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Roadside Market

Mastercard

Issue 59 | June 2021

Agency

McCann Bucharest & MRM Romania

Creative Team

Chief Creative Officer Catalin Dobre International Creative Director Andres Vergara Executive Creative Directors Ruxandra Papuc, Costin Bogdan Group Creative Director Adrian Rusu Art Director Sabina Popa Executive Creative Director MRM Simona Suman Experience & Design Creative Director MRM Laura Belc Art Director MRM Alina Calfa Senior Copywriter MRM Maria Matei

Production Team

Head of Technology MRM Romania Alex Budin Head of AV Production Tiberiu Munteanu AV Producer Anca Crisan

Other Credits

Business Lead Dragos Vintu Group Account Director Alexandra Albu Jr Account Manager Lucia Rosu Head of Strategy Stefan Chiritescu Group Account Director MRM Andreea Sofrone Senior Account Manager MRM Madalina Anghel Social Media Manager MRM Madalina Ciocan Client Head of Marketing Raluca Nicolaescu Director Non-traditional Business Development Laura Stefan Business Development Manager Robert Stoica Public Policy Director Bogdan Patru

Date

May 2021

Background

All over the world, roadside vendors are often at the roadside because they simply can’t reach larger consumer markets to sell their products. An additional problem is that as the world’s economies move towards cashless, roadside vendors are increasingly vulnerable.

Mastercard wanted these vendors to be seen and respected as micro-entrepreneurs by providing them with digital solutions that would give them visibility while becoming a more important part of the economy.

Idea

If roadside vendors can’t reach the big markets, then the big markets can be brought to them.

When opening Waze for road guidance, potential customers were able to see in real time all the local producers in the area, shown by the virtual roadside or in front of their homes or in their gardens. They were given a short description and a dedicated PIN so they could make payment.

At the same time, Mastercard provided every vendor with a POS to take cashless payments.

Reinventing the marketplace in a digital space like Waze literally put these micro entrepreneurs on the map. It transformed roadside vendors into small businesses and connected them to the biggest community of drivers in the world.

Results

The Roadside Market sparked a national conversation in traditional and online media, with the country’s five largest TV stations covering the news and an impressive OTS estimated at 28 million views in the first 48 hours. In the first days since the launch, over 300 street vendors and small producers from all over Romania have reached out to Mastercard asking to join the program.

Our Thoughts

Various trade journals have declared that “creativity is in crisis” because there are fewer beautifully scripted and beautifully made TV commercials. Brands now rely on simpler, cheaper messaging which they spray out across the internet.

This initiative tells us something very different, that creativity is alive and well, certainly in Romania. It is just taking new forms. If you believe, as I do, that creativity is nothing more and nothing less than solving problems, this idea certainly solves two problems with one solution.

It is also brilliant brand communication for Mastercard. Broadcast media let the country know Mastercard is a company that is considerate and thoughtful as well as technologically at the sharp end. Now that’s what I call great advertising.

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