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Top 10 Credit Card TV Commercials Worldwide*

Find out which TV ads from around the world rank in the top* ten credit card commercials. Check out the YouTube links and see for yourself how imaginative these credit card providers have been.

Compared to the years before the recession, credit card providers have been having a tough time of late and remaining in the top* ten credit card league has become ever more difficult. The number of people taking up credit cards has dropped whilst debit cards have experienced a surge in popularity. For many folk, credit cards equal debt, and trying to promote a product with such negative connotations requires a high degree of skill and ingenuity. Below, you can check out a number of credit card ads from around the world that would tick those two boxes:

1. American Express and Robert De Niro

The American Express "My Life. My Card." campaign here features a simply-shot ad that focuses on Robert DeNiro's love affair with New York City. Shot in a montage style, American Express is relying on the gravitas of perhaps the world's most respected actor to sell their card. There are no card rates or features mentioned, and there is no sign of DeNiro's celebrity lifestyle. Instead, we see a man of simple but strong beliefs, who carries an Amex card. You can't help but love the guy.

2. Visa and Pierce Brosnan

This is deserving of a place in the top* ten credit card ads because it is a mini Bond movie. It shows Brosnan getting into a motorised rickshaw and the driver getting carried away, taking him on a nightmare journey through the streets just as any great Bond chase would depict. When he arrives at his hotel, the rickshaw collapses and Brosnan throws his Visa Platinum card to the driver. At the end of the night, the grinning taxi driver arrives to pick Brosnan up on a brand new tricked-out Trike. It's a lot of fun, and the type of ad you'd look forward to seeing again.

3. Visa with the Jaws Guy

A bit of a sad image here, with huge ex-Bond baddie Richard Kiel (who played metal-teethed Jaws in "The Spy Who Loved Me") lumbering through a supermarket looking rather old and frail, yet still scaring the hell out of little kids. The upshot is that he's a lovely guy and wants to pay with his Visa Mini credit card, which looks even tinier in his massive hands. The young female cashier smiles to reveal a set of teeth wired up with a brace. Nice bit of nostalgia for the older Bond fans out there.

4. Mastercard and the Cute Elephant

This ad in the Mastercard "Priceless" campaign has to be the winner in the top* ten credit card category. A zookeeper has a cold so the elephant picks up his Mastercard and goes to the city to buy medicine and bits and pieces to make him better. As he only has a trunk not fingers and therefore would have trouble hitting the buttons to key in a PIN, the elephant has cleverly applied for a PayPass card that uses contactless technology. Obviously, otherwise he could never have bought all that stuff.

5. Shinhan Card and Big Korean People

A short and sweet ad from Korea that shows users of the Shinhan credit card to be physical giants compared to non-users. My Korean's a little rusty but I gather it's about how superior you feel when you carry this credit card.

6. Citibank Rewards and Fighting Fools

College-age American kids who can't afford a games console have to dress up and fight like warriors, whilst being told which attacks to make by their buddies. A silly ad that may leave the older generation somewhat cold but will appeal to the twenty- and thirty-somethings. The idea is that with Citibank Rewards you can quickly earn sufficient points to redeem for a genuine games console. This ad works until you start working out how much your card spend would have to be to get such a reward. High. Very high.

7. Mastercard and Homer Simpson

Another great top* ten credit card ad, and another in the Mastercard "Priceless" campaign that shamelessly takes advantage of the world's love affair with the Simpsons. Homer does all his errands and pays with Mastercard, then finally has to be urged by the voice-over guy to get out of Moe's bar and go home to spend time with his family. Homer berates the voice-over guy for his nagging, then angrily leaves, accidentally knocking an old guy on a zimmer frame flying with the bar door. Only with the Simpsons could we laugh at geriatrics getting hurt.

8. Citibank - Security

Promoting Citi Identity Theft Solutions, available on all Citi credit cards, this depicts a young woman speaking with the voice of the man who has stolen her identity and spent a fortune buying a load of geeky goods for himself. A simple yet effective ad that focuses the mind on the dangers of credit card fraud.

9. American Express and Someone Called Nicole Atkins

Featuring singer/songwriter Nicole Atkins (no, I've not heard of her, either), this ad follows her touring with her band and having to repeatedly use her American Express card to resolve problems along the way. Slickly done, but this ad leaves you thinking about the poor management of her tour rather than the benefits of carrying an Amex card.

10. Citibank Big Boy

The 10th and last spot in this top* ten credit card list is this genuinely funny ad for the Citi Simplicity card. Apart from sounding like a female sanitary product, the Simplicity hooks customers with its option to press "0" and speak to a real live person. The ad shows a nerdy guy on his way to work who is trying to talk to someone at his credit card company. However, he first has to go through an indeterminably long voice activation process so that his call will eventually arrive at a human being who is qualified to deal with his query. At one point he has to shout out his password in a crowded train carriage, which embarrassingly is "Big Boy". When he eventually does get to talk to someone, his train enters a tunnel and he's cut off. Funny and effective because we can all relate to it.

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