CNN viewers worldwide were the first to see a commercial last week featuring MasterCard's worldwide automated teller machine network and point of sale debit program.
The campaign - "worldwide purchasing, worldwide cash, direct from your own bank account" - highlights MasterCard's global on-line debit program, Maestro, and its worldwide ATM network, Cirrus. It includes two television spots, two radio spots, and five print ads, plus marketing materials that can be tailored to each bank's needs.
"Portable Bank," the television spot that kicked off the campaign, will run for two weeks on CNN North America and CNN International. It was created by CM Lintas International/London for MasterCard so that member banks can add their names and brands.
In the commercial, a voiceover intones: "Imagine if you could just pick up your bank and take it with you wherever you go, anywhere in the world."
The ad suggests that the bank card bearing Cirrus and Maestro marks acts as a portable bank. The spot shows customers carrying a portable bank to an automated teller machine to get cash in the local currency through Cirrus and to retailers who accept Maestro for purchases.
"Primarily, what we're trying to get across is, through the use of their current ATM card, by virtue of having access to Cirrus for ATMs and access to purchasing through Maestro, (cardholders) can gain access to their account at home or wherever they are in the world," said John O. Smith, executive vice president, MasterCard International, and general manager of Maestro International.
MasterCard said that positioning Cirrus and Maestro as integrated global enhancements to local banking cards echoes the strategic approach it has taken in the U.S. market. In this country, it has used ATM cards and checking accounts as a way to educate consumers about debit.
The campaign targets banks' checking account customer base. "MasterCard uses a strategically consistent approach in marketing debit to consumers worldwide," said Daniel Ciporin, vice president, global debit marketing.
Six banks in six regions - including Bank of New York, a Maestro issuer - have agreed to use the Maestro and Cirrus marketing campaign this year.
Other banks using this marketing approach are: ABN Amro, the Netherlands; Bank of Montreal, Canada; Mauritius Commercial Bank, Mauritius; Red Multicolor, Colombia; and Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.
"Maestro to the consumer clearly is new," Mr. Smith said. "Cirrus in the U.S. and Canada is not so new; it's very well known. But outside the U.S., with many of these new participants in the program, it is a new introduction. (The program) is designed to help introduce a new brand and to do that in a consistent and effective manner worldwide."
The MasterCard/Cirrus ATM Network consists of 200,000 machines in 68 countries and territories. Maestro, which is jointly owned by MasterCard and Europay International, boasts 83 million cards in 28 countries.
Interestingly, MasterCard is not named in the new commercial, although the logo is seen on an ATM. However, the brand will be used in U.S. advertisements, Mr. Smith said, because MasterCard offers an off-line debit product, MasterMoney, here. Outside the United States, issuers do not issue an off-line card, so the focus is on Cirrus and Maestro.
"What we're really selling here is convenience," Mr. Smith said. "While most people will never travel to China or South Africa, most of them like the idea of convenience. They like the feeling it's just like credit cards: I could use this anywhere."