How real-time research boosted MasterCard’s ad effectiveness

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

During the Rugby World Cup, MasterCard, and its media agency Carat, worked with Twitter to get real-time insights about its campaign from Twitter users. The results helped MasterCard achieve an increase in brand association and ad recall.

The challenge

The challenge for Carat and @MasterCardUK at such a high-profile global event was to make sure that its advertising stood out during the #RWC2015. The competition to be noticed amongst all the brands participating was fierce.

The second part of the challenge was a desire to properly engage with the Rugby World Cup audience. The aim was to be a service for fans: to improve fan’s experience and bring the action closer to them.

What we did

To achieve these goals Carat’s Social Insight team partnered with Twitter’s Ad Research team and our exclusive research community Twitter Insiders UK (@insiders_uk)*. This allowed MasterCard to get real-time feedback from Twitter users as the campaign progressed. Specifically, MasterCard were able to access feedback, conduct research and do creative testing in real time and then optimise campaigns accordingly.

Carat and Twitter used @insiders_uk to run activity with users every week of the Rugby World Cup, which directly informed MasterCard’s campaign.

This was combined with Carat’s proprietary NOW Engine approach. The NOW Engine allows social listening insight to be pulled in real time around events to fuel new ideas, creativity and media planning. By using real-time global social listening on Rugby World Cup conversations, Carat was able to present a rounded view of audience sentiment for very specific events and results could be put speedily into action. For instance, it allowed tweaks to audience targeting, man-of-the-match voting mechanisms or creative executions.

Dara Nasr, Managing Director, of Twitter UK, says: “The world knows that Twitter brings people closer to sport and in this campaign MasterCard was able to get closer still to the audience it wanted to connect with. Twitter is the home of real time, and MasterCard and Carat harnessed that power, pushing the boundaries of creativity and research through Twitter Insiders, to achieve results.”

How we did it

Firstly, Twitter mirrored MasterCard’s audience segmentation in Twitter Insiders. This meant Carat could talk directly to hard-core rugby fans, casual fans and what we call ‘big eventers’ – those only interested in the tournament because it was a big tournament on British soil.

Twitter Insiders allowed us to test creative in advance of publishing…The result: real-time decision making based on actionable intelligence.

Jay E. Mandel, VP/Business Leader, Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard

Carat and Twitter set up a process for weekly synchronisation between the three teams (client, agency, media owner) to determine areas for exploration for the week. Finally, the group ran activities and worked together to put insights into actionable forms for the planning teams and client.

According to Jay E. Mandel, VP/Business Leader, Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard: “In partnership with Carat, we leveraged a Twitter Insiders panel of segmented rugby fans. Twitter Insiders allowed us to test creative in advance of publishing, understand which brand ambassadors would resonate with MasterCard consumers and gave us an understanding of how well other sponsor’s activity was resonating. The result: real-time decision making based on actionable intelligence.”

The results

Carat and Twitter measured results through various studies. We ran a Brand Effect Study with Nielsen to understand the impact of the campaign on brand metrics. The results were very positive amongst top-funnel metrics. We saw a five percentage point increase in association of MasterCard with the Rugby World Cup (engagers vs. control group); and a 13pp increase in ad recall amongst engagers with the campaign. MasterCard also achieved a positive brand social sentiment of 14% net for the RWC period, and owned a quarter of all RWC brand conversations versus eight competitors.

*Twitter Insiders UK is Twitter’s online research community comprising 5,000 users who take part in regular surveys and discussions across a full range of subjects.