One Barbarians - Band of ferocious barbarians who appear out of
nowhere to attack people using credit cards with high interest rates.
Of course, when someone in the commercial pulls out a Capital One
card, the barbarian horde is stopped dead in its tracks. Why? Because,
as the advertisers want you to believe, Capital One (the No. 5 credit
card issuer) offers the lowest interest rates around.
The barbarians - who are dressed in furs, chains and swinging medieval
weapons of destruction - are just a symbolic representation of the
pain and tribulation that a credit card user feels when they have to
pay high interest rates.
In one commercial, a couple at a shopping mall discuss what credit
card to use to buy a product. This simple dialog sets into motion a
rush of crazed barbarians who determinedly advance on the unsuspecting
consumers. As the barbarians make their way through the mall, they
wreak havoc and pillage along the way. But, just as the barbarians are
about to pounce on the couple, one of them decides to use a Capital
One credit card and the entire army of hooligans cease their
In another spot, a man with a competitor's card is physically shot
upward by a catapult operated by barbarians. The catchphrase used on
all these commercials spots is the intrusive question "What's in YOUR
During a follow-up campaign, the barbarians have been put out of work
because so many consumers are choosing to use Capital One credit
cards. Now, the formerly ferocious fighters (stilled dressed in their
fighting garb) are forced to take other jobs like waiters, dog
walkers, or paramedics to support themselves in these uncertain times.
How'd you like to get mouth-to-mouth from a foul smelling Viking
warrior with bad teeth?