"Visa is the most recognized, most accepted and most utilized payment brand in the world -- not just because of where you can pay, but because of what you can do with Visa," said Susanne D. Lyons, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Visa USA. "'Life Takes Visa' reinforces our brand promise to deliver innovative products and services that can be used anytime, anywhere and that empower Visa cardholders to experience life and business their way and on their terms."
"Life Takes Visa" debuts this week, with television, print, online and out-of-home executions appearing nationwide. The first television advertisements will premier on February 10 during NBC's broadcast of the Opening Ceremony of the XX Olympic Winter Games, where Visa will enjoy category exclusivity for 17 days. The initial 60-second, 30-second and 15-second brand spots will lay the foundation for the campaign, celebrating active participation in life and highlighting both expected and unexpected demonstrations of what it takes to experience it to the fullest -- from confidence to determination to tradition to joy. The 60-second spot "Life Takes" brings viewers through a series of vignettes ranging from everyday moments to moments of a lifetime, infusing the distinctive Visa brand personality attributes of humanity and wit to demonstrate that no matter what it takes to live, "Life Takes Visa."
Beginning February 13, six Olympic-themed television ads will be introduced during broadcast coverage of the Games. Featuring actual competition and training footage of Visa Gold Medal Athletes Emily Cook, Michelle Kwan, Bode Miller and Johnny Spillane, the ads pay tribute to the courage and dedication it takes to compete on a worldwide stage. The 15-second spot "Poetry" shows Michelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, completing a near-perfect program while "Grace" features the daredevil racing style that has become the trademark of World Cup Champion Bode Miller. Olympic-themed print and outdoor executions will also appear nationally throughout the Games.
Following the Olympic Games, Visa will introduce additional television commercials featuring select products and services during prime-time television programming on all major networks.
In the first three months of the campaign, Visa expects to generate more than 4 billion consumer impressions through national broadcast, magazines and newspapers, high-traffic Web sites, public transit media and billboards. In addition to national exposure, the campaign will be highlighted through outdoor ads in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., including high-profile media buys and unique executions. In the months to come, Visa will expand the multimedia campaign to all elements of its marketing, focusing on delivering fully integrated programs that address multiple stakeholder audiences.
"'Life Takes Visa' will drive growth for Visa and our members by encouraging cardholders and merchants to explore and embrace the many ways, reasons and places to pay with Visa while strengthening the emotional connection that cardholders have with our brand," said Lyons. "The 'Life Takes Visa' platform, combined with our updated brand mark and new card design, is flexible enough to speak to all aspects of our business -- debit, prepaid, commercial, contactless, mobile payment -- and those products and services we haven't even dreamed about. It works for consumers and small business audiences alike."
Continued Business Evolution
The new brand campaign is the latest in a series of milestones marking Visa's evolution from a credit card company to the leader in electronic payments, offering credit, debit, prepaid and commercial products. In the past 10 years alone, Visa has grown from being accepted at 3 million merchant locations to being accepted at more than 6 million locations, and annual volume has more than tripled from $263 billion in volume to more than $1.1 trillion in 2005. To respond to this growth, Visa has recently introduced a new governance structure; a new brand architecture, including a new logo and a new card design; opened a new state-of-the-art data center; and entered into the next generation of payment technology through the market launch of contactless cards and the pilot of mobile payment via hand-held devices.
"The introduction of this new positioning is the natural progression of our brand and is in lock step with the evolution of our business," said Lyons. "Thirty years ago, Visa was a credit card company and was accepted at only select locations. Today, Visa is the most accepted payment brand in the world, offering a broad range of products and services. 'Life Takes Visa' builds on the heritage and equity of our past while providing us with the flexibility to support our expanding business today and in the future."
TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles, which helped Visa develop "Life Takes Visa," will serve as Visa's new agency partner on the campaign.
To view Visa's new brand campaign, visit www.visa.com/advertising.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system -- members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,420 member financial institutions, more than 488 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.
Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources -- anytime, anywhere, anyway.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Visuals from the new campaign, including stills of the television ads and copies of the print and outdoor ads, can be downloaded from www.visa.com/advertising.