Visa Contactless and ITV

With 40m contactless cards issued but only 6.7m being used for a contactless transaction, Visa employed the UK’s first behavioural placement to normalise their use.

Making a new behavior feel everyday

Those who use contactless cards love them but 40% of people who owned one didn’t even know they had one – and then there were barriers such as frets over security and the potential embarrassment of doing it wrong. Research showed this problem loomed largest in Northern England. Visa knew the more familiar they could make contactless, the more comfortable and open people would be about using it.

Behavioural placement 

For the first time on UK TV it wouldn’t be product that was placed, but behaviour. Visa decided to place the behaviour of using contactless payment into comfortable and familiar environments, places where people often go and know the people intimately: Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Visa and MEC worked with ITV to embed the behaviour and technology into the homely surroundings of the pubs, shops and cafes of the UK’s favourite soaps, reaching more than 12 million adults every week. The behaviour was woven seamlessly into the scripts, with completely natural interactions.

What could make it seem more everyday than seeing Norris using contactless to buy his milk from Dev’s shop? Not only did the TV programmes deliver massive audiences every day, but they typified the heart of the problem: the suburban and rural northern communities.

Visa contactless itv coronation st dev shop

A new normal

The campaign succeeded in establishing contactless as the new normal for small payments, getting more people to use their cards more often for a wider range of small payments.

Millward Brown tracking has shown that viewers of Coronation Street and Emmerdale have seen a 5% uplift in awareness of contactless (more than double those who aren’t viewers). The behavioural placement has also driven the perception that contactless is normal, with the statement “contactless is widely accepted” seeing significant shifts in agreement vs. those who do not watch the shows.

Viewers are also using their cards more with usage jumping significantly from 11% to 15%, again out-stripping the average growth. Since the campaign started there are 50% more active cards for contactless.

This new type of ‘behavioural integration’ really pushes the boundaries of our Product Placement offering and it’s been especially exciting to work across our two biggest soaps at the same time.

Katherine Marlow, ITV Commercial, Senior Product Placement and Branded Content Manager


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