Charge it!

The VP marketing position at MasterCard Canada was vacant for a year while execs at the credit card company restructured and figured out what would be the best marketing strategy for the brand moving forward. The result was a new and expanded title - VP Canada brand building - and the recent hire of Tammy Scott to fill it.

The VP marketing position at MasterCard Canada was vacant for a year while execs at the credit card company restructured and figured out what would be the best marketing strategy for the brand moving forward. The result was a new and expanded title – VP Canada brand building – and the recent hire of Tammy Scott to fill it.

Scott joins four other high-profile hires, including Allyson Kinsley as VP strategic business development; Scott Lapstra, VP business development; Lilian Tomovich, VP customer marketing, all already in residence, and Jody Barnett, brand marketing manager, who starts on July 18.

The new hires, says Scott, come during a time of ‘extreme growth’ at the credit card brand.

Also upcoming are new products to be launched in the fall, which include the PayPass, a small-purchase product card similar to Dexit that’s recently been launched in the U.S. and already has McDonald’s signing up to install units in its restaurants and drive-thrus.

But perhaps the most interesting change is that Scott says there will be an increased focus in her new role on winning over the Quebec market. That means customized French-Canadian ads – not voiceovers of English spots as have been used in the past. It is a market that has been dominated by Visa, which has a partnership with one of the province’s largest financial institutions, Desjardins.

While the first Quebec-specific ad, created by Montreal-based Marketel and using the brand’s global tagline, ‘Priceless,’ launched at the end of last year, there will be more to come with Scott, who lived in the province for 24 years and is fully bilingual, in charge.

The English-Canadian spots will continue to be created by the New York office of McCann Erickson Worldwide, but Scott says the strength of the ‘Priceless’ campaign is that each country is able ‘to give a local voice’ to their ads.

Sponsorships also figure largely in the coming year, she says, with continued support of the NHL, CHL and Bell Canadian Open to name a few. ‘We’re definitely looking at more sponsorships as one possibility for Quebec,’ she adds, with a focus on opportunities that ‘capture the hearts and minds of the Quebec population.’

Before joining MasterCard, Scott spent a year at Rethink, a Toronto-based consulting firm. Prior to that she was director, advertising and marketing and strategic account director at AGF Funds. During her six years there, she was central to getting the brand’s ‘What do you love to do? Why aren’t you doing it?’ series of spots to air. One picked up bronze at Cannes in 2004.