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‘Cool Hats’: A look inside Visa’s new campaign to refresh its brand

  • Visa is mostly known as a credit card company.
  • With its ‘Meet Visa’ marketing campaign, the company hopes to change that.

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‘Cool Hats’: A look inside Visa’s new campaign to refresh its brand

Visa powers 3.6 billion credentials, works with more than 70 million merchants, has tens and thousands of partners, and powers over $11 trillion in total volume annually.

Despite its size though, Visa is really primarily known for being a credit card company -- the one that dims the lights, and pulls the curtains back, but doesn’t get cast for the role of the new innovative player in finance.

With its new marketing campaign, Meet Visa, Visa is trying to change the way people view the company. The campaign is designed to highlight the different roles Visa plays in finance, in addition to credit cards. 

The campaign also serves as a way to emphasize Visa’s role in propelling financial inclusion.

“We are on a mission to ensure that Visa is seen as more than a credit card company and understood as a trusted network that drives commerce forward, uplifting everyone everywhere,” said Lynne Biggar, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer at Visa. .

The campaign, which is part of a world-wide multi-year initiative, launched its initial stages on July 21. 

The first components of this campaign include an introductory Meet Visa film that highlights the company’s capabilities, and how it connects people around the world. 

This film was developed by Wieden+Kennedy, and directed by Malik Hassan Sayeed.

Sayeed is a renown director and cinematographer and has worked with several big names including Prince and Beyonce. In the past he’s also partnered with Amex on its Unstaged series, which gives behind the scenes glimpses of musicians’ performances.

In addition to Sayeed, the campaign was developed by top diverse talent, including photographer Camilla Falquez and Argentinian directing team Pantera & Co.
Meet Visa

Branching off the introductory film, there are a series of shorter digital films and photography that shows how the company is advancing commerce around the world and how it fits into different financial processes. 

The four videos Visa has released cover the topics of payment flexibility, crypto adoption, matching merchants with sellers on a global scale, and advancing side hustles.


Part of the campaign is also Visa’s new visual brand identity, which is set to launch later this year. 

The new design is to help Visa translate better into a digital-first environment, and will include new colors, custom font, and an updated brand symbol. 

The brand symbol imitates the global symbol for equality, which serves as a way to highlight Visa’s role in financial inclusion.

“[It] is a symbol of our purpose and values and a reminder of our commitment to equality, opportunity and movement toward a better future,” said Biggar.

The new symbol is set to be visible in the over 200 countries and territories Visa operates. 

The campaign comes at a pretty busy time for the company. This summer alone, Visa has made some noticeable steps towards new revenue paths.

In June Visa bought Swedish fintech Tink, after its acquisition of Plaid fell through. Tink is a Swedish startup that allows banks and startups access consumer financial data and handles payments outside traditional card networks. For Visa the deal could give it new avenues for partnerships with fintechs and financial institutions.

Then there’s Visa’s zoom in on the crypto market. Early in July Visa announced it had partnered with 50 crypto platforms. Note that one of the string of smaller videos in the campaign is a six-second clip titled ‘Cool Hats’ that emphasizes Visa’s role in building a future where people can use crypto to buy everyday things -- like hats. 

Source: Visa

“While the brand work began before the pandemic began, things really came into focus for us during this time. We saw that these other parts of our business that we have been less known for were actually very critical to the world,” said Lynn. “There’s no better time to showcase the work Visa does in powering the global money movement and to spotlight the diverse capabilities of our network and commitment to enabling global economic inclusion.”

The campaign also seems timely in a different way. With consumers putting increased emphasis on financial inclusion and equality, financial service providers are taking steps to showcase their own efforts to achieve this goal.

Earlier this year, MasterCard partnered with Seneca Women to power a card that rewards consumers for shopping at women-owned businesses. American Express, meanwhile, extended its Small Business Saturday, which takes place every Thanksgiving weekend and motivates people to shop at local small businesses through custom deals, to a summer-long event this year. 

“In all cases, our audiences are more invested in the brands they partner with and what they represent, making brand perception and brand purpose more important than ever,” said Biggar. “It’s essential for companies like Visa to lead with purpose and commit to driving positive impact in communities.”

In terms of how Visa’s marketing campaign will pan out over the next coming years and where it’s heading, Biggar said it’s starting everywhere, with the intention of eventually closing up on specific groups.

“When you are operating at this scale, we start broad and will then introduce additional creative work that is more targeted to certain industries or demographics.”

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