- Mastercard has introduced two custom macaron flavors to its brand, according to a press release. The Passion and Optimism macarons, a French meringue-based confection, are part of the marketer's effort to go beyond its plastic card with multi-sensory brand expressions.
- The campaign was conceived by Kreëmart, a collaboration of artists who work in the medium of sugar, and the macarons were created by French sweets maker Ladurée. The resulting treats use the colors of Mastercard's interlocking circle logo and employ the fruits custard apple and yuzu for the raw ingredients of Passion and Optimism, respectively.
- The macarons will be available for purchase on priceless.com, with pickup at Ladurée in Soho and at other to-be-announced locations in the U.S. They will also be available at The New York Times Food Festival Oct. 5-6. Mastercard is also sponsoring unspecified "Priceless Surprises" and a special "sensory exhibition" showcasing the connection between art, culture and culinary, with new and existing works by artists.
This sweet new campaign is part of Mastercard's initiative to turn itself into a multi-sensory brand that is known for the quality of the experiences it makes possible, not unlike the range of experiences available through a widely-accepted credit card with a high limit. In this newest effort, Mastercard says the flavors are brand-related because they were derived from its responses to the Papillae Questionnaire, a series of questions from Kreëmart that are designed to "translate one's identity into taste."
Mastercard is banking on consumers being surprised by the unusualness of a credit card brand launching cookies which could make the effort more memorable. At the same time, the brand is extending its positioning around enabling culinary experiences like eating out at a restaurant.
"People expect a lot, but sometimes what they don't expect can make a more lasting impression," said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard, in a press statement.
Teaming with Kreëmart and Ladurée allows Mastercard to offer a branded food item that is available both on an e-commerce site and experientially, at The New York Times Food Festival, giving its own spin on tactics popular with CPG marketers, like unique custom products and experiential marketing.
Adding taste to its portfolio of sensory experiences continues Mastercard's year-long effort to move beyond the strictures of a traditional brand. The company in January removed its name from its logo, leaving just its iconic, interlocking circles in certain contexts. Mastercard proceeded to add "sonic branding" to its identity, including a series of short, melodic chirps developed with musicians, artists and agencies, as well as other brand-specific sound choices.
Mastercard's most recent food- and experience-based expression of its brand launched last month, with an immersive restaurants-in-residence model. The Priceless culinary collective at Spring Studios in New York City features rotating presentations of the cuisine and look-and-feel of world-famous restaurants. Previously, there have been hundreds of "Priceless Tables" events in landmark locations, including the top of a Times Square billboard, inside the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and atop the Palazzo Beltramo looking over the Duomo cathedral in Milan.