American Express Promo, Case study SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY by Crispin Porter + Bogusky Boulder

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky Boulder
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Consumer Engagement
Date of First Appearance: Nov 27 2010
Entrant Company: DIGITAS, Boston, USA
Entry URL:
Main Agency/ Concept Co-Creator: (Digitas)
Creative Agency for ATL: (Crispin Porter + Bogusky)
Public Relations Agency: (M Booth & Associates)
Social Media Build Partner: (Vitrue)
ATL Media Strategy: (Mindshare)
Media placement: Digital: Social & Buzz Amplification - Facebook, Twitter, Technorati, Social Vibe, AOD - 8 November 2010
Media placement: Digital: News Outlets - Yahoo, Smart Brief, Digg, Huffington Post, New York Times, MSN, Washington Post, - 8 November 2010
Media placement: Digital: Local & Brand Enthusiast Activation - Yahoo/Bing Search, Google Search, Yelp, Tasting Table, Thrillist, Urban Daddy, D - 15 November 2010
Insights, Strategy & the Idea
With small businesses still reeling from the recession, AMERICAN EXPRESS OPEN wanted to amplify their support for small business owners during the very important holiday shopping season. Against the mega-noise of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday championed independent businesses. While American Express has a longstanding, supportive relationship with business owners, AMEX OPEN focuses on independent business. Small Business Saturday aided these small businesses owners and their loyal customers. An important statistic stood out during ideation: for every $100 spent at small businesses, $68 stays local and is reinvested in the community. That fact dovetailed with increasing consumer sentiment to shop local, inspired the “shop small” message. Ads come and go, but holidays are forever. Associating the Amex brand with a holiday supporting local business was more than relevant; it was ideal. Small Business Saturday strengthened local communities, supported job growth and inspired card members and non-card members alike.
Creative Execution
Small Business Saturday is a celebration of small business that needed to feel like a grassroots movement. To spread the “shop small” message overnight, we launched a multi-touch social media program benefiting both consumers and small business owners. Social networking tools empowered consumers to rally their friends, gush about their favourite businesses and take advantage of special “shop small” credits. At the same time, small business owners received access to sophisticated digital marketing tools, advice, and, for the first time ever, free geo-targeted Facebook advertising. Facebook & Twitter strategies provided both consumers and small business owners small, achievable actions that resulted in enormous social impact. The social networking tools triggered results, which caught the attention of traditional media. OPEN worked with national advocacy groups, public and private organizations, and elected governmental officials to declare November 27 Small Business Saturday all across the U.S.
Results and Effectiveness
In its third week, Small Business Saturday was the fastest-growing page on Facebook with over 1.2 million “likes”. 30,000 Tweets were sent using our hashtag. It received 2,900+ PR mentions. To promote their businesses for Small Business Saturday, 100K merchants downloaded signage and promotional materials and 10,000 received free Facebook advertising. Facebook contributed an additional $50K in free advertising. On November 27th, small businesses saw a significant increase, while small retailers accepting AMEX saw a 28% boost. And this is just the beginning. Because 70% of people who’re aware of Small Business Saturday say they would participate next year.