Visa Making 'Freaky' Online Purchases Safer

New Ad With Lip-Sync'd Rick James Song Confounds, Creeps Us Out

By Published on .

Visa's done it again. They've taken a song that means the world to many and used it as a crude glue to affix happiness to credit card debt. My teenage years have been retroactively sullied, and I'll never be able to relive the halcyon days of my adolescence without hearing the ca-ching ca-ching of cash registers.

Psyche! Visa's newest ad features the song "Super Freak" by Rick James, and I can't imagine what you were up to in the early '80s if you've gotten yourself worked up about this one. Nevertheless, it is fairly bizarre:

So you've got a random assortment of people singing lines from the song as they're doing things and then Morgan Freeman's voiceover: "Who isn't a little freaky? Visa debit is the safe, secure way to pay online ... More people go funky with Visa." I totally understand the attempt at hilarity in the first part with the singing, although it's not nearly as good as the Sony Ericsson ad with everyone singing "Enjoy the Silence." But what does "freakiness" have to do with buying music online? Sure, I get that the girl is buying the song they're singing, but that could literally have been any song in the world and it would have been the same tendentious connection to the sales pitch.

"Super Freak" is long past its expiration date for yuks, and we get the "everyone is a little weird premise," but it goes nowhere; perhaps if the girl had been purchasing, I dunno, kinky S&M equipment on the web, this song would have actually been kind of perfect ... and maybe even funny.

Also: putting weird thoughts into our heads about Morgan Freeman getting "freaky" is definitely not funny.

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