How Visa’s Brand Refresh Increased Web Traffic by +31% YoY

Brand & Positioning Strategy
Cross-Channel
Advertising
Display Ads
YouTube
September 16, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

In July 2021, Visa unveiled its latest brand refresh, including a new brandmark, brand symbol, brand identity, slogan, and a series of short films. Visa's goal was to reposition itself as a global network instead of just a credit card issuer, establish the brand in the fintech world, and share its brand purpose. The brand refresh increased web traffic by 31% YoY in July and August 2021 in Canada and the US.

Brand Refresh — Creative Strategy:

  • Optimized for Digital: To maximize efficient use of digital, Visa simplified their logo, refreshed their brand colours, created a brand symbol and custom font, and adjusted to just one base colour. Simplifying the brand helps increase recognizability and usage throughout different media.
  • Brand Identity: The new brand symbol represents Visa's brand purpose of making commerce accessible to all. The lighter blue, softer yellow, and friendly tone makes the brand feel more approachable, warm and human. In addition, by focusing on "everyone", the slogan feels inclusive and represents Visa's mission for access and equality for all.
  • Short Films: Visa created a series of short films to share its brand purpose through the stories of people's lives made better by Visa. These videos position Visa as a global network, connecting the world through commerce.

Brand Refresh — Launch Strategy:

  • Toyko 2020 Olympics: Visa, who has been an Olympic Partner since 1986, used the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to roll out their brand refresh. The first TV commercial debuted during the opening ceremony and ran throughout the 16-day long games.
  • Multifaceted Digital Campaign: To promote the brand refresh, Visa ran a digital campaign that included display ads, desktop video ads, and social ads on Twitter and Instagram, increasing their digital ad spend by +223% in July 2021 - August 2021(compared to same months in prior year). Visa promoted the short film series with desktop video ads which appeared mainly on YouTube (51%) and Hulu (24%). Desktop videos made up the majority of their ad spend (51%), followed by display ads (28%). In addition, Visa focused their brand refresh display ads on NBC's Olympic website, the NFL website and on twitch.tv.

On July 21st 2021, the global payments technology company, Visa, unveiled their latest brand refresh and invited the world to 'Meet Visa'. The brand refresh comes as the world is quickly transitioning to a cashless future. 

The brand refresh included a new brandmark, brand symbol, brand assets, slogan, and a series of short films.  

Visa - Brand Refresh

Overview. Brand Evolution from 1960 to 2021:

Visa - Brand Evolution
*Timeline not to scale

Brand Refresh Objectives. Visa's goal was to reposition itself as a global network instead of just a credit card issuer, establish the brand in the fintech world, and share its brand purpose.

  1. Reposition. “The common theme was when people, whoever this audience was, no matter what they did, had not really understood the breadth of what we did”. “We want to make sure we’re seen in the world for the expansive work we do. We are known for consumer payments with 3.6 billion credentials out in the world, but we do so much more.”
  2. Modernize. “Visa is leaning heavily into fintech, taking big steps in cryptocurrency, helping move money, and identifying consumers and business owners as payees and payers at various points in any given digital transaction cycle”.
  3. Brand Purpose. “Our mission of uplifting everyone everywhere and connecting buyers and sellers and connecting the world”. “We’ve evolved the brand to represent what we are known for: acceptance and access and equality and inclusion”.

Creative Strategy.

Visa's new branding has been simplified, and no longer has the sense of authority that was presented in its previous branding.

  1. Simplified. Logo is greatly simplified, which leads to greater recognizability, as the eye can easily scan and identify the logo. Using just one base colour in their new brandmark helps optimize their usage throughout different media.
  2. No Wordmark. In 2019, Mastercard, also transitioned to a logo without a wordmark to function better in the mobile era and to pivot away from being a credit card company.
  3. Accessible. The new brand symbol represents an equal sign, which Visa says is representative of their commitment to making commerce accessible to all.
  4. Reliability. Uppercase lettering emphasizes strength, stability and reliability.
  5. Optimized for Digital. To maximize efficient use of digital, Visa simplified their logo, refreshed their brand colours, created a brand symbol and custom font, and adjusted to just one base colour.
  6. Approachable. The lighter blue, softer yellow, and friendly tone makes the brand feel more approachable, warm and human. By focusing on "everyone", the slogan feels inclusive and represents Visa's mission for access and equality for all.

As part of the brand refresh, Visa tasked their agency partner, W+K, with a series of short films. The short film series celebrates the diversity of Visa’s network through the profiles of real people whose lives have been improved through the commerce experiences Visa enables.

Videos are inclusive of age, gender, race and socioeconomic status. Upbeat music and diverse scenes from around the world are used to provoke a positive emotional response amongst their audience.

Launch Strategy.

Being a partner of the Olympics since 1986, Visa used the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to roll out their brand refresh. The first TV commercial debuted during the opening ceremony and ran throughout the 16-day long games.

Visa - Launch Strategy
*Source: Forbes

NBC 2020 Tokyo Olympics Viewership

  • Opening Ceremony (17M Viewers)
  • Total TV Audience (150M Viewers)
  • Broadcast Primetime (15.1M Viewers)
  • NBCOlympics.com , NBC Sports App & Peacock (4.3B streaming minutes watched)
  • All NBCU platforms (120B minutes of Olympic programming watched)

Digital Campaign.

In addition to the Olympic partnership, Visa ran a multifaceted digital campaign that included display ads, desktop video ads, and social ads. From July 2021 to August 2021, Visa increased their ad spend by +223% compared to the prior year.  

Visa - Digital Campaign

Visa spent $322K on display video ads to promote their “Meet Visa” short film series. The video ads resulted in over +16.5M impressions..

$322,000 - Total desktop video ad spend (Jul. ‘21 — Aug. ‘21) promoting “Meet Visa” short film series. Videos appeared on YouTube (51%), Hulu (24%) and other sites (25%).

On July 29, 2021, Visa launched an ad on Twitter featuring their “Meet Visa” video. The ad resulted in +17.8M impressions.

Spend: $88.7K | Impressions: 17.8M | CPM: $4.98 | Retweets: 79 | Comments: 88 | Likes: 417

On Instagram, Visa ran two video post ads which generated in +5.3M impressions, +145K views and +2K engagements. Ad creative targets a younger demographic by using vibrant, friendly colours, upbeat music and younger actors.

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Campaign Impact.

Visa's brand refresh campaign helped increase web traffic in July 2021 and August 2021 by +31% when compared to the same months in 2020.

Visa - Campaign Impact


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