MasterCard taps into Champions League sponsorship

MasterCard is tapping into the extreme emotions a decision by a referee in a football game can provoke in its latest advertising campaign by McCann-Erickson.

The ads, to be placed around the Uefa Champions League football tournament, show a man in a series of scenarios in which he experiences extreme reactions from people.

The ad's hero is shown in a number of scenes where different people react differently to him, some affectionately and others with disdain. He is seen at a tailor, where a fitter roughs him up, at a hotel where a porter drops his bags and in a restaurant where people leave as he enters and a waiter crashes his food down. In each scene, however, there are others who react kindly toward him.

In the last scene, he is revealed to be a football referee, making a controversial decision to give a player a red card.

The campaign, called "love and hate", will run until 24 May in the UK.

It will then run in Scotland during Euro 2004, when a new set of ads will be developed for the UK market.

The ad was written and art directed by Ian Edwards and the director was Malcolm Venville through Therapy Films. Media was through Universal McCann.

Rita Broe, the vice-president and head of marketing at MasterCard Northern Europe, said: "This is a big year in football for MasterCard. We are planning a great promotion around Euro 2004, which, coupled with this ad in support of our Champions League sponsorship, will give us a good presence over the coming months."

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