Almost every week, it seems, MasterCard International's name shows up in another Sunday newspaper insert.
The one on Aug. 8 was a joint promotion with Nescafe USA Inc., trumpeting their joint sponsorship of the "Anywhere in the World" sweepstakes.
MasterCard is looking for synergy, in this case between two independently powerful brand names. This sweepstakes brings together two corporations with global promotional ambitions.
Mava Heffler, MasterCard's vice president of U.S. promotions, said Nescafe approached MasterCard last year about a different idea, then eventually agreed to do the sweepstakes.
In their strategic alliance, which is not connected to any other MasterCard promotion, no money exchanges hands, Ms. Heffler noted.
Nescafe is allowed to use the MasterCard name and logo in its coffee advertisements.
The coffee company distributed 49 million freestanding newspaper inserts, plus introduced five million product displays in supermarkets - where MasterCard just happens to be aggressively promoting card usage.
Nescafe will put in the MasterCard accounts of each of 10 grand-prize winners $10,000 to finance a trip anywhere in the world.
Later this fall, Canada Dry will play a promotional role in MasterCard's MasterValues program, which provides discounts when the card is used.
In the fourth quarter, Canada Dry will distribute a limited number of of one-liter and two-liter bottles of their soft drink that feature MasterValues coupons.
"It's really expanding Master-Values coupons into food stores, which is our strategic objective," Ms. Heffler said.
MasterCard and Procter & Gamble are co-sponsors of the 36-city "Soccer Blast" this fall, a lead-in to the 1994 World Cup, of which MasterCard is a corporate sponsor. When consumers use MasterCard, they will get a free U.S. National Soccer Team pin.
Procter & Gamble will feature MasterCard in newspaper inserts to promote a range of soccer merchandise. Only MasterCard payments will be accepted.
"We've decided that strategic alliances, are a smart, efficient, and effective way to do business," Ms. Heffler said.