Visa Treasures Disney Movie Tie-In

LOS ANGELES The television component of an ad effort integrating Visa’s annual autumn promotion with Disney’s upcoming adventure movie, National Treasure, breaks during today’s Monday Night Football on ABC, a Visa representative said.

The 30-second spot, created by Omnicom’s BBDO, New York, will air in the fourth quarter of the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets game, the rep said. Extensive print, radio and online elements, with media buying and planning via Omnicom’s OMD, New York, are also scheduled to roll out this week.

The campaign ties San Francisco-based Visa’s fall promotion, running today through Dec. 31, to the movie by promising that 25 grand prize-winning shoppers who use their Visa cards to pay for retail “treasures” will be reimbursed at the end of the year. In the commercial, a stereotypical shopaholic attempts to hide a huge array of purchases from her husband while he laments she did not buy more.

Visa’s autumn promotion is the year’s largest, according to the rep, and will receive a “significant marketing push” including heavy network placement on shows such as Survivor and Good Morning America. Visa declined to reveal its ad budget, but said the campaign would be “substantial [and] will touch millions and millions and millions of consumers.”

Opening nationwide Nov. 19, National Treasure chronicles Nicolas Cage’s attempts to find and follow an invisible treasure map written on the back of the Declaration of Independence before it falls into the wrong hands. In one key scene, a clerk at Washington, D.C.’s National Archives gift shop stops Cage, whom she believes needs to purchase a souvenir copy of the historical document. “We take Visa,” she says, as he whips out his plastic.

The filmmakers approached Visa, already a Disney corporate sponsor, at the beginning of the project, the rep said. The credit card firm has participated in movie tie-ins before, most notably Universal Pictures’ Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2000. “But,” the rep assured, “this one is bigger.”

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Visa’ s ad spend in 2003 was $310 million, $73 million of that in the fall quarter. From January through August 2004, Visa spent $214 million on advertising.