This Dollar is Golden

The U.S. mint recently launched a national ad campaign to announce the production of the Golden Dollar coin. Featuring a modernized George Washington as the spokesperson, the U.S. mint's ad campaign relies on the good looks of the founding father to promote the new addition to the nation's money supply.

The Washington spokes-character is composed of the likeness of Washington as he appears on the one Dollar Bill, animated onto the body of a thirty-something male urbanite. The commercials follow this clever character through a variety of everyday purchasing and social situations, while Washington explains that he's not upset because his picture wasn't selected for the coin.

Trendy phrases including "It's So Money" and the ad campaign's tagline, "Changing the Face Of Money" make the advertising spots memorable and draw the viewer in to find out exactly what is going on.

And what exactly is going on? Why is it that the US Mint has launched a massive advertising and publicity campaign to promote a new coin? It seems unnecessary to advertise money as there is only one source for US currency, and it would seem unlikely that the US Mint is in jeopardy of losing its position as the official source for US currency.

The creators respond by stating that that they hope the ad campaign will encourage people to spend the coin like regular money, instead of simply adding the new currency to coin collections like it's predecessor, The Susan B. Anthony.

Whereas public opinion will ultimately determine if the coin is successful, the likeable advertising campaign which includes print, radio, transit, Internet and two TV ads will certainly help its cause.

Although Washington doesn't make any mention of who appears on the new coin, it features the assumed likeness of Sacagawea a young Shoshone woman who assisted Lewis and Clark on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

You can find the commercials by logging into the US Mint Web site at https://www.usmint.com/

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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deke's picture

I haven't even seen one of those coins and they've been in circulation for months. One of their key strategies for circulation was to sell millions of them to Wal-Mart and have them placed in cash registers. That way, consumers would get them as change and (ideally) go on to use them at other stores and continue to spread them around.

For Wal-Mart's part, they were going to get the Early Adopters and collector-types rushing into their stores to get some. You had to make a purchase, then receive the dollar coins in change.

I thought it was a brilliant concept for both the U.S. Mint and Wal-Mart. I'm disappointed Wal-Mart didn't focus a campaign around this, or at least I never saw/heard of one.

As for the Washington commercials, I find his appearance creepy at best. I've seen it splattered around buses in the Boston area as well. It's uncomfortable to see the head disjointed from the body, even in a cartoon form. But if it gets attention, a little shock value isn't a bad thing.

weskimcom's picture

Another ridiculous waste of taxpayers money--a campaign promoting the use of money in the world capital of capitalism. Shot by Bob Giraldi, a big bucks director no less. The bottomline here is that this campaign was launched in the spring and I have yet to encounter one in a Walmart or anywhere else. Maybe they didn''''t have a budget left to produce them after the ad campaign.

This is an example of a classic goof--unsynchronized marketing. Creating demand and being unable to fulfill it. Who was the coin created for in the first place-vending machine operators and casino owners? If dollar coins were such a great idea the Susan B. Anthony dollar would still be around.

And it''''s a real kick in the head to learn Washington isn''''t even on the coin! Of course, its only shown in passing in the TV spot so how would you know? Sacagawea? Why didn''''t they put Sasquatch on the coin? If they weren''''t going the Founding Fathers route they could have had Big Foot, aliens and a whole X-Files series. They could have gotten co-op money from the producers of the X-Files and saved us taxpayers some coin.

(Oh, sorry about all the''''''''''''''''''''''''''''but the comment box is automatically adding them. I''''m sure DaBitch will get the bugs out.)