Front page of the Times: priceless

Mastercard_logo_1Creatives at McCann Erickson picking up a copy of Friday’s New York Times must have been pleased. Splashed across the front page was an article about Bush’s inaugural festivities, with a lead based on the shop’s long-running MasterCard campaign:

"Tickets to all official inaugural events, including an "elegant" candlelight dinner with a special appearance by President Bush: $100,000. Tickets to all official inaugural events, two additional tickets to an "exclusive" lunch with Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney, plus an all-access pass to any inaugural ball: $250,000. Telling your friends, "As I explained to the president just the other day… .": priceless."

Sure, the campaign, introduced in 1997 has been spoofed by countless people, from The Simpsons (who later starred in their own "Priceless" ad) and famously, Ralph Nader, who MasterCard promptly sued, but rarely by such a lofty place as the Grey Lady, and on the front page, above the fold, no less! An actual ad placed in the same place would be worth—well, it would be—oh, don’t make us say it.

Let’s hope some overflowing fruit baskets, care of McCann, made their way to the residence of the reporter, Elisabeth Bumiller, over the weekend.

—Posted by Mae Anderson