Visa Produces Instant Nostalgia In London

Did you happen to notice how fast Visa brought new commercials (featuring new Gold Medal winners) to the airwaves during the London games? In many cases the athlete’s heroic story (as told in 30 seconds by a global credit card purveyor) appeared on NBC stations within minutes of the medal round competition.

Here, take a look at these inspirational spots from the sepia-drenched campaign:

Meredith Blake of Los Angeles Times notes, “The goal for AT&T wasn’t simply to engage with viewers, it was also to dazzle them — to take their excitement over the Olympics and redirect it toward their own clever campaign.”

“We wanted that reaction of ‘How did they do it?’, ‘Like a magic trick,’” BBDO creative director Greg Hahn admits.

“The truth is not so much “magical” as tedious,” reports Blake. “For each of the six spots they produced, BBDO filmed dozens of possible results so whatever the winning time or score, they would be covered. Thanks to the tape delay from London and a partnership with NBC that allowed them quick access to official footage, BBDO could turn around the completed commercials in a matter of hours, thereby creating the illusion of real-time advertising.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. So were these athletes already contracted with Visa?