Visa Casts Scrooge in Seasonal Ads

BOSTON Visa has launched a campaign via Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day to encourage consumers to use their credit and debit cards more frequently during the holiday season.

All consumers using a Visa card through the end of the year are automatically entered in the “$100K Holiday From Visa” sweepstakes, which will award 10 people grand prizes of $100,000 each. TV spots will air nationally during various prime-time shows across broadcast and cable networks.

Visa employs holiday icon Ebenezer Scrooge. In the TV spots, Scrooge will be seen performing “selfish” acts of charity that allow him to use his Visa card and earn a chance to win money for himself.

The campaign is also being supported through point-of-sale and statement inserts as well as a Web site with an instant-win feature that will award prizes of up to $1,000. Out-of-home ads reinforce other benefits of the Visa check card, such as security and convenience. The ads will appear on traditional billboards, bus sides and shelters, coffee sleeves, phone kiosks and window clings at convenience stories.

Additionally, the company has named Jaye Hersh, owner of the “celebrity boutique” clothing store Intuition, as its “spokes-celebrity.” Hersh, who is being called Visa’s “Chief Shopping Officer” for the campaign, will provide consumers with holiday shopping advice on finding the best last-minute gifts, said Kellie Krug, Visa’s svp, marketing communications.

Visa has spent $300 million on advertising through August, which puts it on a pace to surpass last year’s total of $325 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.