Innovations and Payment Systems

Amex updates ad campaign


American Express introduces ‘Are you a cardmember?’ as its new advertising catchphrase.

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American Express has decided to swap its “My life. My card.” charge card advertising campaign for one that poses the question, “Are you a card member?”

Compare Low Interest Credit CardsThe old theme had appeared in AmEx ads since November 2004.  AmEx’s new campaign, which begins April 9, 2007, will be the focal point of a multimedia campaign with a budget estimated at between $400 million and $500 million.

With the latest series of advertisements, American Express is aiming to persuade consumers that there are benefits to carrying its green, gold, platinum and other-hued charge cards, even if membership involves fees that may not be charged by credit cards from rivals such as Capital One, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

American Express does not usually alter its advertising campaigns so frequently.  Based on a chronology AmEx provided to The New York Times, “Do you know me?” was featured from 1974 to 1987; “Membership has its privileges” was used from 1987 to 1996; with a short hiatus; and “Do more” ran from 1996 to 2004.

In the first television spot using the new tag line, snowboarder Shaun White is shown going online repeatedly to book airline flights at the last minute, using the points he earned using his American Express card.  Mr. White will also appear on the AmEx website.

The “My life” campaign featured celebrities including Robert De Niro and Ellen DeGeneres discussing their life philosophies.

According to American Express, the company decided to go into greater detail about what card membership provides with its “Are you a card member?” campaign.  AmEx said that the change from the “My life. My card.” ads is that the stories told by celebrities featured in the ads will be more connected to the card products in an authentic way.

AmEx explained that it wants to now include more potential cardholders, taking “My life. My card.” to a wider audience.

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