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How ROSE Helped Mastercard Help Shoppers Stand Up to Cancer

Mastercard and SU2C have a great campaign. ROSE helped bring it home.


Mastercard recently partnered with Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C). The partnership is impactful, but it lacked the kind of personally moving component necessary to really help individuals understand what they were doing. To add that special something, they reached out to ROSE.

Standing Up to Cancer

From May 1 through July 15, Mastercard will donate one cent for every transaction to SU2C – an organization that helps to fund groundbreaking cancer research. That may not sound like a lot of money, but keep in mind that there are some 250 million Mastercards in the US alone, with many of those cards being used multiple times each day.

“Mastercard remains committed to our long-standing partnership with Stand Up To Cancer, and we’re giving our cardholders a simple way to join us on our mission,” said Mastercard North America EVP of Marketing and Communications, Rustom Dastoor, in a release describing the initiative.

If this sounds familiar, the campaign has been publicized through a series of commercials featuring Sterling K. Brown, best known for his multiple-year portrayal of Randall Pearson on This Is Us. In the commercials, Brown is a barista who explains the promotion to coffee shop patrons before giving them a latte decorated with their own faces.

“Having personally dealt with cancer in my own family, I know how important it is to support this cause and create ways for people to give back that make an impact,” Brown said in a release describing the commercial. “The fact that Mastercard is making it so easy to donate through everyday dining and groceries is incredibly special.”

In the commercial, the customers’ faces appearing on the latte is amusing, but it also shows that they are personally involved in the project. The transaction isn’t just a transaction, it’s a special interaction that they’re a part of. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could do that, not just the people in the commercial?

That’s where ROSE comes in.

How ROSE Made it Personal

ROSE is a digital experience company, but they shouldn’t need an introduction for regular readers of ARPost. Over the years, we’ve covered their branded engagements with companies like KHAITE and Patrón. We’ve also covered the company’s engagements for civic causes like experiences to visualize campaign spending, or help us understand Black history milestones.

For an AR activation to accompany the Mastercard and SU2C, ROSE went back to the commercial. Snapchat users were presented with a digital Mastercard at a virtual Point-of-Sale system in a virtual cafe.

ROSE AR filter - Mastercard and Stand Up to Cancer

Brown appeared behind the counter and explained the promotion – personally, it appeared, to the user. Then, just like in the commercial, a (virtual) latte appeared on the coffee shop counter, complete with foam art of the user’s face. All users had to do was use their phone’s camera to line their face up with a template on their phone screen for a sharable made-for-TV moment.

Go On. Get Your Card Out

So, what has the impact been like? We don’t have all of the numbers in yet because the campaign is still running for another two weeks. However, we do know that, in the period that the ROSE filter was available, from June 24 until June 30, it was used more than 10 million times. Further, Mastercard has pledged up to $5M for the campaign.

So, if you needed another reason to use your Mastercard, this is the moment.

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Jon Jaehnig
the authorJon Jaehnig
Jon Jaehnig is a freelance journalist with special interest in emerging technologies. Jon has a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you have a story suggestion for Jon, you may contact him here.