Visa has been running ads for a few months now on their Super Bowl Tickets for Life promotion. One lucky winner can win tickets to the Super Bowl every year, for the rest of their life. That’s what Morgan Freeman says between interviews with four old guys that have been to every Super Bowl so far. Ok.
The chances of any one person winning are so distant that it’s not worth thinking about, but the commercial portrays these old guys like war heroes. They want us to look up to these guys like they deserve respect and if we just keep using our Visa cards, maybe someday we can be like these geezers. There is no less-sympathetic group of old people on TV today. Who can relate to them? Do you know much it costs just for the tickets to the Super Bowl? And did you know the Super Bowl doesn’t come to you every year? You actually have to travel to the game. Plus hotel, plus meals, plus $12 beers and $8 nachos. Those old dudes must have been pretty well off to pay for their annual trip to the big game. They’re not Medal of Honor recipients or Olympians or Nobel Prize winners, they’re just wealthy old people. You know what hits the mark with trying to give us realistic aspirations? Beer commercials. Visa commercials want me to be rich, but beer commercials just want me to drink beer.
Beer commercials make me want to be like the people in their commercials because they’re always attractive and having the time of their life at some party on the beach; Corona, Bud Lite, Miller Chill (lime+beer). What those commercials are telling us is that if we have beer we can be cool like them. And that’s cool with me. But Visa missed the point big time. What they’re saying is that if you have money, you can buy a ticket to the Super Bowl. Yeah? Really? We can use money to buy things?
I liked it better when Visa would just entertain us for thirty second commercials where they’d remind us how convenient using a credit card is. If commercials were your neighbors, that friendly reminder is the neighbor that shovels your sidewalk because they were already shoveling and they might as well just keep going. Tickets for Life? That’s the annoying, rich neighbor who brags to you about his car that you could never afford. I’ll take the clean sidewalks please.