MasterCard Takes E-Commerce to the Streets

MasterCard has launched an out-of-home campaign to promote its MarketPlace e-commerce site. The goal? To get consumers’ attention both online and offline.

The credit card brand has put up storefront ads featuring black-and-white vinyl panels and taglines like “A smarter way to shop online” and “Where bargains find you.” The effort, which includes ads in New York, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia, wraps up this month.

The displays, set up in busy retail locations, consist of motion sensor-activated screens on which items like purses, laptops and sneakers pop up when someone walks by. There is also a mobile component: Pedestrians can view the latest offers via MasterCard MarketPlace’s RSS feed and e-mail deals to themselves.

MasterCard hopes “to capitalize on consumers’ dual online-offline shopping behavior by directly placing the MasterCard MarketPlace ‘shop smarter’ message within the physical, brick-and-mortar shopping experience,” said Cheryl Guerin, the company’s svp of digital marketing. Storefronts were a “natural channel extension,” she said.

In addition to the OOH campaign, MasterCard is running TV, print and online ads to promote its MarketPlace business. Digital efforts include tweeting “overwhelming offers,” which are “time-sensitive” deals offered daily on the site, Guerin said.

The company did not disclose the campaign’s cost. It is, however, the first time MasterCard has launched an interactive outdoor initiative to support a larger marketing push. GSD&M Idea City, digital agency R/GA and Inwindow Outdoor worked on the campaign.

MasterCard spent $164 million on advertising in 2009 and $31 million through the first five months of this year, excluding online, per Nielsen.