Wednesday, March 11, 2009

strictly commercial

For those of you who follow the evolution of some of the largest brands on the block, you may already be familiar with the new "go" campaign from Visa, which has unveiled their new global tagline: More People Go With Visa. The spots from TBWA are hopeful and fun, filled with warm fuzzies and all the things that make you want to use your Visa Check Card while in the bowels of a recession.

My favorite from this campaign is the European spot, which features Bill Shannon and the song "Come On Train". I saw Bill perform at Pop!Tech in 2007 - you can watch the Pop!Cast here. He's a pretty inspiring guy.

I also enjoyed the two US spots, mostly because they featured two of my all-time favorite bands (click the bands for their respective spots): The Moody Blues and Smashing Pumpkins. And while we're looking at commercialized underwater worlds of wonder, check out the new Nordpol spot for IKEA.

As reported by AdWeek's columnist Barbara Lippert on the new tagline replacing "Life takes Visa.":
"I can see that going is more forward-moving than taking, which you kind of have to sit back and do. But as a phrase, it doesn't roll off the tongue. It seems like it's been translated from another language, the awkward result of too many focus groups...For the record, I still don't get why companies need these advertising "manifestos." Consumers...respond to messages that resonate. 'Let's Go' is, however, armed with a secret weapon: Morgan Freeman, who I am naming the official voice of God in this age of mild Depression. His voice is so distinctive, his line readings so nuanced, that the sound just breaks through and stops time -- a little aural stimulus package."

It seems in these hard times that more companies are taking the linguistic cues of late. Hope, change, "go" - our brands are tapping into the emo-political lexicon that has already changed the behaviors of millions of US consumers. With the uphill battle our brands face today, they're wise to position themselves as a vehicle for transformation.

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