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Visa Inc. today announced its first global advertising campaign. The "More people go with Visa" tagline is meant to reflect Visa's move to a single, global company. Visa also is consolidating its global marketing efforts, which it says will save the company an undisclosed amount of money. "The campaign is an invitation to make the most out of every day, a powerful message," Antonio Lucio, Visa chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "It's not about spending more; it's about using Visa for those things that are important to you every day." In the United States, Visa is launching two television spots, "Let's go," and "Aquarium," which will premiere March 4 during "American Idol" on Fox television stations. The "Let's go" spot will be the general ad that positions Visa cards as something consumers can use to do things differently in life, while "Aquarium" will focus on the Visa check card. Outside the U.S., Visa is launching a television spot called "Gofesto," which each region can customize for its own market. Currently, Visa Europe is not expected to roll out the "More people go with Visa" campaign, according to a Visa spokesperson. "However, Visa Inc. and Visa Europe continue to be strategically aligned behind a single brand positioning that illustrates why Visa is the better way to pay for a better way of living," the spokesperson said in an e-mail statement. Visa also plans to roll out print ads in the next few weeks. Online, Visa is running banner ads that feature live video of bustling areas of six cities around the world, including Buenos Aires, Ho Chi Minh City and New York. Observers say Visa picked a good time to refocus its brand image under one umbrella. "I would not be surprised to see many others in the banking industry spend some money on refreshed branding," says Megan Bramlette, managing associate with Westbury, N.Y.-based Auriemma Consulting Group. "The banking [and lending] industry may be the least-popular industry right now." Auriemma's brand-tracking research also shows that consumers' perception of the major card brands is down, she says, noting implementing a global advertising campaign is money well spent. "If your image is hurting, global branding is the way do to boost it," Bramlette says.

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