Mastercard SA was looking for a new, inbound Cross Border Travel strategy with a focus on the Cape. In a first-of-its-kind partnership, we developed a multi-channel platform that would drive Mastercard’s objectives and support the Cape wine tourism covid recovery plan.

The partnership with VINPRO  (now SA Wine NPC) incorporated the 3 key wine routes - Constantia, Franschoek, Stellenbosch, including 245 wine estates with 642 transaction points.

We Prefer Mastercard

Mastercard was present at every touchpoint. Along with more than 180 bespoke offers  across accommodation, culinary, spa and various experiences hosted on Mastercard’s Priceless platform, we also delivered an exclusive CVP for Mastercard cardholders. With ATL support in key tourism corridors and at home, the partnership not only increased share of wallet but also doubled tasting room ticket values.

The Power of a Picture

Win-Win... Win

The sponsorship of the Cape Wine Auction Trust underscored that doing well and doing good go hand in hand. 

Supporting community education initiatives from cradle to career not only contributed to:

  • 8000 learners assisted with digital learning programs, 23 schools & after school centres
  • 73 084 hours digital learning YTD
  • 36 261 children receives meals each school day
  • 4,100,000 meals served to date
  • 22 320 hours of counselling provided to 3 739 children
  • Training 303 graduates in the wine sector of which over 90% are employed and 70% are women
  • Funding 38 partner organisations in 30 regions in the winelands 

 but also delivered significantly against Mastercard’s Cause Marketing initiatives.

An iconic destination, an iconic brand, an iconic entertainer… Epic.

Priceless experiences for Mastercard cardholders are a cornerstone of the business strategy. To whet the appetite for post-Covid travel to the Cape – and deliver some joy – we developed an exclusive digital experience that could be booked by Mastercard cardholders when they were ready to travel once more.

The start of something Priceless | And along the way, a 14:1 ROI to boot!

When investigating the opportunities to differentiate Mastercard’s RWC 2019 campaign in South Africa, an interesting data point came to light: women make up more than 50% of rugby fans.

The client/agency team took a calculated risk:

With World Rugby developing a focused approach to the women’s game and with women’s grassroots rugby still in its infancy in South Africa, creating an authentic moment of impact when “grassroots literally meets greatness” was a chance worth taking.

The content in Women’s Month. The response to 2019 Priceless Surprise at the Pirates Women’s Rugby Club, (press play – you won’t regret it!) took everyone involved by surprise. Game on!

The results: 2,2 million views during Women’s monthand more importantly, the local impact of changing perceptions of the team within their club and womens rugby amongst the greater community was the springboard for what came next: 4 years of building from the ground up, touching lives and contributing the growth of South African women’s rugby.

2019: The building blocks of success

Following on from the Women’s Day success Mastercard was able to develop an authentic brand story arc by enabling the Pirates Women’s rugby team to compete in the HSBC Dubai Rugby 7s Club Invitational, adding to another round of firsts.

Looking back, looking forward.  
Empowerment & Inclusion
Empowering Women

2020: Staying ahead of the game

To align with Mastercard’s business pillars of keeping women in mind and women involved, focusing on consumer passions and with the need to be “budget light”, we developed a 1st of its kind sponsorship of women’s grassroots rugby with the Golden Lions Rugby Union and Pirates Rugby Club, Johannesburg, South Africa, creating a new sponsorship space to own, develop and maximise ROI.

3 days before launch the Covid lockdown was implemented, creating the need for different solutions to support the women and girls isolating at home who would need to be conditioned, fit and ready for play. Solution: The first online coaching series developed specifically for women and girls, by women.

Mastercard’s Women’s Rugby Masterclass Series: Core Skills

A 13-part series in available online association with the GLRU for coaches and players.

Developed by Chanel Alberts, esteemed coach of the Golden Lions and Pirates women’s teams, together with contributing specialists, including Mastercard Global Ambassador, Bryan Habana.

1134 views all videos combined.


Celebrating Women’s Month:

Keep telling the story, changing hearts and minds.

- 4,4 million views
- VTR 22%

Another Priceless Surprise. Another global 1st.

2021: Kickoff!

