For years, financial services brand Visa has focused on giving power to purchase. However, in its newly launched campaign, the brand changes track to adopt the social route and showcases how Visa Debit helps fulfil dreams of many Indians - no matter where they are based. Through the campaign, Visa urges every Indian consumer to explore, discover and realise their dreams.
Conceptualised by BBDO Proximity India, the television commercial (TVC) titled 'Dream to advance' is a narrative of a young man who is able to achieve his dream for his village by using Visa Debit. Shot in the upper reaches of Kashmir en route to Kargil, the TVC shows the story of a teacher in a remote village, who creates a cycle generator to light up his village - using parts that he buys on the internet with his Visa Debit card.
Speaking on the campaign, Uttam Nayak, group country manager, India and South Asia, Visa, explains, "With the increasing use of debit and e-commerce across India including smaller towns and cities, Visa believes in providing accessibility to Indians living anywhere in India to fulfil their dreams. Our new campaign is targeted at the common man and his aspirations. No matter in which corner of the world you are, Visa Debit can help you realise your dreams."
Josy Paul, chairman and national creative director, BBDO India, says, "The idea was born at a 'BBDO WorkOut' session organised to focus on the opportunity of Visa Debit in the growing e-commerce world. The team at Visa was part of this action-session. The client spoke straight from the heart about the power of the internet and the democratisation of payments. Indians now have equal opportunity to dream and advance - not limited by geography or infrastructural challenges. This game changing social impact opened our eyes to the larger purpose of Visa Debit cards."
When asked if this marks the beginning of the brand's journey on the social path, Paul answers, "The idea was to create greater mass consciousness for advancement. The Visa Debit card liberates people to achieve their dreams by using the growing power of the internet. This was about a brand with a purpose. The touching film set in a remote corner of India was an expression of this larger mission. To us, the idea is as personal as it is social."
Interestingly, the TVC has generated a huge response on YouTube from the very first day of its launch. It figured on YouTube's home page as the most popular video of the day and so far has got nearly one million views. What is more, Google wrote to Visa India stating that this is by far the highest number of views in the very first day for any campaign from the banking and financial services industry (BFSI).
Advertising professionals offer mixed opinions on the TVC. While some say that the concept is very inspiring, some also find it phoney.
Nima Namchu, executive creative director, Cheil Worldwide, says, "It's a very evocative and inspiring story but for some reason it just feels all too fake to me. Perhaps it's the 'XYZ Bank' on the debit card that seems to suggest that this is just a nice story and nothing more. Having said that, 'the freedom to dream, to do anything and be anything' is a very rich zone."
"It's a delightful commercial, warm, earthy and real. It's a great idea to take a grass root story and give it wings. It's also a nice shift in creative strategy from urban settings to a nascent, expanding smaller-town market. Too often, brands like Visa have been about conspicuous spending- Visa to see the world, or Visa to gift the right gift or Visa for moments of emergency. This commercial is about spending money for the right cause and enriching lives of people around you. Activism is today's truth and in my opinion, Visa has found the right way to execute the insight: not in a righteous way but in a positive, action-oriented way. More power to Visa," remarks Naresh Gupta, managing partner, Bang in the Middle.