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By The Drum | Editorial

December 6, 2023 | 4 min read

Mastercard and McCann have won the Video and Film category at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising. Here is the award-winning case study.

Between April 2022 and August 2023, Mastercard, a proud sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, embarked on a mission to deepen its connection with football fans in key markets (UK, France, Germany, and Spain). The primary goal was to harness the power of video and film digital advertising to raise awareness about the new mascot uniform kit and elevate a standard meet-and-greet into an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime event.

Target Audience

The campaign strategically aimed to captivate football enthusiasts and fans of all ages across the UK, France, Germany, and Spain.

Creative Concept

Mastercard's creative strategy revolved around celebrating the legacy of Lionel Messi and the immeasurable impact of pursuing one's passion. Messi, a global icon renowned for his extraordinary football skills and off-field influence, served as an inspiration to fans worldwide. The campaign was meticulously designed to honor Messi's inspirational journey and the countless children named "Leo" in his honor, all through the captivating medium of video and film digital advertising.

Creative Execution

Step 1: PR Launch and Sweepstakes:

The campaign kicked off with a compelling data-driven story, expertly crafted for digital advertising. This narrative artfully showcased the remarkable surge in the popularity of the name "Leo" over the two decades since Messi's professional debut in 2004. It not only delved into the motivations behind parents naming their children after inspirational figures but also underscored the profound influence of a name in sparking the dreams of the next generation, especially in the world of sports.

The PR launch artfully introduced the new Mastercard UEFA Champions League mascot kit through captivating video and film content. This unveiling was thoughtfully timed ahead of the PSG vs. Bayern match in Paris on 14th February. Concurrently, a sweepstakes was launched in the UK, France, and Germany, offering one fortunate child the extraordinary chance to walk onto the pitch with Messi during the return fixture in Munich on 8th March. The sweepstakes, active from 13th to 19th February, was orchestrated with a multi-channel approach, leveraging video and film digital advertising to maximize reach and robust engagement. Paid media activities included impactful video posts on Messi's and Mastercard's Meta accounts, alongside strategic collaborations with local Instagram influencers, ensuring widespread participation.

Step 2: Team of Leos Video

On March 6th, Lionel Messi himself posted the "Team of Leos" video on his social media channels (Facebook & Instagram). This marked the second phase of the Messi campaign, setting social media platforms ablaze with buzz and excitement through engaging video and film content.

Results and Impact

The campaign achieved extraordinary results:

Awareness Objective: The initial phase of the campaign not only met but exceeded the awareness target. Reach and Impressions surged beyond the forecast by a remarkable 30%.

Team of Leos Video: The "Team of Leos" video posted by Messi achieved a phenomenal total reach of 58 million, a testament to the campaign's immense engagement and resonance through video and film digital advertising.

The press release detailing the campaign's action garnered coverage in 28 top-tier consumer lifestyle, marketing trade, and sports media outlets. This media exposure further solidified the campaign's impact and visibility, accumulating an impressive 8.8 million impressions and reaching 3.26 million individuals.

The "Team of Leos" campaign masterfully celebrated Lionel Messi's legacy, effectively engaged football fans, and reaffirmed Mastercard's unwavering commitment to crafting priceless moments for its customers and the broader community through the dynamic medium of video and film digital advertising.

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