In one of its first offerings from its new agency, Ammirati & Puris, MasterCard exchanges the indulgent tropical locales of '80s credit card ads for a left-of-center lesson in '90s-style pragmatics.
With actor Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure's Dr. Joel Fleischman) providing narration, the spot opens on a couple strolling along a tropical beach. 'You know those credit card commercials where they tell you to jaunt off to some exotic paradise?' Morrow says. 'This isn't one of them.' The ad then cuts to Phil's Food Queen in Montrose, Calif., for a frenzied grocery shopping excursion. The spot blends Morrow's urbane tone with quirky supermarket footage to set up MasterCard's new slogan: 'It's more than a credit card. It's smart money.'
'The spots take on the hyperbole of credit card ads that say they're this passport to a better life,' says Brent Bouchez, an associate creative director at Ammirati. 'Cards are tools, and we wanted to show this is the best tool you can get to live your life.'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)