MediaRadar Blog

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MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 11 Cards a-Swiping

This is the second in our series of posts highlighting the 12 Ads of Christmas – our very own rendition of the “12 Days of Christmas.”

In case you missed our opener, we sent our true love 12 Engines Humming – this year’s best holiday car ads.

As Christmas inches ever closer, however, we move onward. Here, we’ll take a look at 11 banks and credit cards that turn wish lists into dreams come true.

But first, let’s refresh ourselves on the original jingle…

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,
Twelve Drummers Drumming,
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords a-Leaping,
Nine Ladies Dancing,
Eight Maids a-Milking,
Seven Swans a-Swimming,
Six Geese a-Laying,
Five Gold Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!”

MediaRadar’s rendition, however, has 11 Cards a-Swiping.

Why do people get the warm fuzzy feeling around the holidays? It’s the anticipation.

The anticipation of giving and receiving, making wishes come true and, most importantly, an escape from the norm.

In similar fashion to Santa for kids, credit cards are a means of fantastic adventure and exciting purchases for adults (MediaRadar is a proponent of sensible fiscal spending).

The campaigns for credit card companies play on this sentiment in their ads, and the timing couldn’t be better.

We all spend time thinking of what to get others, but there’s a little part of us thinking about number one, and why not? It’s been a long year, treat yourself.


Here are some examples from companies hoping you’ll open up a new line of credit to do so:

Visa – “Tap into the holiday spirit”

Aside from the many gifts that get passed from person to person during the holiday season, sometimes it’s the small, quick, sneakily generous gestures that make all the difference…

This ad from Visa shows friends, families, and professional football players buying coffee for one another at Starbucks.

With Visa’s tap-to-pay feature at Starbucks, they make it easier to “tap into the holiday spirit” and “spread a little joy.”

Sometimes a warm beverage and a conversation are all it takes to make the holiday season enjoyable.


Mastercard – “Accepted wherever adventures begin”

This ad emphasizes how a gift for yourself can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The addition of camera lens, turns your standard run of the mill house cat into a majestic snow leopard, and an at home photographer into a fierce adventurer.

Could you use more adventure in your life? This Mastercard ad shows just how easy they can make it.

This is part of an ongoing campaign for Masterpass, a feature that will even make famous celebrities jealous of you…


Capital One – “Psychiatrist”

We all want to feel like a “burden’s been lifted” during the holiday season, don’t we?

Unfortunately, we don’t all have the luxury of having Samuel L. Jackson as a psychiatrist to send us on our merry way…

While sprinkling in the perks of Capital One’s Quicksilver Card, Samuel L. Jackson offers his “patient” a take on why his newfound relaxation has come about.

With Capital One’s Quicksilver card, however, users get cashback on every purchase. This once-worried patient can now confidently stroll through the holidays, receiving gifts from Capital One as he buys gifts for others.


Discover – “Good Match, Bad Match”

This ad is not for the food-squeamish…

In their series of “Good match, Bad match” ads, Discover is making a point about their dollar-for-dollar cashback match for first-year customers.

In each ad, they present something that doesn’t match. In some cases, a foot stepping on a Lego, or tinfoil in the microwave. In this example, it’s ketchup on pancakes. Very clearly a bad match.

What is a good match however, is the one they’re offering customers – dollar-for-dollar cashback.


Chase – “Seven Continents. One James Corden.”

There’s nothing like a long vacation for the holidays. And that’s exactly what James Corden is doing in this Chase ad.

Or at least that’s what he’s asking Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders to do for him.

Chase’s Sapphire Reserve cards are for travelers – offering many travel and restaurant perks across multiple continents.

In this Sapphire Reserve ad, Corden asks customers to  help him plan his next vacation. Throughout the rest of the ad campaign, users traveled across seven continents to do so, of course using their Sapphire Reserve cards along the way.

As any late-night televison viewer would assume, Corden of course instills his own humor in the ad, as it ends with him being awakened from a nap by the world travelers through conference call.


Citi – “Neighborhood”

This ad is quite the treat…

Citi presents an interesting idea here, especially when considering the holidays.

The idea: “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone said what they meant?”

What would the world be like? What would the world of advertising be like? It’s a question MediaRadar has been asking for some time, but is offered here as a humorous take on neighbors meeting for the first time.

Citi’s vow is that, when they say “Double Cash Card,” they mean “Double Cash Card.”


Wells Fargo – “Suspicious card activity alerts”

Wells Fargo takes on what could be a fairly worrisome event, and turns it into a lighthearted encounter.

Nobody wants their credit card information to get stolen, and in this case, Wells Fargo finds a sweet spot to showcase their alerts for suspicious activity.

In the ad, a woman receives an alert with a suspicious purchase from “Doggy Lover’s Warehouse.” Unfortunately, her cat is nearby to eavesdrop on the message, and thus becomes skeptical of her once beloved owner.


TD Bank – “Empire”

The holidays are a time for forgiveness. A time to relax and enjoy the company of loved ones. A time to be human.

In this ad, TD Bank illustrates all of the above, showing the many ways that cardholders can lose or ruin their cards.

TD Bank pleads for customer to “bank human,” in advertising their instant issue debit cards.

The message of being human is an important one for debit cardholders, but extends well beyond the clumsy hands of shoppers – during the holidays, it’s important that we’re all human.


Bank of America – “Mobile Banking with The Llama”

Bank of America had an interesting take on their mobile banking ads this year.

Their campaign was accompanied by a character simply named “The Llama.” And you guessed it… It’s a llama, with a phone, discussing the great features of Bank of America’s mobile banking.

This particular ad presents a metaphorical and humorous look at phone security offered through their app.

Whether a sandwich or your life-savings, security is a gift that no human should be without.


US Bank – “The Power of Possible”

A loving family, a comfortable home, and a sense of accomplishment… All things you’d want to have around the holidays.

U.S. Bank has run multiple “Power of Possible” ads throughout the year, this one, showing the importance of a family home.

This ad is a peaceful take on a family at ease. The only thing missing, perhaps, in this family’s house-to-be, is a Christmas tree sitting a top a mountain of presents.

Based on this family’s belief in what’s possible, however, a plethora of Christmas presents should not be far out of reach.


American Express – “The World is Not Flat”

This ad challenges viewers to put down their smartphones and experience life.

It starts, “The world is not flat. You can’t just pinch it, swipe or scroll it.” We’ll leave the flat earth argument alone, but one thing this ad does a great job of emphasizing is the difference between seeing and experiencing.

It sells the viewer on a more immersive lifestyle, where you can feel Brazil’s heat, and witness San Francisco at dusk.

One part of the ad shows what can presumably be a father and daughter stopping to smell flowers. This is the underlying message of the entire ad.

Simply put, American Express will allow you to disconnect from the rat race, and truly enjoy life.

This Christmas, MediaRadar hopes that you get the chance to disconnect from the rat race and enjoy life.

In the end, whether it’s a new line of credit, a vacation, or a new view on life, the holidays are a great time to reset and start fresh, to give and love.

Don’t snooze on our next post… Stay tuned to see MediaRadar’s rendition of 10 Lords a-Leaping!