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SBD Global/August 8, 2012/Olympics

Visa Gets Fast Start With New Ad Taking Advantage Of Bolt's 100m Victory

Visa Europe has "turned around a 10-second ad featuring Usain Bolt's 100m Olympic win" as part of the company's "Flow Faster" campaign, according to Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith of BRAND REPUBLIC. The Saatchi & Saatchi-created ad, which launched on Facebook and European TV Sunday, shows Bolt "running around a track and pulling his signature 'lightning bolt' gesture." A voiceover says, "Congratulations Usain on flowing faster." The ad is scheduled to air in the U.K. and Turkey, as well as on websites in Europe (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 8/7). REUTERS' Keith Weir noted Bolt is the "face of German sportswear company Puma," but since the company is not an Olympic sponsor, it "can only start a fresh marketing campaign built around Bolt next week once the Games are over." Bolt "looks certain to improve on annual earnings of $20M after retaining his 100m Olympic title and the world record on Sunday night." Bolt is "an advertising man's dream," as his name is "made for his profession and he has won fans on the biggest global stage with a unique cocktail of cheek and cool." Bolt has a "series of lucrative sponsorship deals" in addition to Puma and Visa, including Gatorade, Swiss watchmaker Hublot, Virgin Media, Soul Electronics and Nissan. Millward Brown Global BrandZ Dir Peter Walshe "compared Bolt's marketability with former England soccer captain David Beckham, one of the most well-known sports celebrities Britain has produced" (REUTERS, 8/6).
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