!

It is no secret that I am a proponent of advertising in general because I think it makes brands more enjoyable, and the reality is that we would rather purchase products from brands with which we identify. The question is whether we are burning consumers out by reaching them throughout their days. Would it be wrong to allow a campaign to marinade in the minds of consumers? To let them think, discuss in person, watch again, and reflect?

Social and digital media advertising have their places without a shadow of a doubt. I just think that if we develop the right creative we can afford to give our consumers more credit to remember our brands without shouting the message at every level of the funnel. That way each execution on each medium achieves maximum impact. And that should be the goal.

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