American Express Digital WELCOME TO SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY by Digitas New York

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Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market United States
Agency Digitas New York
Released May 2013


Cannes Lions 2013
Media Lions Use of Media; Best Use of Social Media Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Use of Social Media
Agency: DIGITAS New York, USA

(M Booth)

Results and Effectiveness

President Obama tweeted, “My family & I started our holiday shopping at a local bookstore on #SmallBizSat. I hope you’ll join & shop small this holiday season. –bo”

Consumer awareness skyrocketed to 74%, translating into higher spending. US consumers who were aware of SBS spent a total of $5.5 billion with independent merchants.

Over 100,000 businesses utilized tools on Over 720,000 businesses installed permanent POP placements. The free online hyper-local ad tool served over 47 million local impressions on behalf of 26,000 SBOs.

3.2+ million “Likes” for the SBS Facebook page, and over 213,000 tweets in support of SBS.

Creative Execution

We wanted to reach SBOs via hyper-targeted display (audience segmentation, first and third party data including social sharing behavior), social media (Facebook) and 1-to-1 merchant outreach (AOL Patch) to educate merchants in our toolkit offerings, while promoting the use of the toolkit and free ads program.

We utilized hyper-targeted communication to ensure action on SBS by serving consumers relevant local ads for merchants in their area and leveraging a custom mobile click-to-add-calendar execution, for consumers to automatically set up a calendar reminder for SBS on November 24th. Generating mass awareness through high reaching partners (promoted trend on Twitter, takeovers on Facebook, AOL, Yahoo!) helped maximize visibility on the day. We also streamlined conversations and encouraged virality/sharing by using unified hash-tags, and had celebrity endorsed tweets on Twitter and in display banners and social video seeding/distribution.

Insights, Strategy and the Idea

During the holiday season, small businesses can often be overlooked by shoppers who usually think of large, national retailers first. In 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday® (SBS), a new shopping day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, dedicated to supporting the small businesses that create jobs, boost local economies and sustain our communities.

American Express is uniquely positioned to advocate for shopping small because of their duel relationship with consumers and small business owners (SBOs). The intention of SBS was to deliver on American Express OPEN®’s mission: help small business do more business. And when billions of dollars are injected into the national economy through independent merchants on a day created by American Express, and when small business owners attribute their profit gained to Small Business Saturday, then American Express, and everyone, wins.