Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Better Life Takes Visa

Visa, Business 2.0, October, 2007. Sarah Moriyama. (As seen above)

Veuve Clicquot Ponsartin, Bon Appetit, July 2008. Zachariah Rollins.

Shaw Floors, Country Living, August 2008. Javier Garcia.

We chose this ad because it is a straight forward list of things to do in life (read: rich only) before one dies. Groups of people dine in luxury in an expensive looking neo-asian cuisine restaurant--the type where the urban elite take delight in consuming exotic "ethinic" food, which is really full of obscure ingredients that the natives would never have the pleasure of consuming. There is large statue of Buddha carved of ice or crystal, maybe even diamonds. (Forget that Buddha renounced the riches of the world.)

Visa enhances your life and lets you make reservations at restaurants whose European names cannot even be pronounced by the boorish proletariat. You do not have to be stuck with this low-society if you have Visa. In the ad, rich people "sample," they do not "eat."

The ad is aimed at well-to-do American businessmen (perhaps women)who are probably over the age of 35 or 40. Or perhaps these businessmen have not yet reached their pinacle of decadence, which is why Visa is there to help them.


mjg504 said...

This ad didn't really do much for me. It seems rather plain with just a lot of writing on it. The type of ad that attracts my attention has a picture that catches your eye. Also just because you visa doesn't that you are expressing a higher standard of living.

lrodrigue said...

I think this ad does a great job of creating anxiety about not having a certain lifestyle by giving us a list of things to do while we're alive. None of the items are what we normally think of as the top 20 things to do in life such as have children, get married, see the Grand Canyon, etc. The fact that most of us don't even know what the majority of the items on the list are shows we're not part of the hip/classy/rich crowd and maybe we have our priorities mixed up. Even without the list the image does a good job of showing us a lush environment with happy, well dressed customers. I think the placement of the Buddha in the middle of the environment says a lot. That is a huge waste of space for decoration purposes. Most restaurants would use the area for extra tables but maybe the decoration hints of exclusivity. Maybe the place is so trendy it's more about image than profit and there’s a six month long waiting list for reservations.

cford said...

I think the critique hit the nail on the head. One of the first things that strikes me is the notion that the best way to achieve happiness... is to create debt. The giant crystal shrine to Buddha is equally as absurd.

The ad uses a list of culinary objectives that appeal to a very select few, but with the name recognition of visa, it probably doesn't matter. Their ad campaigns usually involve some kind of to-do list with obscure tasks that, visa suggests, will lead to happiness.

Phil said...

this ad is cool because it lists some high culture items. it makes you feel like your social status increases if you have a visa card. That your a VIP member or can do more in a place if you have a visa. Also everyone in the ad is dressed and at a formal dinner with a what I think is a ice sculpture budda. very well chosen for a higher standard of living.