ELEVATE: Renaming the amateur women’s club league to the Mastercard Pirates Women’s Grand Challenge together with a bespoke new Trophy; naming rights of the Mastercard Golden Lions Women (Senior team), significant brand presence

EMPOWER: Player kit – bespoke, fit-for-purpose shorts and match tops developed for comfort, ease of movement and to feel good with a number of clubs getting branded kit for the first time; branded practise & training equipmentprovided to all participating clubs to improve the levels of play. Additionally we created social media training materials and workshops for local clubs to start growing their social media presence to attract players and start creating self-sustaining fundraising campaigns.

EXPAND: leveraging the GLRU network to extend Mastercard’s acceptance footprint of scan to pay transactions

A game-changer: The power of national TV

One of the biggest challenges women’s rugby faced was the lack of national TV exposure. Not even the Springbok women’s matches were being broadcast.

Egg negotiated a first of its kind opportunity with the South Africa Broadcasting Corp (SABC) to sponsor a weekly 15 minute TV programme focused on the GLRU women’s grassroots rugby programme.

The show featured match highlights, player profiles and leader boards. it included branded sponsorship elements, consumer competitions, product placement and consumer education and provided a platform for client partners to reach the growing audience.

Impressive results surprised everyone and highlighted a growing interest in women’s rugby.

2022 & 2023: Consistency delivered real change

Mastercard’s ongoing support of the GLRU meant they were able to make much-needed systemic changes: women were included in the management and coaching structures, the sponsorship was extended to include the U16 and U18 girls teams and the development of a pilot for junior girls wanting to play.

From a brand perspective, Mastercard’s presence was implemented at Emirates airlines park in key spaces, including the game day vendor team, adding real value to the sponsorship ROI.

“A team of women who unite for a larger goal can achieve the impossible again and again.” – Abby Wambach (Wolfpack).

  1. Mastercard Golden Lions Women’s Senior Team:
The Mastercard Golden Lions Women were crowned Champions of the 2021 SARU 1st Division Women’s League and promoted to the Premiere Division for 2022 / 2023. Bravo!

2. Women’s Rugby Roundup:

An historic 16 week show on SABC2 dedicated to women’s grassroots rugby providing a weekly platform to promote the women’s game, showcase the exciting rugby played and introduce the extraordinary women and girls playing the game to new fans, changing perception, hearts and minds about the fastest growing sport in the world.

WRR Episode 1

WRR Episode 16

3. Mastercard Women’s Pirates Grand Challenge:

Club Tournament Final:

We met the Pirates Women’s Rugby Team in 2019 during a Mastercard Priceless Surprise. And so began our journey together.

Looking back, looking forward.  

Empowerment & Inclusion

Empowering Women

Women’s Rugby Masterclass Series: Core Skills:

13 part coaching masterclass specifically created for women and girls.

Episode 6: Acceleration, Deceleration & Speed with special guest Bryan Habana.

A Surprise Announcement: Two grassroots rugby trailblazers revealed as global brand ambassadors.

Some of us may give our used tea bags a second life by squeezing an extra steep out of them, but Ruby Silvious takes things a step further by using the thin paper as a canvas for miniature paintings. Silvious mirrors the simple ritual of tea drinking in quiet paintings that show slices of everyday life, like laundry drying and cats looking out the window.

The artist began her initial year-long series of paintings in January 2015. Since then, Silvious has compiled that year into a book, and traveled to Japan and southern France for month-long sessions of tea drinking and painting. Her work is included in a group show “Deemed a Canvas” at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, which opens on January 26th. You can see more of Silvious’ work on her website and Instagram.

Access the original article here.

Carlo Ratti Associati has developed an intelligent writing robot that can draw and erase images on any vertical surface, from whiteboards to glass or plaster, transforming it into a screen where drawings, messages or feeds can be projected. Scribit is the result of a long investigation of writing machines developed at CRA, including drone graffiti ‘artists’ and the façade of the future food district at Milan’s World Expo 2015.

Do we really want to add more screens to our lives?’ says Carlo Ratti, ‘Scribit offers up an alternative: a robotic system that draws on any kind of vertical surface, following a primordial act performed by humanity since our first cave graffiti.” With in-built engines, Scribit can be installed in less than five minutes and can safely draw, cancel and re-draw new images infinitely, offering the possibility of printing a new drawing on your wall every day.

