SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced today a new travel-themed integrated marketing campaign in the U.S. to reinforce Visa as the preferred way to pay for travel. Visa offers cardholders peace of mind in knowing they can use their cards with convenience, security and ease, virtually anywhere in the world, at any time -- ultimately providing greater freedom to enjoy their travel experiences.
The campaign gives travelers a new tool to share their experiences through the introduction of a Facebook application, Memory Mapper, which uses Google Maps satellite technology and a consumer's own photos, videos and captions to chronicle a visual story of their travels for a unique keepsake to share with friends and family. Additional campaign elements include a national promotion, the Trip of a Lifetime Sweepstakes, featuring a chance to win $100,000 to experience a dream vacation and national television and digital advertising which bring the Memory Mapper to life by profiling one family's dream vacation surfing in Tahiti.
"Travel planning and booking is inherently an online and increasingly social experience. Consumers turn to friends and others for ideas and recommendations to inspire their travel plans before booking their vacations and then post-trip, they want to share their experiences," said Alex Craddock, Head of North America Marketing, Visa Inc. "Our understanding of how consumers travel today inspired the creation of the social media tool - Memory Mapper - to support the promotion and enhance the consumer's travel experience from planning to sharing."
Social Media Engagement
The Memory Mapper is now available at www.facebook.com/visa for travelers to chronicle and share their memories. With Memory Mapper, consumers are able to upload photos and videos, input the locations in which each image originated, write captions, and add music to create a virtual keepsake of their adventures to share with family and friends via Facebook, email and Twitter. Additional features include exclusive travel-related merchant offers and a public gallery of recently uploaded Memory Maps.
Advertising & Sweepstakes
Visa is airing a national television commercial in support of the campaign that follows the real-life Igloi family of four as they surf first on the shores of their home state of California and later in Teahupoo, Tahiti while on their own trip of a lifetime. The commercial brings the Memory Mapper to life using satellite map views of each location they visit in combination with photos and video of their dream vacation. The commercial highlights the Trip of a Lifetime Sweepstakes and encourages viewers to visit www.facebook.com/visa to engage further with the campaign.
From April 27 - Oct. 31, 2011, Visa cardholders in the United States will automatically be entered for a chance to win $100,000 to embark on their personal trip of a lifetime when they use their Visa card. Official rules for the Trip of a Lifetime Sweepstakes are available at www.facebook.com/visa. No purchase or obligation is necessary to enter or win. The winner will be selected on or around Nov. 14, 2011.
Travelers will also meet the Igloi family in a series of digital videos and banners across social networking channels such as Facebook, Flickr and Photobucket, online travel merchants and services including Orbitz.com, and popular online media channels DailyCandy and Yahoo.com. At each point of engagement, viewers will be encouraged to use their Visa card to enter for a chance to win their personal $100,000 trip of a lifetime and use the Memory Mapper to share their experiences with their social networks.
Tourism on the Upswing
Entering the 2011 travel season, the tourism industry is showing signs of strength and regained optimism of travelers both domestically and internationally. Visa's recently released Tourism Outlook: USA report showed an increase in the amount spent on travel related purchases made on Visa payment cards abroad in 2010. VisaVue Travel Data from 2009 to 2010 showed that spending by U.S. cardholders traveling internationally increased by six percent, from $29 billion in 2009 to $31 billion in 2010, while spending by international cardholders traveling to the U.S. increased by 18 percent, from $29 billion to more than $34 billion. Additionally, the U.S. Travel Association recently reported domestic and international travelers spent $758.7 billion in the U.S., an increase of 7.7 percent over 2009. Of this total, $655.6 billion was spent by domestic travelers (7.4% increase from 2009) and $103.1 billion by international travelers to the U.S. (9.8% increase from 2009).
About Tourism Outlook: USA
Visa cardholder spending data cited is based upon VisaVue(R) Travel data, which reviews tourism spending on Visa-branded payment cards by international visitors from key source countries while visiting the United States during the calendar years 2010 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2010) and 2009 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2009). These findings are based upon VisaVue(R) Travel data. Visa introduced the VisaVue(R) Travel tourism reports to a pilot group of U.S. tourism organizations in early 2008 and have continued to produce reports on a variety of popular tourist destinations every year since.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
For more information, visuals, and executive interviews:
Nancy Panter, 650-432-1454
Fleishman-Hillard for Visa Inc.
Dianna Mangiantini, 415-318-4182