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Visa launches new card ad campaign that reflects the times.

While last year's Life Takes Visa ad campaign depicted Visa credit card uses for trips to the Olympics or other exotic travel, using Visa card today is more likely to mean a debit card to take a child to a local aquarium, according to the No. 1 card brand's most recent advertising effort.

"The 'More People Go With Visa' campaign is both optimistic yet grounded in the reality that people are seeking to live both in the moment and within their means," Visa said when announcing the new campaign. "It recognizes that, even in uncertain times, people want to move forward and highlights that Visa helps them do so by offering a range of payment products, by empowering financial literacy and by providing money management tools."

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Essentially, Visa is the card brand not only in good times, but in poor times as well will be the message of the campaign.

In its emphasis as the card for hard times as well as easy, the Visa commercials will elevate its emphasis on the debit card. Over the last three years, Visa debit cards have increased their share of overall consumer spending, winning ground from both cash and checks but also somewhat from credit cards, especially lately.

Visa's previous campaign, called Life Takes Visa, also emphasized the benefits of debit cards over cash and checks, stressing how smoothly transactions go with debit cards. The Go With Visa campaign picks up that message and highlights it even more.

"Visa gives people the ability to take action-the actions that are most important to them," said Antonio Lucio, chief marketing officer of Visa Inc. The "campaign is an invitation to make the most out of life every day, a powerful message. It's not about spending more; it's about using Visa for those things that are important to you every day."

By focusing on encouraging Visa usage over cash and checks, the campaign helps grow the payments business of Visa's financial institution issuers, the brand said.

At the same time, the campaign will help issuers focus their marketing efforts on differentiating their Visa products from those of competitors while strengthening their customer relationships. Visa said the campaign also supports businesses that take Visa by promoting the convenience of using electronic payments in key merchant categories like restaurants and online music, among others.

"Underpinning the campaign is a simple and universal assertion that is fundamental to Visa's view of the world and how we operate as a company," added Lucio. "Simply put, this campaign is an invitation that reflects Visa's belief that our products are for anyone who wants to go. And when they go, Visa offers them a better way to go, confidently, conveniently, safely and responsibly."

This will be the first campaign that Visa will launch worldwide.

The "More People Go With Visa" platform is relevant across all geographic regions and demographics, and will be used to promote the vast product choices that Visa offers, as well as the Visa brand itself, Visa said, calling the campaign "well suited for traditional and new media," and will dovetail Visa's global sponsorship and merchant marketing programs.

In the United States, two national television spots--"Let's Go" and "Aquarium"-premiered March 4 during "American Idol" on Fox. The "Let's Go," commercial portrayed what Visa called "an optimistic view of life that focuses on the possibilities of a new day" and positioned Visa as the brand to help consumers achieve their dreams and ambitions, Visa said.

"The spot reminds cardholders that life is not about collecting possessions, but more importantly, about collecting experiences," Visa added.

--dmorrison@cutimes.com
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Author:Morrison, David
Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Mar 18, 2009
Words:601
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