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Responses by McCann New York

Background: Nearly 32 percent of transgender and nonbinary people reported being harassed, denied services or even attacked because the name on their ID did not match their identity. With a one-minute short film, we wanted to address this pain point and set out to drive positive conversation around the subject and, ultimately, drive requests for partnerships to issue the True Name feature.

Reasoning: True Name is the first card payment feature that allows individuals to use the true name they associate with on their cards. Our goal was to set a new industry standard with a product that would recognize an underrepresented group within the LGBTQIA+ community and ensure that people’s financial products would reflect their true identity.

Challenges: All Mastercards are issued through a bank. There was a team at Mastercard devoted to finding a bank that would issue this particular card. Many banks were interested but it takes quite a while to introduce a new kind of card to the market. It was challenging to introduce an industry changer in a swift manner. The team at Mastercard championed True Name with several banks and met the challenge.

Favorite details: The idea for this industry-changing product came from the agency: a member of the LGBTQIA+ community who faced a pain point every time he wanted to use his credit card. This product is actually helping people face real, everyday problems.

Specific demands: The one thing that made things easier, which is a tough word to use on any project, was the passion and resilience from everyone involved at the agency and at Mastercard. Everyone who touched the project wanted to see it happen. Like a relay baton, it went along an obstacle-laden marathon. But every push made it easy to make it to the next stage.

Anything new: The cisgender members of our team learned about the problem that is at the root of the product’s solution—that too many people were not able to be their true selves while doing something we all take for granted: buying something with their credit card. And, in order to make True Name a reality, we learned a lot about the challenges to launch a new financial tool on a massive scale. It went beyond our usual toolkit as advertising creatives, and, therefore, forced us to learn many other skills.

mccannny.com

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