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Carat | Agency Profile, Contacts, AOR, Client Relationships

Service: media

Main Telephone (415) 541-2700
Main Fax (415) 227-2138
Primary Address
875 Howard Street
6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Carat Contacts

Contacts (5/12)
Name Title State
Adam S. Senior Vice President & Managing Director CA
Sample of Associated Brands
Email: *****@*******.***
Main Phone: (415) 541-2700
Direct Phone: *** **** ***   ext: ****
Direct Fax: *** **** ***
Assistant Name: ** **** ***
Assistant Phone: *** **** ***
Address: 875 Howard Street
6th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Tavo C. Senior Vice President & Group Director CA
Tia S. Vice President & Director, Strategy & Innovation CA
Michael M. Vice President & Director, Communication Planning CA
Steve G. Director, Planning CA

Client Relationships

Brand Service From To Media Spend
****** ****** *****, ***. media buying & planning 2011 present *
********** ****** media buying & planning 2011 present *
********** ****, ***. creative, media buying & planning unknown present *******
******, ***. creative 2004 present ********
*** ******, ***. media buying & planning unknown present *******

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Digital, TV Opps: Mastercard launches new digital brand campaign, looks to reposition as lifestyle brand

Subject: digital, social media, TV, experiential, social media

Company: Mastercard

Opportunity: After consolidating social media and digital work with here), Mastercard is releasing a new campaign from the agency. The campaign introduces a "parallel brand identity" for Mastercard's proprietary digital payment system, Masterpass. The campaign will run across TV and digital spots on platforms and sites such as ESPN, CBS, LinkedIn, Billboard and The New Yorker.

In an interview with Campaign, CMO Raja Rajamannar clarified that Masterpass is the company's digital brand. It and Mastercard will be the two "master" brands with an identical look and feel. For the time being, the two are separate brands, but Rajamannar can see a point down the road where Masterpass (the digital brand) will be the company's dominant brand.

In order to raise brand awareness, the company is initially focusing on easier targets, such as tech-friendly individuals. The campaign is largely an educational effort on the part of Masterpass, which is attempting to position Masterpass as a verb, rather than a noun or a name - to convey the experience of using the service. Mastercard is engaging in a lot of co-marketing to tout the brand, including main banks such as CitiBank and Capital One; merchants such as the MTS [NYC's subway authority] and Cheesecake Factory; and other brands such as MLB, Fandango,

Masterpass' new brand identity follows the introduction of a new logo and brand identity for Mastercard last summer. It also comes months after Mel Clements joined the company as VP of global digital marketing, leading global B2C digital, social, mobile and content strategies. 

All of these efforts are part of the larger plan to make Mastercard an experiential brand, as opposed to a payment brand. Included in this is the continued evolution of the "Priceless" tagline/brand positioning, which was first created by McCann in 1997. Specifically, he said that Mastercard used to have 168 different marketing platforms. These have stopped and given way to just four: Priceless Cities, Priceless Surprises, Priceless Causes and Priceless Specials. 

Carat has handled Mastercard’s media buying and planning since Feb. 2014, so that relationship is coming up on the average tenure (2.5-to-3 years). Sellers - keep in mind that Rajamannar said he expects digital spend to “significantly” outpace traditional media spend at the company in the years to come. Earlier this year, he told Ad Exchanger: “We’re a digital product, so changes in the digital space have a profound impact on our product itself. On the other hand, we also use the opportunity of the highly connected consumer as a marketing opportunity. Today, the purchase funnel is completely reversed. It's not linear at all.” Therefore, the role of TV - both digital video and TV - will become complementary to digital spend.

Additional Information

Media Spend: For 2015, Kantar Media reports that Mastercard spent $73.4 million on measured media. Majority of this - 82.3% - was allocated to broadcast ads. The remainder went mostly to print, digital and radio.

National TV Spend: So far this year, Mastercard has spent $41.9 million on national TV ads, per

Digital Breakdown: (Condé Nast)

Mastercard has also spent $1.5 million on online video ads in 2016 (62.9 million impressions) - almost all of which have run since August. As with desktop ads, majority of videos have been placed site direct (96%). Top destinations are similar to desktop destinations, including Yahoo Homepage (

An additional $587,000 has been spent on mobile/tablet ads (97.2 million impressions).

2000 Purchase St.
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 249-2000

Raja Rajamannar 
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
(914) 249-2000

Mel Clements
Vice President & Senior Business Leader - Global Digital Marketing
(914) 249-5826 (direct)
Assistant: Jennifer - (914) 249-5325 (haven't gotten 100% confirmation yet)