Content brand of the week: Amex, the global brand standing up for the little guy

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 14.10.33*Burp*

Excuse you. Any reason for that gross lack of manners?

Sorry, I’m just still so stuffed full of delicious Thanksgiving food after yesterday!

You’re not even American.

That’s no reason to turn down the chance to eat a Turducken. Turducken transcends national identities.

I don’t think I want to know. And how will you be spending your ‘Black Friday’ – stampeding around your local ‘mall’, clambering over other shoppers in pursuit of the very best bargains?

No sale shopping for me this year. Too full.

In that case maybe you might like to try out Small Business Saturday, a new and (slightly) less capitalist celebration of small and local businesses – as opposed to the all-out corporate greedwar that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On SBS (which is tomorrow), any Amex customer can get a tidy $10 cashback on any $10 spend, and they can do this at up to three different businesses. All they have to do is register on the campaign’s microsite ShopSmallNow.com.

That sounds pretty cool. Maybe I can pick up a pair of trousers with an elasticated waistband.

Or just go the whole hog and buy a bed sheet to drape over yourself. Small Business Saturday is a campaign started by credit card giant American Express. It’s presented as a kind of grassroots campaign to encourage shoppers to stand up for the little guy in their neighbourhood. There are plenty of campaigns like this, both in the UK and USA, but the might of Amex is really turning this particular campaign into a leading light. Just check out the slick website, complete with not one, not two, but eleven calls to action in this screenshot alone!

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.27.33

I can get behind that. But what’s in it for Amex?

Well, as you might expect, Amex isn’t keen on driving loads of extra customers to businesses that don’t take payments on its cards – so to appear on the site and grab a shmplates and good old fashioned printable posters.are of what is estimated to be around $5.7billion (£3.6billion) in extra revenues generated on SBS, you’ll need to be accepting American Express.

Very sneaky.

Perhaps, but even so there are plenty of good reasons to get in on the action. Amex offers free resources to its participating stores, allowing them to make a noise about Small Business Saturday for themselves by downloading and customising Shop Small-branded social media adverts, email newsletter templates and the tried and tested window poster.

Kickin’ it old school. What’s next, branded mixtapes?

No, you can put your Sony walkman away – although the brand does use another content marketing technique that’s as old as the hills –  the good old fashioned case study. If you’re still umming and ahhing about stumping up the extra transaction fees that come with accepting American Express, then these might be the final nudge you need.

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 13.35.29

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 13.35.57

They’re presented in a simple format with minimal copy, but the language used is clear and aspirational: “see how some businesses seized the day”, “all of their efforts helped make a big increase in sales on Small Business Saturday“. Oh and rather than call them case studies, they’re “Success Stories”.

I can’t wait for Small Business Saturday. In the meantime, anyone for a slice of Cherpumple?

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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media. www.speakmedia.co.uk

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