Nina DiSesa: Priceless: Creating the MasterCard Commercials

Nina DiSesa: A MasterCard is actually a pretty good case history, because it was a new business pitch, they where 6 agencies who were going after this business and we were all given the same brief, all, we where told to use their existing end line which is what I guess you would call a slogan, which is it that “the feature of money” and it was all over the world, everywhere you went you saw MasterCard “the feature of money,” nobody remembered if, but it was all over in the world. So, all of the six agencies tried to execute against that positioning line, and we where the only once that did not do that, because we couldn’t get any residence with the consumer with that line, it was pushing us in the direction of the futuristic non-electronic money, it wasn’t really a very warm and friendly place to be. So, one day one creative person came up with the line there are somethinga money cannot buy, for everything else is MasterCard and another creative person came up with the price list champagne that was Joyce King Thomas who has been watching that champagne for a last ten year, not just in the America, but all around the world and the way we got to that was a very long process. We had a very good strategy that said, people who think of themselves as good revolvers, people who use their credit card for good reason and that’s everybody, if the other guy who is not doing it for good reason. They thought that they where buying things that were worthwhile and from that we got to the difference between a MasterCard user and other credit card users and they where buying things, because that was good for the family, and that little insight they are really triggered the entire process, but you still needed a creative person to come up with the pricelist idea and a creative person like this Creative Director, Joyce King Thomas to make sure that it didn’t get style, that it is still existing and if you have client like the MasterCard client who stays with you on that, then you can have a long term marketing approach that is quite brilliant, that’s in text books. I mean the MasterCard cases is in text book from my nephews go to school and see them, “my God" that the only thing they really respect me for is that and MasterCard’s in my text book, so it’s really existing.

Recorded on: 2/29/08

DiSesa talks about making the famous "Priceless" commercials, start to finish.

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The paper is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The Oort cloud

Oort Cloud graphic

Image source: NASA

Scientist believe that surrounding the generally flat solar system is a spherical shell comprised of more than a trillion icy objects more than a mile wide. This is the Oort cloud, and it's likely the source of our solar system's long-term comets — objects that take 200 years or more to orbit the Sun. Inside that shell and surrounding the planets is the Kuiper Belt, a flat disk of scattered objects considered the source of shorter-term comets.

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"Binary systems are far more efficient at capturing objects than are single stars," co-author Ari Loeb, also of Harvard, explains. "If the Oort cloud formed as [indirectly] observed, it would imply that the sun did in fact have a companion of similar mass that was lost before the sun left its birth cluster."

Working out the source of the objects in the Oort cloud is more than just an interesting astronomical riddle, says Siraj. "Objects in the outer Oort Cloud may have played important roles in Earth's history, such as possibly delivering water to Earth and causing the extinction of the dinosaurs. Understanding their origins is important."

Planet 9

rendering of a planet in space

Image source: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)/NASA

The gravitational pull resulting from a binary companion to the Sun may also help explain another intriguing phenomenon: the warping of orbital paths either by something big beyond Pluto — a Planet 9, perhaps — or smaller trans-Neptunian objects closer in, at the outer edges of the Kuiper Belt.

"The puzzle is not only regarding the Oort clouds, but also extreme trans-Neptunian objects, like the potential Planet Nine," Loeb says. "It is unclear where they came from, and our new model predicts that there should be more objects with a similar orbital orientation to [a] Planet Nine."

The authors are looking forward to the upcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory (VRO) , a Large Synoptic Survey Telescope expected to capture its first light from the cosmos in 2021. It's expected that the VRO will definitively confirm or dismiss the existence of Planet 9. Siraj says, "If the VRO verifies the existence of Planet Nine, and a captured origin, and also finds a population of similarly captured dwarf planets, then the binary model will be favored over the lone stellar history that has been long-assumed."

Missing in action

Lord and Siraj consider it unsurprising that we see no clear sign of the Sun's former companion at this point. Says Loeb, "Passing stars in the birth cluster would have removed the companion from the sun through their gravitational influence. He adds that, "Before the loss of the binary, however, the solar system already would have captured its outer envelope of objects, namely the Oort cloud and the Planet Nine population."

So, where'd it go? Siraj answers, "The sun's long-lost companion could now be anywhere in the Milky Way."

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