Softcard picks Muppet mascot for online advertising campaign

Softcard's Tappy puppet
MUPPETS: Tappy was created for Softcard by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop

US carrier mobile payments venture Softcard has unveiled Tappy, a mascot designed by the company behind The Muppets that will be used initially in an online advertising blitz reported to be valued at US$1.5m.

“In the coming weeks, you’ll see a series of videos, photos and fun content featuring Tappy, a payment terminal mascot we’ve brought to life. Whether he’s taking the big stage at McDonald’s, hanging with Jared at Subway, or wrestling with Rowdy Roddy Piper, Tappy brings lovable humor to his job,” says Cie Nicholson, Softcard’s senior vice president of marketing.

Softcard video ads showing Tappy, which was created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, can be seen below:

“Despite how often consumers use point-of-sale payment terminals, our research indicates consumers tend to overlook the hardware. Swiping is an ingrained behaviour — however, mobile payments changes that experience, replacing a swipe with a tap. The challenge, of course, is that acceptance is not yet ubiquitous. We need people to look for the contactless EMV symbol to know where to pay.”

“This new campaign was designed for social consumption and sharing. We’re reaching out to the consumers most likely to use mobile payments. As a result, the campaign will live in digital channels, specifically social, mobile and video. Our customers live phone-first lives and we need to reach them on the platform where they’re consuming information,” Nicholson adds.

“Choosing a puppet to bring Tappy to life allows us to quickly turn out fresh content. For example, in the middle of a recent brainstorming session, we popped over to our creative agency’s in-house studio. In ten minutes, we shot a short clip highlighting taxi acceptance, and after some light editing, it was ready to go.

“In a marketing world dominated by high-tech special effects and celeb partnerships, this is a simple approach — and we believe it’s spot on given our audience and need to turn out fresh, timely and topical content.”

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions