David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Visa
"The Swim"
30s
8 August 2016
USA Credit Cards

It's ironic that a massive corporate entity called 'Visa' should offer its support for people whose biggest problem in life is that they don't possess the empowering document which provided the company with its name.

The refugee crisis is so divisive that opposing sides can't even agree what term we should use to describe people fleeing from conflict. Those opposed to the idea that desperate people should be offered a safe berth in our country much prefer the term 'migrant' because it allows them to rationalise their prejudice.

This commercial celebrating Syrian Yusra Mardini's journey to the Olympics is unquestionably inspiring. Knucklehead's Siri Bunford does a super job of reminding viewers that this is the young woman who used her swimming prowess to rescue a dinghy full of refugees and connecting her heroism to her exploits at Rio's aquatic centre.

Like the recent Exodus documentaries on the BBC, this commercial reminds us that behind the headlines are human beings who need our help.

It can make us feel uneasy when an advertiser steps into territory like this because we understand that their motives are commercial. Nonetheless, this is a very interesting move by Visa and one that deserves praise. In offering tacit support to the enlightened idea that we should save lives and worry about the economic consequences later, Visa are boldly rejecting the selfishness of the isolationist doctrine which has recently reared its head in such ugly fashion on both sides of the Atlantic.

Of course, Visa has found a palatable way of presenting the 'pro-refugee' case. Individual cases have a way of breaking through the stonewall of denial and Yusra Mardini's story - like Alan Kurdi's - is one which allows the hardest of hearts to briefly re-engage with their humanity. There's a tendency to slip back into the bunker mentality as soon as the Yusra Mardinis of this world pass from view. But no one should be churlish about Visa and BBDO New York's decision to make refugees the focal point of their Olympics advertising. They didn't have to do this... and yet they did.

Samsung
"Anthems"

Matt said:

While we're mixing our languages, this is a bit of chiens déjeuner.


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Visa
"The Swim"
30s
8 Aug 2016
As the UNHCR‎'s recent film highlighting the Refugee Olympic Team showed us, Rio 2016 is aiming to unite countries during disunited times. And this commercial celebrating Syrian Yusra Mardini's journey to the Olympics is unquestionably inspiring. Knucklehead's Siri Bunford does a super job of reminding viewers that this is the young woman who used her swimming prowess to rescue a dinghy full of refugees and connecting her heroism to her Rio exploits.

Visa
"Olympians"
1 min 35s
20 Jun 2016
Turns out we were wrong to assume the world's elite athletes have a fleet of luxury transportation waiting to take them to Rio 2016. In fact, they have so much energy to burn, they're happy to make the trek to Brazil by any means, be it running, swimming, cycling, or - like the stars of this entertaining Visa commercial - carpooling.

Visa
"The Heart"
90s
21 Mar 2016
Subtle and intelligent, this spot by Juan Cabral promotes Visa's sponsorship of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Cabral's ads have the intensity of a great movie condensed into a minute and a half or less - and the depiction of decathlete Ashley Bryant as he prepares himself for the performance of a lifetime is superlative.

Visa
"Apple Pay/Build-Up"
30s
24 Nov 2015
The now very-familiar sound of a drum roll reaching its Whiplash crescendo makes its presence felt in this spot for Visa / Apple Pay. As the build-up intensifies, a staccato series of scenarios plays out. At the drop, everything resolves itself; and inbetween the Apple Pay app acts as a catalyst. It's smart and slick, but at the same time it does suggest that there's a degree of apprehension as to whether the app is going to allow a successful transaction or not.

Visa
"Portrait"
30s
14 Apr 2015
Harold Einstein - who directed the recent Weedol spot - is in great form again here. A teenage boy barges into his parents' bedroom to be met by the impossible-to-unsee vision of his naked mother having her portrait painted by his dad. He only came in to make an observation about the convenience of using Visa Checkout... the poor sod.

Visa
"Bolt to Brazil"
60s
31 May 2014
Is there no end to Usain Bolt's charm? Inspired by the football match on TV in his local bar, he whips out his Visa card, flies to Brazil and makes his way to the stadium via a kick-around with some kids on the beach and a little shimmy in Rio. That man can move. But we discover he isn't planning on just watching the game... as the little mascot at his side realises.

Visa
"Flying"
45s
15 Jan 2014
It's heartening to learn that female ski jumpers are finally getting a chance to compete at the Winter Olympics, but disheartening to consider that the message recorded by Amelia Earhart which is played during this Visa ad was recorded so long ago. Why has it taken so long to achieve equality in this realm?

Visa
"Don't Stop Me"
90s
1 Jun 2013
This is utterly lovely. After receiving a phone call, our hero shuffles out of his house and takes advantage of every technological advance provided by Visa to equip himself for a very important errand. The years literally fall away as he makes his way through his gorgeous Mediterranean village.

Visa
"Congratulations"
10s
8 Aug 2012
Footage of Usain Bolt celebrating his win in the 100m is used to remind punters that Visa is a major sponsor of the Games. The charismatic Jamaican won gold again on the 9th in the 200m so we can probably expect a follow-up before too long.

Visa
"Bolt Versus London"
90s
17 Mar 2012
Usain Bolt gets to show off his acting skills once more in this lovely commercial for the credit card company. The Jamaican sprinter becomes involved in a race across London in a bid to reach the Olympic Stadium ahead of a mysterious rival. But who is this strange fellow and what does he have to do with Mr Bolt?

Visa
"Olympic Training"
60s
21 Mar 2011
The build-up to the London Olympics continues with this ad for Visa which shows a number of athletes preparing for the games. There's a cameo from Steve Redgrave but otherwise this ad is clearly focusing on the stars of tomorrow.

Visa
"Football Evolution"
60s
15 Feb 2010
The best bit of World Cup advertising so far comes from Visa in the shape of this ad which has a man setting off from his armchair and running all the way to Africa so he can dash on to the pitch and score a goal for England and celebrate in a perfect piece of symmetry.

Visa
"Crutches"
60s
1 Mar 2009
A man sails effortlessly through a city using a pair of crutches to illustrate how easy life can be when you pay with Visa. It's an engaging piece and an apt metaphor but wouldn't it have worked better if it had been evident he needed crutches... say, a leg in plaster?

Visa
"Crutches"
30s
1 Mar 2009
A man sails effortlessly through a city using a pair of crutches to illustrate how easy life can be when you pay with Visa. It's an engaging piece and an apt metaphor but wouldn't it have worked better if it had been evident he needed crutches... say, a leg in plaster?

Visa
"Life Flows"
60s
25 Mar 2008
It's nice when an agency has sufficient faith in the audience to believe they will intelligently join the dots. That's certainly the case here as we see a nearly-naked man hurtling through a desert landscape before managing to acquire what he requires to make it to the church on time for his wedding.

Visa
"Life Flows"
30s
24 Mar 2008
It's nice when an agency has sufficient faith in the audience to believe they will intelligently join the dots. That's certainly the case here as we see a nearly-naked man hurtling through a desert landscape before managing to acquire what he requires to make it to the church on time for his wedding.

Visa
"Experience Contest"
20s
1 May 2007
In which footage from a previous ad is used to illustrate a competition which will enable six lucky Visa users to win the Experience of a Lifetime if they use their Visa card to make as many purchases as possible. The lifetime experience gained by those who don't win is, presumably, penury.

Visa
"Gift Wrap"
30s
1 Mar 2007
Everything bought with a Visa card feels like a gift so thousands of figurative pieces of gift wrap float through the air as people enjoy what they have purchased using theirs. Arguable whether a credit card company should encourage the idea that it feels like you're not really paying but there you go.

Visa
"Wine Glass"
10s
10 Feb 2006


Visa
"Winter Olympics"
30s
7 Feb 2006
The first ad promoting the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Italy has various athletes going through their paces in preparation for the competition. If you want to go along, best use your Visa card... that way you can come back with a gift-wrapped mountain.

Visa
"Cinema Screen"
10s
11 Jan 2006


Visa
"Gift Wrapping"
40s
9 Jan 2006
Anything you purchase with your Visa card will feel like a gift according to this ad which shows everything bought on credit appearing to be gift-wrapped. This is precisely the illusion that enables people to get into trouble with their credit cards when young. Well done.

Visa
"Rewards"
10s
9 May 2005
Another short advertising Visa's reward scheme compettition or whatever it is suggests you could win a year's free shopping at an unrecognisable supermarket with a curious green and blue logo.

Visa
"Taxis And Mobiles"
10s
21 Mar 2005
Brief back-up ad to main ad announcing competition for such prizes as free taxis for a year and free mobile phone calls for a year that can be won if you use your Visa card between now and May 1st.

Visa
"Everyday Prizes"
30s
21 Mar 2005
New ad for Visa illustrates a competition that enables their customers to win "everyday prizes" such as a personal trainer for a year, free meals at restaurants and free taxis for a year with scenes of punters enjoying their prizes.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.