- Mastercard announced that it's expanding a multichannel #StartSomethingPriceless brand campaign launched earlier this month with curated content and a music-inspired pop-up event in New York City ahead of the 60th Grammy Awards on Jan. 29, according to a news release. The new push centers on a music video featuring six aspiring musicians who join five-time Grammy nominee SZA in a cover of the Willie Dixon song "You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover."
- The campaign includes videos where each of the musicians shares their story. The brand's Mastercard House retail store and concert space will additionally be open daily with curated vinyl listening stations, a photo gallery from well-known music photographers and a recording booth where visitors can press their own vinyl. The pop-up will host conversations with music industry influencers and nightly concerts.
- Mastercard launched #StartSomethingPriceless earlier this month. The brand is encouraging people to use the campaign hashtag to share "their pledges to pursue a passion or purpose, effect change and lift one another up," a news release said.
Mastercard blends a number of hot marketing trends for its Grammys push, including experiential out-of-home activations like vinyl pressing stations and tapping both rising music influencers and more established talent like SZA. Working with the five-time Grammy nominee on a music video might lend the campaign more credibility with listeners and raise awareness for some of the lesser-known artists featured on the song. Brands sponsoring music events and concerts is nothing new, but actually creating branded music videos — often covering well-known songs — has become a bigger trend of late with recent efforts by companies as diverse as the Gap and Frito-Lay's Cheetos.
#StartSomethingPriceless aims to refresh Mastercard's 20-year-old "Priceless" platform by focusing on real-life stories about people and their passions. Inspiring or cause-driven brand messaging that tackles these topics can resonate more with consumers at a time when emotional connection in marketing is in high demand, especially among younger age segments like millennials and Gen Z. Procter & Gamble is another company taking this approach with brands like Always and Herbal Essences. P&G's Head & Shoulders last week introduced a Winter Olympics push featuring a content series around U.S. Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy and his experience coming out as an openly-gay athlete.
For last year's Grammy Awards, Mastercard set up an experiential record store and interactive music experience for fans. Users of Masterpass, its digital payment platform, were given exclusive access to vinyl purchases and performances, and each time an award was presented at the show or an artist thanked fans, Masterpass users received a special offer.