MasterCard initiated a pan-India digital competition ‘World Beyond Cash’ in April. As part of the programme, students and young professionals from colleges and institutes are invited to submit their ideas of a world beyond cash - an alternative to cash-based transactions. Campaign India spoke with Raja Balasubramanian, VP - marketing, South Asia, MasterCard for a lowdown on this digital campaign. Edited excerpts:
What was the idea behind ‘World Beyond Cash’ campaign?
The concept of the campaign comes from our global campaign, which is themed ‘World Beyond Cash’. We wanted to engage with consumers, specifically the youth, to get them to think about what the world beyond cash might look like. The idea came up in our discussions with Weber Shandwick. It was conceptualised as a social media/communication campaign and uses these channels to call for entries. We have a media partnership with Hindustan Times as well.
Is it an extension of the global campaign?
No, this campaign (contest) has only been launched in India. We are a global payments company and a global payments' network. We want to move to a world beyond cash so this initiative very much in line with what we do as a company.
When did the campaign begin, and when will it culminate?
It began on 16 April and will run until the end of May.
When you talk of digital media, which platforms are you using for this campaign?
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and we created a video for it. HT has given us space on their website. We are promoting it across other websites.
View the video here: (story continues below)
Why is the campaign only on digital media? Would it not limit the participation?
We believe it is a good way to reach the youth. From the point of view of what the concept of the campaign is, digital media fits nicely - electronic payments, and world beyond cash. Yes, we could have used all media but have right now chosen to restrict it to this medium.
Can you share the participation numbers so far?
We have received more than 200 entries so far. Some people have sent it in the form of movies, scripts also. It is encouraging to see how people are thinking. Someone sent in an entry saying it would be great if the payment mechanism became a part of your shoes, since no one goes out without wearing their shoes. It's very encouraging to see how people are thinking uniquely. I think, with this campaign, people will become more comfortable in moving beyond paper cash.
Once the competition and campaign culminates, what will Mastercard do with the entries?
We are still working on that but what we hope to do is to be able to showcase those ideas to a larger audience, and perhaps even use those ideas to generate responses on a larger scale from people. Right now, we are operating on social and digital media but we can take the ideas to a larger forum. But nothing concrete has been set up as of yet.
How important is digital media for Mastercard?
We are moving to using digital media across many of our campaigns - not just in India but everywhere. Our campaigns ‘Priceless Surprises, Priceless Cities’, which is cross-border platform, or our focus on e-Commerce, are digitally driven. We are very keen on more initiatives like World Beyond Cash. I hope the platform like ‘Priceless Surprises’ will be launched very soon, and through that we hope to be able to engage with our consumers even more.
Apart from partnership with HT for this campaign, we have out of home signages at both Delhi and Mumbai airport. We do a mix of traditional and digital, but very clearly digital is extremely important for us.