Smooth Visa-card-toting skaters take April Ad Impact Award

Remember the slightly creepy corporate robot ad in 2011 for Visa Paywave? It almost made cash look cool. But in April this year the marketing changed tack with a sepia-coloured, quirky fantasy world made of skate bowls and skater girls and boys. It made contactless Paywave cards look so smooth the ad took out the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact Award for April.

The work of Clemenger BBDO Sydney, each skate bowl was bordered with cute pizza and coffee stands. The skaters leap in slow motion from the bowl to the tune of Big Scary, effortlessly wave their card through the stand to pay and then leap again to grab their purchase. One guy’s even wearing a suit.

“It’s a highly impactful ad through its strong engagement and enjoyability, while still maintaining a strong brand resonance,” says Colmar Brunton account director, Harriet Dixon. “Consumers agreed that this ad positions Visa as a trend-setting brand, that contactless payment is still seen as innovative and is an important point of difference for the brand, positioning it as the way of the future.”

With our love of EFTPOS cards (according to a recent global study by business intelligence company RFi, almost 43 percent of Kiwis prefer paying electronically vs cash for low-value items), we don’t really need convincing here to head away from cash, as the skater ad is trying to do.

All the same, contactless technology is growing in New Zealand – Visa Paywave announced its one millionth transaction last year in October after the launch of contactless cards in 2011. Since then Visa, MasterCard and the big banks have all been rolling out “wave and pay” contactless credit cards and debit cards, and retail chains have been installing terminals (some 15,000 were in place around the country at the end of March).

Mobile wallets are another big development on the horizon. This is the likes of apps for payment systems that can be waved at the terminals themselves, complete with inbuilt loyalty cards and bank account connection. Google Wallet was launched last year in the US, albeit a physical card that links to all your payment systems. Paymark, the big banks behind EFTPOS and Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees are all dabbling in this area. 

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