Nina DiSesa: Priceless: Creating the MasterCard Commercials
Nina DiSesa has worked in the quintessential boys clubs of advertising for almost thirty years. In 1994, she became the first woman EVP, Executive Creative Director for McCann Erickson New York, the flagship office of the largest advertising agency in the world. Under her creative leadership, the New York office enjoyed an unprecedented 5-year growth period adding almost $2.5 billion in billings. In 1998, she was made Chairman as well as Chief Creative Officer of McCann New York. She was the first woman and first creative director to be named chairman in the McCann global network.
In 1999, Nina was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.” In 2005, she received the Matrix Award, given each year to a select group of women in communication. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising).
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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