financial services

Visa Connects With Olympics Congratulations

Visa Go World/Winter Olympics


Taking a page from its 2008 playbook, Visa is updating its "Go World" campaign with ready-made pieces to congratulate the company's sponsored athletes when they win a medal.

"We know through research that the way consumers connect to the games is through the athletes and their stories," Jennifer Bazante, head of global brand marketing for Visa, tells Marketing Daily. "It helps extend the window of the breakthrough moment for the athlete."

As a major sponsor of the games, Visa has already aired three commercials congratulating sponsor athletes. One commercial, celebrating downhill skier Julia Mancuso, animates a drawing the athlete made when she was a little girl depicting her winning medals at the Olympics. "Well, she doesn't have to draw her own posters anymore," says a voiceover from Morgan Freeman, as the video cuts to Mancuso celebrating her triumphant run. (Mancuso won silver in the downhill and super combined events.)



"It helps extend the story line a bit more," Bazante says. "It [also] helps keep the campaign fresh and relevant."

To create the spots, Visa is working closely with Olympics broadcaster NBC to capture moments from the athletes' races. Those moments are dropped into commercials prepared before the games began, Bazante says. The company has then contracted with NBC to run the ads directly after the athlete has been determined as a medalist. In addition to Mancuso's commercial, Visa has already run spots congratulating snowboard cross gold medalist Seth Wescott and Nordic combined silver medalist Johnny Spillane.

Visa first ran a commercial congratulating one of its sponsor athletes in 2008, when Michael Phelps won his eight gold medals during the Beijing games. The spot worked so well with consumers that Visa opted to extend the idea during this year's Olympic games, Bazante says.

"We thought it was interesting to see the performance of these spots in terms of the performance of the campaign," Bazante says. "As people are exposed to multiple spots, the more spots there are [in the pool], the better the performance for the entire campaign."

2 comments about "Visa Connects With Olympics Congratulations ".
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  1. Gisela Mckay from pixcode, February 20, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.

    I saw this article after having tweeted the following: Wondering why Visa has Morgan Freeman congratulate Canada on winning gold, instead of, say, Gordon Pinsent.

    The three of us watching were all confused by it. ("Whose voice is that? Is that Morgan Freeman?") I'm going to bet that we're not the only people in this country (clearly not yours) asking that.

    So it was close - but not quite there as a global strategy. Just FYI.

  2. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, February 22, 2010 at 10:07 a.m.

    Bloody brilliant because it is so fresh and so relevant. Morgan Freeman is perfect.
    Importantly, especially for heavy Olympic's viewers, this campaign relieves the monotony of seeing the same commecial over and over again (because of the Olympic spot load sponsorship requirement) from other sponsors. Do media planners/buyers look at the tuning frequency distributions of this type of programming any more (versus simple weekly reach) based on night by night as well as weekly and notably for heavy versus light viewers of the program?! The Visa team obviously did as well as P&G (Thanks Mom!) and realized the very high potential exposure levels within an evening and night over night resulting in either wear-out or channel switching. Thanks to both companies it is actually entertaining and fun watchning the commercials.

    Tony Jarvis - British Olympian

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