Member 1475
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Contributor to project:
The Voyager update project
Los Angeles, CA, US
Immortal since Jan 13, 2008
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    From _nessa
    Machinic Phylum
    a5skylar’s project
    The Voyager update project
    Description has not yet been created.
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From a5skylar's personal cargo

    Visa, Sponsor?
    Project: The Voyager update project
    I thought it would be interesting to choose a credit card company for the sponsor of our water products based on our idea that all of the content we sell will be the same, allowing the packaging to imbue personalized meaning. This is basically what most credit card companies are trying to do with personalized cards already. All a card company provides is a means to increase personal spending by delaying payments over time with interest. They all “sell” debt, so it is interesting how differently the various companies try to spin it. Naomi Klein refers to Internet brands in "No Logo" as a more pure form of branding as a lifestyle and/or narrative because on the web a company is free to showcase itself through the philosophy of the brand without getting bogged down in the physicality of production, location, or product. In a way, credit card companies are afforded the same privilege to allow the character of the brand to carry 100% of the product's weight - it becomes all about the story. I have chosen Visa as the company of choice because their narrative seems to be, at first glance, the most robust. American Express firmly bases their card stratification on the financial status of the borrower, providing a fairly narrow approach to what our water could be: water for people who make X amount of dollars, or X amount, etc. Between MasterCard and Visa the choice is simple, take their mantras, plug in water and see what happens. "For everything else there's water" versus "Life takes water" - I think we have a winner. When you first log on to the Visa website, you are faced with a dilemma: who am I? Am I Classic or Secured? I would like to think of myself as Gold but then why not Platinum? However, what I am most interested in are the Visa Signature and Rewards Cards because they provide the most effort on the part of Visa to slice and dice its audience. Visa Signature is divided up into Sports & Entertainment, Fine Wine & Food, Travel, Hotel & Spa, Shopping, and Concierge. Now if you are a Lakers fan, or are a country music fan, there’s a card just for you. The Rewards Cards partner up with different brands (BMW, Amazon, Borders, ESPN, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Trump, US Airways, Capitol One, etc) to provide a special second layer narrative that Visa can attach itself to – find what they already love and embrace it too, brilliant. Capitol One is an interesting offshoot because as an autonomous provider of cards with Visa logos, they have even more specialized promotions including a card-building program where you can upload a personal image, pick your rate and rewards schema. Possible trouble with choosing Visa is where and why they would sell water. Visa isn’t in the business of product exchange, which means they don’t have stores or a distribution infrastructure. Visa also has a desire to locate themselves within existing paradigms, which we might be what we are challenging. Visa is also in the business of branded transparency, i.e. if you like BMW or drive a BMW, use our BMW branded card. So that Visa is not represented as a special, unique entity in your wallet, but an obvious manifestation of things you already have an emotional/commercial connection to. However, it might not be a bad thing to propose Visa to do the opposite. If they made cards clever and obscure enough, people might carry them just for the style, not planning on ever using them of course.

    Wed, Feb 20, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: water
    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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