Visa takes running man to World Cup

LONDON - Visa Europe is launching an above-the-line campaign to promote its sponsorship of this summer's FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

A TV ad, by Saatchi & Saatchi, follows the theme of Visa's ‘Running Man' spot by showing the journey of an overweight man, first seen watching football in his living room.

He gets up from the sofa and sprints continuously from his house, down the high street and across Europe and Africa, to reach South Africa in time to play in a World Cup game.

As he runs, buying items using his contactless Visa card, he slowly loses weight, until he arrives at the game in an England-style white and blue kit. The ad features the track 'Isla de Encanta' by 80s rock band The Pixies.

The six-week TV, cinema, radio, print, outdoor and digital push rolls out this week across 16 European markets, with media buying by Mediaedge:cia.

Visa is also launching a competition to win tickets to the World Cup, as well as pre-paid cars worth £500. Customers can take part by entering details of Visa card purchases at

Mariano Dima, head of marketing at Visa Europe, said: "This latest campaign is a fun and impactful way to drive customer engagement with the brand, and show how Visa can help people overcome barriers and get one step closer to making their dreams a reality."

Kate Stanners, creative partner at Saatchi & Saatchi, added: "We wanted it to be a story that was Visa's own unique way of talking about football and the FIFA World Cup, while remaining true to their brand philosophy of ‘flow'."