"Let's Go" by Visa feels like a combo of the two Johnnie Walker spots I showed here and here. Similar thematic elements: calling, doing something with your life, change, progress, adventure, becoming somebody. Morgan Freeman even asks, "Will you walk out the door and go left instead of right?" Sounds like the crossroads question to me.
"Let's Go" sits better in my conscience than JW's "Crossroads." Maybe because Freeman promotes a bit of goodwill, while the "Crossroads" character lives in a rather self-centered universe. Or maybe because Visa's sun shines friendlier. Or maybe because Visa features hope, while JW, thrill. Not sure.
It doesn't matter much. Hope and thrill and progress and goodwill aside, both brands increase their perceived value by associating unnaturally with human longings. That's my issue. It works like vicarious fame: if I name-drop famous connections - tell you I met a star, stood in the elevator with a world-changer, studied under a genius - your perceived value of me increases. I'm not really more famous or more valuable, but it feels that way.
Ironically, it doesn't matter much that we know these products can't actually fulfill our human longings. Who would rationalize that Visa or JW can add success to a curriculum vitae, or provide a life of adventure otherwise unattainable? Yet Visa and JW bet that we'll try anyway.
We need better guidance counselors.