Scribit’s interactive software allows for real-time reproduction of any kind of data while users can use material from online sources since it is always connected to the web. With a circular, aluminum shape, the drawing robot comes with four markers of different colors at its center and will premiere during this year’s Salone del Mobile in the framework CRA’s ‘Living Nature’ pavilion. A subsequent crowd funding campaign will launch on 5 June 2018.

All renderings by Gary di Silvio and Giacomo Mangia.

Access original article here.

French graphic designers Julien Sens and Nicolas Damiens have transformed the handwriting of musicians David Bowie, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg into free-to-use typefaces.

The New York-based designers spent a month creating the five typefaces, which they developed using "original handwritten letters and notes" scribed by the musicians.

Called Songwriter Fonts, the typeface features letters, numbers and symbols, which are intended to inspire songwriters through writing in the handwriting of their favourite musician.

"We developed the songwriter fonts with the idea that it could help a songwriter's imagination to develop by writing in the handwriting on legendary musicians – it's like playing on John Lennon's piano or Kurt Cobain's guitar," said Sens and Damiens.

"It doesn't mean that you would be able to play like them, but it will probably put you in a special mood and you will probably play in a different way thinking about them," they continued.

The designers began by researching handwritten documents, including Kurt Cobain's suicide letter, on websites and public libraries to collect examples of the various glyphs.

"The first thing was to find as many handwritten documents as we can to find the whole alphabet for each of them. It was a time-consuming work but we're so grateful to have finally found the missing letters after hours of investigation," they said.

Each symbol was then reproduced digitally using a font software. "The most difficult ones to work on were Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg, because it took time to shape every letter so that they can link to each other," explained the designers.

The designers plan to expand the typeface series, which available for free on their website, to include other musicians, including The Notorious B.I.G. and Janis Joplin.

Previously, BuzzFeed designer Mark Davis made a typeface version of US president Donald Trump's handwriting, which recreates his distinctive handwritten style, from the strangely angular Js to the dramatically curved Bs, Ds and Gs. 

Access original article here.

Photographer Mandy Barker creates deceptively eye-catching images to document the pandemic of plastic debris in the world’s waterways. Barker, who is based in Leeds, UK, works closely with scientists to collect trash from our oceans and beaches on the edges of nearly every continent. One research expedition covered the debris field (stretching to Hawaii) that resulted from Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake; she has also explored the Inner Hebrides in Scotland with Greenpeace.

Barker manipulates her findings in Photoshop, mimicking the manner in which ocean water holds these objects in suspension. Swirls of colors and patterns draw in the viewer’s eye, only to realize that these visually appealing compositions consist of garbage that animals have attempted to chew, plastic pellets, tangles of fishing line, and water-logged soccer balls. The artist describes her work in a statement on her website:

The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. The research process is a vital part of my development as the images I make are based on scientific fact which is essential to the integrity of my work.

Barker is currently a recipient of a 2018 National Geographic Society grant. Her work is on display through April 22nd at Mexico City’s Museum of Modern Art, at Photo London Art Fair in May 2018, at the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg in June, 2018, and at BredaPhoto in The Netherlands in September 2018. The artist’s book, Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals, was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by Smithsonian. You can see more of Barker’s photographs on her website.

SOUP – Refused © Mandy Barker. Ingredients: plastic oceanic debris affected by chewing and attempted ingestion by animals. Includes a toothpaste tube. Additives: teeth from goats.
EVERY… snowflake is different (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients: white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.
Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Lighter © Mandy Barker. Discarded cigarette lighters make reference to our single-use throw away society. The panda, a national emblem of China represents endangered species and faces away from the group symbolizing mother nature turning its back on man’s inability to take ownership of its waste.
Hong Kong Soup: 1826 – Spilt © Mandy Barker. 150 tonnes of pre-production plastic pellets (nurdles), spilt from a cargo container during Typhoon Vincente on 23rd July 2012, adds to Hong Kong’s waste issues in its seas and on its beaches.
PENALTY – Europe © Mandy Barker. 633 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) recovered from 23 countries and islands within Europe, from 104 different beaches, and by 62 members of the public, in just 4 months.
PENALTY – The World © Mandy Barker. 769 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) collected from 41 countries and islands around the world, from 144 different beaches and by 89 members of the public in just 4 months.
PENALTY – 24 Footballs © Mandy Barker.
SHOAL – 30.41N, 157.51E © Mandy Barker. Included in trawl: child’s ball and Japanese character – fridge magnet found on the tsunami shoreline. Fishing buoy found in trawl sample, North Pacific Ocean.
SHOAL 33.15N, 151.15E © Mandy Barker. Included in trawl: tatami mat from the floor of a Japanese home, fishing related plastics, buoys, nylon rope, buckets, fish trays, polystyrene floats, shampoo bottle, caps, balloon & holder, petrol container.

