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ARLINGTON, Va. – Visa, the nation’s number one card brand, has a major promotion push tied to a multimillion dollar movie scheduled for the holiday season this year, according to a presentation offered by a Visa executive to credit union issuers. Joe Little, vice president with Visa, revealed the details of the promotion to card managers attending a card growth workshop sponsored by Card Services for Credit Unions and Certegy on October 19. Little’s presentation pointed out that Visa places a premium on card activity during the holidays since they often boost each year’s transactions significantly. Spending on Visa credit and debit cards increased 5.2% in 2003 over similar spending during the holidays in 2002, Little said. The new promotion will key on this reality, asking consumers to tally in their minds how much money they have spent on their Visa credit and debit cards in all of 2004 and then choosing 60 winners who will receive back that total amount. Every Visa purchase through December 31 will win a chance to be one of the 60, Little explained. Consumers that Visa surveyed about this promotion indicated a high degree of interest in it (72%), and likelihood it would influence their usage (54%). Sixty-two percent said that they thought the year-long timeframe made the promotion stand out among other promotions which are often tied to the holidays. To build interest further, Visa will tie the promotion to National Treasure, a Disney movie scheduled to open during the holidays. Over 167 million people went to the movies in 2003, with the majority of those during the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years. Little described National Treasure as a “thrilling action/adventure film starring Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger, and directed by Jerry Bruckheimer. Touchstone Pictures is planning a multimillion ad campaign to tout the PG-rated film, into which Visa will target its own promotional and contest messages. Visa will make cardholder statement inserts, in-branch signs, Web site messages, direct mail, and other campaign materials available to credit unions who wish to use them to boost their own card promotion. In-branch materials will generally be free to credit unions whereas other materials may carry a small fee. The materials will include bilingual (Spanish/English) brochures, posters and information sheets as well. Visa noted that Hispanics go to the movie 20% more often than other groups over any given 30-day period. -

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