Vikings Vs. Visigoths: Capital One Knows The Difference


On nearly every episode of Project Runway, Heidi Klum and The Gang ask designers to explain for whom their outfits were created: “Who’s wearing that? What does she do for a living? Where is she going?”

In marketing, we often ask ourselves the same questions, though ours are usually more concerned with identifying demographics than with building a lush backstory: “Who’s buying this? What’s her household income? What does she eat for breakfast?” That kind of thing.

Apparently, creative directors do it, too. In case you were wondering:

“The characters in the Capital One TV commercials actually represent Visigoths, not Vikings,” Pam Girardo, a spokeswoman for Capital One Financial, writes in an e-mail message.

“The Visigoths were a clan of barbarians with origins in the Baltic region,” Ms. Girardo says, and “over the course of several centuries they migrated southward such that their territories included most of Western Europe, extending all the way to the Mediterranean.”

“The lead Visigoth, named Garth, in the commercials speaks with what could be called a Continental accent,” she adds, “representing the full extent of their Western European roots before their emigration to the United States to take on their current role in the Capital One advertising.”


Well, someone deserves credit for thinking that through.

Me, I just thought he was a cute, fuzzy guy with a leather fetish.

3 thoughts on “Vikings Vs. Visigoths: Capital One Knows The Difference

  1. richard

    it’s wonderful that the Times can write about “brand dialogue”, yet, have they attacked the brand dialogue hypnosis that has come to be the cultural or creative ventures limited by “politics and pathetic tourism” leading to a new, shiny stadium (and every attached chain around the neck restaurant or coffee pit stop) moreso than an awakening from cheesy attempts at creative expression like “real housewives” inertia. just as, their book review can lay it on thick about southern literature in the states, but can they write about the source of cross cultural education, language, or art that is limited because of the above-mentioned cousins of the visigoths? the neanderthals.

    probably not, because they wouldn’t address how early versions of such programming came to be the ugly american in paris (and around the world) through such impressively sophisticated telecom, right?


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