Recognized with a European Excellence Award in 2021 for best in Brand Relationship.
For the transgender and non-binary community, the name on their card can serve as a source of sensitivity and embarrassment, not reflecting who they truly are. In addition, pursuing a legal name change can be a long and arduous legal process. Mastercard addresses the challenges of misrepresentation with True Name™, a card feature enabling people to display their chosen name on their card, helping ease a major pain point for many in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Following a successful launch in the US in 2019, Mastercard launched True Name in 30 European countries with challenger bank bunq as the first issuer. An impactful integrated pan-European marketing communications campaign was developed and implemented in less than 3 months, from plan to creatives, including product development.
The objectives of the campaign were to position Mastercard as an active LGBTQIA+ ally and leader in financial inclusion, to create awareness for True Name, and to broaden consumer understanding of transgender and non-binary people.
There were several strategic consideration in developing the approach. Firstly, being inclusive is vital, while carefully navigating to avoid pinkwashing. Moreover, the campaign needed to focus on human interest and impact. Lastly, the launch of the campaign needed to take place during a culturally relevant moment, taking the COVID-19 lockdown into account.
The launch took place on May 17, 2021 – on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia. Mastercard and OPRG announced True Name through a press release and media outreach to daily, lifestyle and trade media, guided by extensive Q&A. Rather than speaking on behalf of the community, Mastercard partnered with European LGBTQIA+ organizations and influencers to ensure strong community support. European LGBTQIA+ organizations were able to give fact & figures on the misconceptions and difficulties the LGBTQIA+ community is facing. Organizations included: COC Nederland, Transgender Netwerk NL, l’Inter -LGBT and Stonewall UK. Influencer content for social media was created by local Dutch, French and German transgender and non-binary influencer icons. This created impact in an approachable and engaging way, leveraging authentic voices and perspectives.
An impactful campaign video was created by creative agency FCB, part of McCann Global. This European adaptation of the U.S. True Name video featured a diverse cast of Dutch, French and German transgender and non-binary people. Next to this, educational animations created by Maude Bergeron, feminist and queer artist, were used for social media to broaden consumer understanding of transgender and non-binary people.
The ‘True Name’ campaign demonstrated significant success, achieving its core objective of raising awareness to broaden consumer understanding of the transgender and non-binary community. The campaign also further positioned Mastercard as an active LGBTQIA+ ally, calling on the industry to apply these standards for everyone. The campaign also contributed to Mastercard winning the Outvertising Award for Brand of the Year, for most consistent engagement with LGBTQIA+ audiences.