Cannes Lions

Money Is Changing

VISA, San Francisco / VISA / 2019

Case Film
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Millennial women are 3x more likely to talk about sex than their salaries.

That’s just one thing we uncovered when we surveyed women about their real feelings on money.

And we thought: we should talk about this.

Women are openly discussing everything from sexual harassment to period panties, but money still remained taboo. Visa hadn’t talked to women much either and its relevance was falling. An influx of innovation giants was moving into the payments space diluting relevance even more.

We needed to transform Visa from the brand that everyone uses but no one thinks about, like a light switch, into an innovation leader within her changing world like a lightning bolt. We couldn’t keep telling women to change the way they pay, we needed to reimagine their relationship with money and remind them that they can lead that charge.


Every part of this campaign was data driven. Using a closed loop approach, we were able to concretely understand what mattered to, and how to talk to her. We let real time data inform the creative process, resulting in a self-generating campaign. To truly break through to this audience, we needed to understand that a brand-to-consumer GTM approach is no longer effective.

We anchored the campaign in research, commissioning a massive quant study to ask women deeply personal questions about money in all aspects of their lives. We used this data as the centerpiece of attention grabbing ads, finding out which content topics to feature, understanding if people cared more about the progress or problems, all the way down to specific executional elements like what animation style to use. We also used our findings with partners to create think-pieces, candid interviews, influencer content, infographics, and real-time polling through Instagram and Snapchat to probe deeper on the highest performing topics and learn more.

As we launched assets, we’d learn, iterate, and optimize based on how she was responding. The range of assets in-market, including videos, social gifs, events and product ads became a self-generating closed loop, with performance informing future creative.


To challenge old rules we needed to create transparency around this new landscape.

In a world where women are more financially empowered, and demanding more equality than ever, what does that mean for how she deals with money in all aspects of her life? We needed the data. Does income matter in a relationship? Should friends ever talk money? How do you split chores, bills, and childcare responsibilities when she is the breadwinner? Who pays for the first date?

We designed a national research study, as well as Instagram and Snapchat poll, to ask millennial women about all this and more. We delved into deeply personal questions about their beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes on money across all aspects of their lives. The data revealed progress, but also new problems arising as old beliefs clashed with new cultural norms.

We shared both the progress and problems we discovered with her. Because we believe knowledge is power--and women deserve more of both.

We broke away from the standard, linear, launch approach and instead developed a breadth of content in order to understand what was resonating with her. We then continuously iterated off of those results using real time learnings.


With a limited budget, our campaign blew past expected KPI lifts - showing immediate success at launch, driving a 45% increase in relevance, and 33% lift in perception of Visa as an innovative brand amongst millennial women, reversing a multi-year decline.

Money is Changing has already created waves, with brands and publishers seeking out Visa to join the conversation, and Visa leadership championing the campaign.

Our client, Visa VP of North America Marketing, had this to say –

“They've created an amazing, transformative campaign, reinventing the Visa brand before it became a commodity akin to electricity, napkins and toilet paper.

As an organization, Visa has taken action to become more committed to the campaign. So far, we've developed a women’s small business initiative, sponsored the U.S. Women’s soccer team, and are working with financial institutions to close the gender investment gap."

[Visa 1st-Party ILM Study against US norms, QoQ Q3-Q4‘18]

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