Visa’s Sochi Tumblr Hub, Paid Search & Flying Ski Jump TVC

Visa is using its IOC TOP partner rights at the Winter Olympics to introduce its new ‘Everywhere You Want To Be’ global positioning with a flagship ‘Flying’ commercial.


This new approach is effectively a tweaked update of the payments giant’s former ‘It’s Everywhere You Want To Be’ strapline that was used in the US between 1986 and 2008 (when it was replaced by ‘More people go with Visa’).


A core TV spot starring US Olympic ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson and legendary aviator Amelia Earhart leads the campaign, drawing on the parallels of flight between the two.


The creative celebrates Hendrickson along with the Olympic debut of Women’s Ski Jumping (after a long battle with organisers) with the words of a great woman who loved to fly.



The campaign’s spearhead commercial, created by agency BBDO NY, features Hendrickson saying ‘This year, women’s ski jumping is an Olympic event. Now, women get a chance to fly. I’m Sarah Hendrickson, and this is my everywhere.’


While the spot, narrated by long-time Visa voiceover man Morgan Freeman, began in the US and is rolling out globally.


In addition to the TV work, the campaign includes print, outdoor, digital and social media (including some interesting and quirky Vine videos).


Visa is one of the few Olympic sponsors to use Tumblr as its Olympic content hub with video and other content assets and from its Tumblr account Visa has links to its entire range of social channels (including Facebook where it has over 12 million fans).


Visa, like Kellogg’s, AT&T and McDonalds, is buying ads on the search engines to promote their Olympics rights and to drive visitors to its Tumblr account, with ads appearing on both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network.




The new campaign marks the first new work from BBDO since it regained the Visa account in 2012 (a client it lost in 2005) and it aims to reflect its new strategy to become the best way for people to pay everywhere, to communicate brand-relevant emotional rewards and portray Visa as the best way to pay and be paid.


Visa, which has been an Olympic sponsor since 1986 and spends more than $500m annually on global advertising, is well aware of the challenges associated with Sochi 2014 – ranging from security issues to discrimination – and has planned its strategy accordingly.


‘Every Olympic Games brings with it its own set of challenges. It’s still a great global platform,’ says Visa Chief Brand Officer Antonio Lucio.


‘We [Visa] support the highest ideals of the Olympic movement, which include inclusion. We have a strong anti-discrimination policy, and we will make sure we will have all sorts of guarantees our guests and employees are well taken care of,’ says Lucio.


‘We expect the Olympic Games to be another opportunity to associate ourselves with the highest values of human achievement,’ he adds. ‘But we will be ready’ for contingencies like demonstrations against Russia’s ban on gay ‘propaganda.’


Visa, like most of its fellow sponsors such as AT&T, Samsung, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and P&G, have all prepared their own marketing ‘war rooms’ to engage consumers and tweal activation during the games through social media led channels.


Visa doesn’t have a single, physical ‘war room’, but rather a mix of staff on the ground in Sochi and real time teams spanning the brand itself, as well as its set of agencies (including BBDO, Atmosphere Proximity, Omnicom’s OMD, MRY and FleishmanHillard) who will make as-live calls about how to respond to Olympic events, wins, records, medals and emotional moments.




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