Access original article here.

A huge number of people are currently living in deplacement, with the estimated number now at 65 million people and the majority of refugees hosted by developing countries. Humanitarian aid is needed more than at any other time in human history, and with refugees and asylum seekers experiencing longer stays in refugee camps there is a huge need for solutions. Instead of seeing this as an insurmountable problem, Mastercard, the global financial payments company, has used its digital technology to create an innovative solution, paving the way for others to achieve social impact.

Mastercard has been partnering with organisations around the world to use technology to create public financial and retail infrastructure in communities that need it most.

To empower refugees and the local economies which support them.

Mastercard has created an offline payment platform and prepaid cards, as well as digital financial identification and point-of-sale systems for local merchants. "We've essentially created a digital version of the paper voucher" states Tara Nathan, Mastercard's Executive Vice President of Public-Private Partnerships.

Mastercard is using innovative digital solutions and financial technology to create real life solutions to a growing global crisis. They are working with refugees and the communities which support them to create opportunity and empower those who need it most.

Before the creation of Mastercard’s network, Nathan says "we would give grants, send a check, and that's how we engaged. But we began to hear more ideas about creating mobile apps or payment technologies – and it piqued our interest. It became obvious that we could help design the right solution for the context and desired outcome."

Mastercard’s focus on what they already know and systems they already have in place has helped to create lasting impact, with effective communication between users and innovators. Nathan states that "instead of episodic engagement, we need to focus on creating lasting change through infrastructure and sustainable platforms. If we believe we're going to have scalable, sustainable impact on the public sector, the key is leveraging private sector technologies and capabilities."


Mastercard’s initiatives haven’t just helped displaced people around the world today, but helped to develop data and insights which could transform the future of humanitarian aid programmes and provide more transparency.

"Digital infrastructure helps support local merchants while providing refugees with the dignity of choice," Nathan says. "They can choose the food they want, the clothing they want, and can receive the medical care they need. It gives greater purchasing power to refugees while simulating the local market in a way that is fully transparent with visible understanding of spending," Nathan states.

Mastercard’s partnership with the World Food Programme in developing a digital food programme has added over $20 million to the economies of Lebanon and Jordan, with the 250 merchants involved seeing a 6-12% increase in revenue.

Mastercard is leading the way for other organizations to do the same. "Large institutions can influence global change, but the key is having a long-term commitment and leveraging your core competencies. It cannot be episodic and cannot be philanthropic only," says Nathan. "You need to ask yourself and your team – what do we do better than anyone else? For us, it's been building ecosystems and leveraging data."

Nathan believes the future of corporate social innovation is in collaborations and partnerships. "I would love to see a network of private sector companies and the development and emergence of private collaboration – private-private cooperation. We need companies coming together in a commercially sustainable manner to effect key development and humanitarian outcomes”.

While Mastercard’s innovations and partnerships have produced real, lasting change their ambitions don’t stop there. By 2020 Mastercard aims to give 500 million people access to financial services. 

8 women. 17,5 million views. 81,42% VTR

Be inspired by their stories.

August is Women’s Month. These short films produced for Mastercard celebrate and honour the beauty, strength and diversity of South African women. They won Mastercard an X Bronze award and the exceptional VTR is one of the highest recorded in South Africa.



The “She Is” concept of Fearless, Limitless, Selfless, Priceless was ideated by Publicis Middle East and the implemented in its entirety in South Africa by Egg.

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