SHINE A LIGHT by Digitas New York for American Express

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Industry Business equipment & services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Digitas New York
Released August 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Integrated Media
Date of First Appearance: Aug 18 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: MINDSHARE, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Vice President Global Media, Content & Communities: Nancy Smith (American Express)
Vice President Global Media, Content Development & Sponsorship Marketing: Louis Paskalis (American Express)
Manager US Media & Sponsorships: Rachel Chan (American Express)
Director US Media & Sponsorships: Susan Hammes (American Express)
Managing Director/Worldwide Client Leader: Ed Hughes (Mindshare)
Senior Partner/Managing Director US Client Leader: Tobias Wolf (Mindshare)
Managing Director: Jon Lefferts (Mindshare)
Manager: Christina Choi (Mindshare)
Associate Director: Laurie Gutherman (Mindshare)
Group Director: John Bosso (Mindshare)
Vice President/Group Director Media: Chris Paul (Digitas)
Associate Director: Earn Tay (Digitas)
Media placement: TV Campaign - 5 Spots/Vignettes - Today Show - 18/08/2009
Media placement: Online - Banners, Syndicated Player - - 18/08/2009
Media placement: Social Media - Social Tool Kits - - 18/08/2009
Media placement: Social Media - Twitter, Tool Kits - - 18/08/2009
Media placement: Social Media - Facebook, Fan Page - Facebook Connect - - 08/10/2009

Results and Effectiveness

Shine A Light resulted in improved brand metrics with significant lifts in awareness, advocacy measures and overall brand impression. Double-digit increases were achieved in consideration to apply and recommendation of American Express. The programme drove over 1m engagements and garnered 211+m positive impressions from nearly 900 placements. Thousands answered the call and shared their inspirational stories. The programme strongly resonated with public sentiment and gave customers a voice, an opportunity to be heard and a way to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. As envisaged, Shine A Light connected deeply with consumers and fuelled a sense of optimism and hope.

Creative Execution
Consumers were invited to “shine a light” on small businesses that took innovative approaches to doing business, a sustained commitment to their community and excellence in customer service. To engage and invite participation, vignettes and companion digital assets were created, featuring NBC talent highlighting businesses that inspired them. These stories appeared throughout broadcast and digital properties driving to an online experience where consumers could submit and engage with the stories. Sharing tool-kits and other amplification assets were integrated throughout the experience, encouraging users to spread the word about these inspirational small businesses and cultivate community support. Several landmark television integrations injected the programme into everyday conversation. Announcing the programme in the Today Show and using the Today Show to reveal the finalists for public voting helped to ignite public interest. A winner announcement in Morning Joe and interview in Your Business continued the conversation in relevant news arenas.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
2009 marked a troubled time in American history; the economy continued to waver, negative sentiment was rising around financial institutions, consumer confidence continued to wane and optimism was at an all time low. American Express needed a relevant way to engage customers and reinforce that its heritage of customer advocacy would continue amidst these challenging times. Inspired by the resilience and passion of entrepreneurs, Small Business Anthem illustrated American Express’ continued support for small business and highlighted their role as an engine in the economic recovery. To add dimension, American Express partnered with NBCU to develop a platform called Shine A Light to showcase inspirational small business stories. Small businesses would also have the opportunity to earn grant and marketing support from American Express. The campaign’s intent was to demonstrate the shared interests between consumers and small business, harness the positive, can-do spirit of American entrepreneurs, and inspire national optimism.