“Welcome to Blingola,” an imaginary world where everyone has “all the happiness in the world,” courtesy of their Virgin Money credit cards. With headlines like “The land of milf and honeyz,” you’re probably thinking this campaign is a joke. It isn’t. These ads are fo’real cuz.
Apparently in South Africa, where these Virgin Money ads are running, “wish fulfillment” means all your pimp-daddy, gangsta-wannabe, holla-balla, schnizzle yo’ dizzle dreams come true. This campaign is sure to offend the puritanical — if not frequently hypocritical — sensibilities of many Americans. But remember: Americans aren’t the target audience. Nor are puritans.
Check out this TV spot. It looks more like a promo for MTV’s Cribs than for a financial institution.
It’s easy to get distracted by the campaign’s socio-cultural fantasies — it’s blinginess, if you will — but the actual product it’s promoting has one feature that’s pretty slammin’. South Africa’s “Bling” edition of Virgin Money’s credit card actually pays “a whopping 9.5% interest rate on all positive balances.” The downside: 20.5% on negative balances.
Key Question: Does Virgin cap the size of balance you can earn 9.5% interest on?
The fact that you can both earn interest and borrow money from a single, card-based account is really amazing. It’s a big enough breakthrough that Virgin Money should have probably renamed the product. “Credit card” just isn’t right.
The cards themselves come in three flavors. One is fire red and says, “Just use me.” Another has a crazy line-drawing of gawd-knows-what. A third one has a faux diamond-encrusted “Bling” in gangsta lettering.