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Masterpass Grammys campaign hits sour note with viewers

Jeff Herman

The Masterpass Grammys promotion seemed like a grand play to get people to try mobile wallets, but it fell flat with viewers when the giveaway ended early. Citing “overwhelming interest,”  the payments giant pulled the plug on the ThankTheFans campaign before the awards show’s close Sunday night, leaving fans fuming.

According to the Masterpass Grammys promotion details, those who had activated the Masterpass app on their phones could click to unlock bonus items – concert tickets, gift cards, earbuds, bluetooth speakers and more – for $1 each every time a Grammy award winner thanked the fans in an acceptance speech. Nearly 9,000 bonus items, including four trips for two to the 2018 Grammys (estimated value of $15,000 per trip) could have been awarded if all nine award recipients thanked the fans.

On Twitter, current and new Masterpass holders watching the Grammys were furious when Mastercard pulled the #ThankTheFans promotion prematurely. The promotion was scheduled to run through 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

Here is just a sampling of the tweets:

Maren Morris, who won the Grammy for best country solo performance for “My Church,” thanked fans at the tail end of her acceptance speech, so that was one #ThankTheFans winner.

According to Mastercard’s Twitter page, there were three bonus gifts awarded for $1 – 3,200 $30 Fandango promo codes, 1,800 $50 Zulily gift cards and 700 $75 1-800-Flowers gift cards.

Adele was the big winner of the night with five Grammys, but several Masterpass Grammy watchers – judging by their tweets – felt more like losers than winners.

Mastercard’s Seth Eisen, senior vice president for external communications, replied via email: “Thousands of offers were unlocked and redeemed during the telecast. However, the promotion generated overwhelming interest and many #ThankTheFans participants were unable to redeem the offer. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

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