1997: McCann creates iconic ‘Priceless’ campaign for MasterCard

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

Today’s marketing moment was chosen by Joyce King Thomas, chairman and chief creative officer at McCann XBC. Below, find out why MasterCard’s ‘Priceless’ campaign is her favorite marketing moment.

One of my favorite marketing moments is one that I was part of: the creation of MasterCard’s Priceless campaign. It was a classic ad moment: a small group of people came together and built on each other’s thinking. The strategy team came up with an insight that no one else had noticed. A creative director came up with “there are some things money can’t buy…” And, a creative team (my partner and I) came up with something we called “the grocery list"—a list of purchases that led to something priceless.

Almost immediately after the first spot ran (it was about a father and son who have a real conversation at a baseball game), people started creating their own priceless posters and emails and films. It was a meme before there were memes!

McCann created hundreds of priceless spots and print ads around the world. Some of my favorites: a trilogy about a lost dog, a documentary style spot about coming home for Christmas shot in the London airport, and a spot about three friends who reunite on the first day of school.

The work connected with people and even inspired them to think about their own lives in a slightly different way.

What else can you ask from an ad campaign?

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

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