Monday, June 25, 2007

Visa Taps Aspiring Filmmakers for “Life Takes” Campaign

Augustine: never before has there been such interest in and acceptance of good consumer-generated media

Visa has extended its "Life Takes" campaign since ads broke during the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy

Visa USA is sponsoring an international competition for amateur filmmakers as part of its effort to extend its "Life Takes Visa" brand campaign, launched a year ago, into new consumer channels.

Visa is working with the 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) for the "Life Takes" Invitational contest that will give the winner an audience with ad execs and a $10,000 prize. Since Visa will have rights to all the films entered, it could use them in future advertising or promotions, but has not announced plans to do so.

The two will invite 30 filmmaking teams to create a short film that shows their interpretation of Visa's tag line, "Life Takes." Each team gets a $500 Visa gift card for expenses.

Filmmakers have 48 hours to create a seven-minute film or video from start to finish—casting, writing, producing, directing, editing, adding music, and getting equipment.

A panel of Visa execs and advertising and entertainment professionals will judge the entries in September. The three top films will be showcased at an awards event in San Francisco. Second prize is $5,000; third prize is $2,500. Media agency OMD handles the invitational contest for Visa

48HFP has been promoting the competition this month at its 2007 tour stops in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. The international tour began in March and runs through August, traveling to 55 cities, where teams spend one weekend making a film from start to finish.

48HFP is expecting more than 1,500 48 Hour film teams to make films during the 2007 tour. The grand-prize winner will also receive a $7,500 gift card, courtesy of Visa.

Susanne Lyons, chief marketing officer Visa USA, said the credit card company was eager to see how these talented individuals interpret the campaign and "reinforce the various ways that Visa empowers consumers to do what they want to do, need to do and never thought possible."

Visa launched "Life Takes Visa" in February 2006, its first new tag line in 20 years (Promo Xtra, Feb. 8, 2006) . TBWA/Chiat/Day handles the advertising.

Since the launch, the "Life Takes" campaign has been featured in a "live art" billboard execution in New York City, in popular video games and the latest refresh of Hasbro's iconic The Game of Life.