By Barry Janoff
June 11, 2014: Visa has put together a powerhouse team to help move the marketing needle during the FIFA World Cup.
Not athletes, sports icons or coaches, as other companies have done. But, instead Nobel Peace Laureates, who talk about how soccer unites people even as rooting for your favorite World Cup nation can put them at odds.
The Nobel Peace Laureates effort, anchored by a spot, "United In Rivalry," is part of Visa's overall platform to support its status as as FIFA's exclusive financial services partner.
The acclaimed group of Nobel Peace Laureates includes Oscar Arias (Costa Rica, 1987), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia, 2011), Sir Bob Geldof (Ireland, 2006 nominee), David Trimble (Northern Ireland, 1998) and Lech Walesa (Poland, 1983).
"We pride ourselves in being united . . . except for where fútbol is involved," says Gbowee.
"Fútbol isn't life or death," says Geldorf. "It's much more important than that." (See the full spot here.)
The push, which enhances and expands on Visa's umbrella theme, “Everywhere You Want to Be," puts an emphasis on Visa's tech, mobile, social media efforts, as well as the company's array of financial services.
Lead agency is BBDO New York.
Featured are contactless-enabled point-of-sale terminals and ATMs; social media destinations such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; a dedicated site that offers access to interactive and chat room World Cup and Visa financial services, and enables fans and visitors to chat and interact; and a site dedicated to Visa Teletransporter, a program that allows people to "transport themselves into the center of FIFA-inspired events."
A new FIFA World Cup-themed educational video, Visa Financial Football, is an online game that "helps teach the fundamentals of personal finance to students and adults.
The "United In Rivalry" ad joins other new spots in Visa's World Cup campaign that do feature noted athletes.
In "Restaurant,” former France National Team star, three-time FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFA World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane finds out what happens when he decides to watch a World Cup game and root for France against Italy on a TV situated in an Italian restaurant.
"Unlikely Fans" shows how people who are not necessarily soccer fans still have a passion for the World Cup. Among those highlighted: rugby players, salsa dancers, fishermen, actors, Olympic athletes, physicists and clowns.
In "Usain Bolt: Jamaica To Brazil," Visa helps the Olympic gold medalist and world-renowned track and field icon from Jamaica to learn Portuguese and hone his soccer skills, then use his Visa mobile apps contactless payments online and his credit card to get from the streets of Trelawny to the beaches of Rio.
In addition, Visa has joined with DreamWorks Animation and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to create print and digital media featuring characters from Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek and The Simpsons, which show "how even animated characters want to be part of the FIFA World Cup."
Visa has also enlisted filmmakers representing the 32 World Cup nations to create Samba of the World, a first-time program for Visa in which each local artist created a 90-second film, using the same format and music track, to show how their country celebrates the World Cup.
Visa has been an official FIFA partner since 2007 and earlier this year signed an eight-year deal that extends its rights through the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The campaign comes as many of FIFA's global partners have called for a review of the selection of Qatar as the host nation for the 2022 World Cup due to allegations of bribery and other illegalities. Joining Visa in openly expressing their concern were adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia and Sony. FIFA partner Emirates Airline has not as yet made any public comments on the situation.
“Our goal is to make it easy, engaging and relevant for everyone, everywhere, to connect to the FIFA World Cup and be part of the collective experience,” Charlie Scharf, CEO for Visa Inc., said regarding the new World Cup campaign. “From immersive fan engagement programs to innovative partnerships that help advance the next generation of payment technologies in Brazil, Visa is connecting more people than ever before with this momentous global event.”
According to Antonio Lucio, chief brand officer for Visa Inc., “Rivalry was a fun theme to explore as part of our “Everywhere” campaign considering that everyone – even our most peaceful world leaders – wants to be part of the World Cup celebration. With this spot, we’re celebrating the one commonality we all have, despite our backgrounds, which is an unwavering passion for football.”
Visa said that its Teletransporter program enables people to insert their personal image into a series of soccer-themed videos that can be shared via social networks. The scenarios includes a dinner with former FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFA World Cup winner, Fabio Cannavaro, juggling a football with Zidane and scoring a pivotal tournament goal.
Visa said it would unveil videos throughout the World Cup.
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