Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Always Christmastime for Visa

My wife Kathy is a friggin genius, in my entirely impartial opinion. She runs the national e-mail advocacy system for Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, and this year has begun producing song animations that go along with their various issue campaigns to promote viral email marketing.

Now she's got her
first Christmas song, featuring terrific Texas talent -- the Austin Lounge Lizards coupled with south Austin's own Animation Farm. "It's always Christmastime for Visa." And ain't it the truth? I think it's hilarious. Go here to check it out, take the action to support credit card reform in Congress, then forward it to all your friends. And I'd appreciate any help from my fellow bloggers spreading the word.

Merry Christmas to all! (Even the damned credit card companies.)


Anonymous said...

The animation is pretty funny, but I do think it's targeted at the wrong "enemy." Most people fail to recognize the fact that it isn't Visa they should be upset with. Its the banks. Credit card companies make no money off your interest rates. The bank the issued the card does. They set those rates and they charge late fees and they mark your credit report and they call you 25 times a day. Not Visa. Credit card companies (like Visa) make their money by providing secure transactions between consumers and merchants. Merchants pay a small fee to for those transaction services. So really, if people are going to be mad at the actual credit card companies, it should only be because merchants probably have a small mark up to cover those fees (that's why small stores have CC minimums).

Anyway, I don't own a credit card because I agree and understand the core message in the animation...but I think its doing a disservice by feeding misinformation to consumers about who they should be addressing.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Now, now! The video is political art, a cultural artifact, not a legal brief or legislative testimony! The action item and letter to Congress associated with it is plenty specific and gives people specific information about the bills they're pushing, which is what really matters. I don't think it's a "disservice," just metaphor, and a reference to people's common experience. Nobody thinks of their bank when they use a credit card -- they think of Visa!

Anonymous said...

I understand why you'd be defensive of my comment, especially since your wife was involved in the making of it. Please don't think it meant to be aggressive in anyway. Like I said, I agree with the core message of the video, and I think its an important one.

I also understand where you're coming from when you say, "Nobody thinks of their bank when they use a credit card -- they think of Visa!" Unfortunately that isnt their common experience, its their common misconception.

I just want to say again that I did in fact like the video, and I recognize its purpose.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Sorry Justin, I didn't mean to sound "defensive," and I don't disagree with your technical points. And I'm glad you liked the video. Thanks for linking to it on the Austinist.

Just fyi, the Lounge Lizards wrote the song, not any finance expert, which to me is as it should be. (Believe me, it wouldn't be nearly as funny if the widget-testers at Consumers Union wrote it by committee!) That's why I say I'd expect attention to that level of detail in a letter to Congress or an issue fact sheet on a bill, but not in a humorous song and video animation featuring dancing elves. :-) Thanks a lot for the plug, though, and the conversation. Best,