Visa’s long-running brand line is “Everywhere you want to be,” and for football fans, the place they’d most like to be right about now is in Brazil at the FIFA World Cup. So, for its sponsorship of the beautiful game’s biggest contest, Visa has created a comprehensive campaign, which includes television, print, digital, social media and in-stadium activations, that aims to unify a global audience around all things World Cup.
The campaign is anchored by a spot featuring ardent fans engaging in one of the most visceral pleasures of sport: trash talk. Only this is the most high brow and measured trash talk you’ll likely encounter. Bringing to life the adage “sport is a continuation of war by other means,” “United in Rivalry” features Nobel Peace Prize Laureates stumping for their home team. Polish Laureate Lech Walesa talks about kicking butt against his team’s rivals; Nigerian Laureate Leymah Gbowee admits she broke her bed while celebrating a home-side win; and Costa Rican Laureate Oscar Arias finds glee in crushing a rival. “There’s peace. And then there’s football,” goes the tagline. “The spot demonstrates that even Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are passionate for football,” says Kevin Burke, Visa Chief Marketing Officer, “and that sets the stage globally for this idea that we’re united around football.”
Each aspect of the campaign hangs on this notion that, no matter what country you’re cheering for, passion for the game is the uniting force. Online, that concept plays out with Samba of the World, an interactive film and song that blends 32 films that demonstrate how each of the qualifying countries celebrate the game. When the song begins, users can change the country, which then slightly changes the track and visuals.
“What we really loved about that is that we went to a director in each of the 32 qualifying countries and we gave them a $25,000 prepaid Visa and we asked them to, in 90 seconds, bring to life how their country celebrates football,” says Burke. “What’s really interesting about it is, if you look at those 32 films, there’s tremendous differences in terms of who we are and where we are in the world but there is a really beautiful unifying element in that we all come together and celebrate football in a really passionate and joyful way.”
To sate the rabid fan’s desire to actually be in Brazil, Visa also created the Visa Teletransporter, a novel interactive experience that allows people to superimpose their face on a variety of scenes, such as celebrating a goal or making a great play. Visa has also engaged what it’s calling Fanbassadors. It’s selected 10 socially-connect super fans from qualifying countries and is sending them to Brazil to bring the tournaments best moments to the world through real-time video and photos across Visa’s social media channels.
With all of this, Burke says the campaign elements were devised with a “mobile always” mentality. “Mobile is at the heart of our activation. We develop all of our programs to be optimized across all the channels to give people the experience we’re hoping for. Everything that you do as a marketer today needs to be optimized to work through a mobile device as that’s often the window of the world for consumers, certainly the way they’re engaging with much of this content.”
In-stadium, Visa is installing 3,000 contactless point-of-sale terminals in all of the stadiums, complementing Brazil’s 1.5 million terminals, making it one of the largest contactless network in the world.
“If you look at why we even sponsor the World Cup, we’ve been able to show that it does, in fact, build brand equity and drive our business,” say Burke. “We’ve been able to show that if we associate ourselves with it and activate against it we enjoy a higher return on investment. And it allows us to showcase new payment technologies in the host country, so we show people why, in fact, we’re the leading payment brand.”