Friday, November 16, 2007

Money: Yet another thing I don't like

Every football fan has undoubtedly seen the Saints Visa commercial:

(Well, that was the best I could do. Roll with it.)

As a lifelong, die-hard Saints fan, I have decided that I do not like this commercial. And not because of the Saints imagery - indeed, I enjoy that - but because of the spot's message. This commercial has existed in other forms, too, but they all boil down to this:

In a store or restaurant, we are all cogs in a flawlessly fascist show of efficiency. This production constantly straddles the danger zone, and if you so much as hesitate, the next person's lunch is all over the Catherine Zeta-Jones lookalike behind you. Similarly, Saints fans will get irate if you pay for your tennis balls (douche) with cash (double douche!!). The message here, then, is that cash is as old-fashioned and creaky as grandma's corset. And about as visually appealing.

So at this point, we have two stupid messages: 1) Shop/eat as fast as you can at all times and 2) Why slow down the line with cash when you can swipe your card, press a million buttons and await verification?

But wait...that's not all!

Rounding out the trifecta of wrong stuff being taught here is the worst lesson of all: that credit cards deserve to be made smaller and more instantly swiped. Like a wronged Sean Payton, I call a challenge on this one. In all my years as a debit-card carrier (no credit cards for me, thanks), I have rarely, if at all, had my card checked against who I am. And that's with a full-sized card and rapidly outdating technology! Now they want to make it smaller and easier to steal, with clerks prizing ruthless speed and efficiency over ID verification? That's not why I go to the French Quarter, dammit! Or anywhere else.

Visa may be Everywhere I Want to Be, but I would like it to stay with me. Not that anyone else would honestly want it.

That reminds me...I should really buy a Saints knit cap for these frosty Rams/Chiefs winters. And not with cash, lest I be branded a bleeding-heart freethinker.


Bridget said...

I feel much the same way about that commercial and others like it. It pisses my Mom right off every time she sees them, because she uses checks, and this shouldn't make her feel like an inconvenience to the rest of the world. But the Saints imagery is nice, I thought they were just playing that one in Louisiana.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nope, Bridget, it plays in snowy states as well. There are a lot of national Saints campaigns this year.

And yes, I used to write a lot of checks too. Still do occasionally, with all the tricks I learned along the way (i.e., writing the date, sig and store name before I get to the register). But what chance do check writers have if even cash is too slow for the average ADHD cog?

Maitri said...

The commercial also overlooks the critical fact that if you visit New Orleans, you'd better get ready to pay with cash. Not a lot of stores accept credit cards and prefer cold hard green. In reality, you hold up the line while Credit Card Central processes the transaction and are made a further jackass because you have to bend over to sign the damned microscopic slip of paper. I don't normally carry cash because it's too bulky, but know to go to the ATM before hitting most places in this city.

Ian McGibboney said...

I almost made that exact point in my blog, but wasn't sure if that was still true since the last time I went to New Orleans. My favorite shops in the French Quarter weren't even in the phone book, let alone the plastic world.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget who is floating this boat. More powerful than the Bush family & Wal Mart and a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, It's the VISA corporation.

Leigh C. said...

I have one of those damned mini-cards, and I kept it in it's regular-sized card enclosure until that broke off, but I still make it a point to keep it in my wallet. It has a hole on it and is clearly meant to be put on a keychain, which is the last thing I need - my keys and a plastic gateway to my financial info lost someplace. I need to call the company and get a regular-sized card.

Leah Martin said...

I love the mini cards...this way I only have to grab keys and phone to go...arn't men always bitching about this size of women's handbags anyways? Just a thought.

emy-d said...

You read my mind on this post. Thanks for watching and reading :). I'm waiting on a new debit card so I'm relying on checks right now and I find myself feeling embarrassed while I’m filling them out. Who knew money wasn't money if it isn't plastic?

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, Emy, if you're ever in front of me writing a check somewhere, I won't mind. I know what it's like.