Visa Promo, Case study CURRENCY OF PROGRESS by Gmmb

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Industry Banking, Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Agency Gmmb
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Communication
Advertiser: VISA
Senior Vice President and Partner: Kathy Baird (Fleishman Hillard)
Senior Vice President and Partner: Dan Horowitz (Fleishman Hillard)
Partner/General Manager: JJ Carter (Fleishman Hillard)
Senior Vice President and Partner: Kristin Hollins (Fleishman Hillard)
Videographer/Producer: Michael Sugrue (Michael Sugrue Photography)
Partner/Executive Creative Director: Kirk Souder (GMMB)
Senior Partner/Account Lead: David Mitchell (GMMB)
Senior Vice President/Creative Director: John Gundlach (GMMB)
Senior Video Producer: Terrance Green (GMMB)
Senior Designer: Serrin Bodmer (GMMB)
Vice President/Account Manager: Jacquelyn Roth (GMMB)
Account Executive/Account Coordinator: Megan Brady (GMMB)
Media placement: Press Release - American Banker, Payments Source - October 2009
Media placement: Broadcast - CNN, Local Washington D.C. Cable - October 2009
Media placement: Print - The Hill, Roll Call, Politico, National Journal, CQ Daily, Washington Post, New - October 2009
Media placement: Online - Huffington Post, Washington,;; TheHill - October 2009
Media placement: Google Adwords - Google - February 2010
Media placement: Event Kiosks And Signage - Vancouver Olympics-Visa Hospitality Suite - February 2010
Media placement: White Paper - Study Brochure Distributed At A Major Australian Political Event, "Federal Budge - March 2010
Media placement: Forum On Government Efficiency With The Hill - Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. - May 2010
Media placement: Op-Ed - Philippine Star - June 2010
Media placement: Interactive Wall Display - USA Pavilion At The Shanghai Expo 2010, Shanghai, China - October 2010

Summary of the Campaign

With Visa’s logo on billions of cards around the world, how could Visa explain it is more than a credit card company and create a stronger corporate identity?

Using real life stories, Currency of Progress presents Visa as a global payments technology company and demonstrates how Visa digital currency helps individuals, businesses; governments and entire economies prosper and become more efficient.

The campaign came to life through a mix of media centred around an online hub, including videos and written case studies of Currency "Hero’s" worldwide, as well as white papers, blog entries and collateral materials for employees and policymakers.

Especially given the recent financial crisis, Currency of Progress aims to have opinion leaders see Visa as part of the solution, instead of a source of the problem.

To date, results indicate the campaign is having an impact; positive attitudes among stakeholders increased 9 percentage points in the first seven months of the campaign.

Visa Global Digital Currency + Network Participants = Positive Impact.

The Situation

For Visa, decades of effective brand marketing led to the misperception by influencers and others that Visa issued credit cards, set rates and fees and extended consumer credit. While it was a brand with tremendous global awareness and trust, few knew that the company operated the world’s largest electronic payment network.

As a newly publicly traded company, Visa needed to create a stronger corporate identity and properly position itself as a global payments technology company. A company with one of the world’s most advanced and secure networks that connect consumers, businesses, governments and financial institutions in over 200 countries and territories.

The Goal
Shift perception of Visa from issuing credit cards to a global payments technology company.

Give policymakers an improved understanding of Visa, and how the company's core business makes it a force for good.

Help policymakers recognize the value Visa digital currency delivers.

Shift the perception of Visa as part of the financial services industry problem, to part of the solution.

Create the voice of the Company to influencer audiences so that Visa could have greater dialogue with them (D.C. policymakers, clients, business elites, media/industry analysts, employees, NGO’s and academia).

Message-testing with opinion leader focus groups was undertaken in Washington, D.C., to inform the creation of the website, messaging and targeted influencer advertising.

The Strategy
In today’s world, there are those perceived a part of the problem, and those perceived as part of the solution. People seek to join those brands seen as part of the solution, and separate from those seen as part of the problem.

Two things communicate "solution" in today’s world:
1) Technology
2) Authentically helping solve problems and bringing prosperity to the world

With this in mind, Visa had a great opportunity to return to its roots and "re-define" itself. Instead of being seen as solely a financial services company, Visa could authentically communicate that it is a global payments technology company with one of the world’s most advanced and secure payment processing networks.
We used real-life stories and facts to demonstrate how Visa is a force for good, and how its core mission of making the world more connected and networked has helped individuals, businesses, communities and governments prosper around the world.

We began by creating the concept of "digital currency" and then the Currency of Progress corporate platform. It came to life with factual storytelling as the foundation, launching in late 2009. The stories are an integrated mix of media accessed through an interactive online hub: videos, blog entries, case studies and factsheets on the benefits of digital currency. Targeted opinion leader advertising was employed. A forum in Washington, D.C., in May 2010 demonstrated how digital currency improved government savings, efficiency and accountability. Visa also partnered with Moody’s Analytics on a study showing how expanded use of digital currency can increase an entire country’s GDP.

Currency of Progress has become Visa’s story throughout their global corporate communications, appearing in events worldwide including the Vancouver Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo. The platform provides Visa’s 6,000+ employees, worldwide, a clear and compelling story of how their work improves people’s lives. The campaign is currently expanding and being translated in five languages.

Documented Results
Results from 22 focus groups:
Showed positive attitudes toward Visa increased 9 percent among qualified stakeholders in Canada, Russia, US, Mexico, and India.
Measurable shifts in perception from Visa being part of the problem to part of the solution.

Employees enthusiastically embrace of Currency of Progress, as evidence of its usage in events around the world in countries like Japan, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S.

IPSOS Qualitative Research, August 2010:
"Digital currency is mind-opening concept that links well to the overall benefits defined by the campaign."
"Perceptions of Visa elevated to modern, updated and empowering."
"Feels like a contemporary and selfless message appropriate from an industry leader."
"Reinforces brand leadership."
"Generates positive perception in the face of negative public opinion."

Website Metrics:
Over 44,000 unique visitors since launch
Over 190,000 Page views
Visits from 170 Countries
Average return visitors spent over 13 minutes / visit.