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American Express Facebook Ad Case Study

American Express Facebook Ad Case Study

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Published by: Social Fresh Conference on Jun 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Advertising Case Study
American Express
Company Background
American Express is a global service company thatprovides customers with access to products, insightsand experiences that enrich lives and build businesssuccess. American Express OPEN is dedicatedto helping small business owners run and growsuccessul businesses.
Campaign Objective
As a company, American Express is always looking orways to help small businesses. In act, OPEN’s missionis Helping Businesses Do More Business. From thatmission, grew the idea or Small Business Saturday,a day when Americans would be encouraged topatronize their local businesses. Within AmEx, theidea quickly took on a lie o its own. “We recognizedthe downturn had a big impact on a number o smallbusinesses and that what they needed most wascustomers,” says John Hayes, Chie Marketing Ofcerat American Express. “When this idea came about,everyone said ‘let’s just do it.’” American Express setout to create “Small Business Saturday,” a movementencouraging consumers to shop at small businesseson the Saturday ater Thanksgiving, between BlackFriday and Cyber Monday—two o the country’sbiggest annual shopping days.Susan Sobbott, President o American Express OPEN,explains, “Small Business Saturday is a maniestationo tremendous energy around rallying Americanconsumers to shop at their local stores and helpbusinesses do more business” The campaign hadthree main goals: American Express wanted to help
Facebook Executive Summary
 Create a national movement to drivebusiness to small businesses calledSmall Business Saturday
A multi-layer ecosystem o passionateAmericans, support rom governmentofcials, reasons to shop at localsmall businesses, and the Facebookcommunity at the heart o it all
Key Lessons:
execution, people can bemobilized extremely quickly onFacebook
powerul way or brands topursue a common goal with theircustomers
“Not only were we able to get a fan base of a million and a half peopleon Facebook supporting Small Business Saturday, but when you think about their friends, we’re talking about over 100 million people beingaware of Small Business Saturday. We don’t know any other way that we could have scaled that level of awareness and that level of engagement in less than two and a half weeks.” 
 John Hayes
Chie Marketing Ofcer, American Express
Advertising Case Study
small businesses by bringing consumers intotheir stores, unite U.S. consumers around acause they care about, and strengthen AmericanExpress’ relationship with small businesses andconsumers. American Express had an initialobjective o getting at least 1 million ans to jointhe movement on Facebook.
Campaign Approach
As John explains, “The frst place we allagreed we needed to be was Facebook—localbusinesses exist on Facebook and consumersspend an enormous amount o time onFacebook.” Plus, American Express says Facebookenabled the brand to target specifc audiencesand beneft rom the sharing that occursnaturally on the platorm.In order to raise awareness o Small BusinessSaturday, American Express launched a mediacampaign on Facebook. Utilizing a series oad placements including Marketplace Adsand Premium Reach Blocks, which drove to adedicated Small Business Saturday Page, AmExsought to gain maximum awareness o themovement and encourage consumers to engage.The Small Business Saturday Page became thedestination or all o AmEx’s marketing eortsand the community hub or those supporting themovement. It also quickly became the astestgrowing Page on Facebook.The company’s activities on Facebook werecomplemented by a cross-media campaign.“We created a business system around SmallBusiness Saturday, o which Facebook was thebeating heart,” says Susan. “We had a PR strategy,advertising strategy, partnership strategy andpublic ofcial strategy that was built around it.There was a virtuous cycle between all pieces othe equation.”To achieve a movement o this scale, AmericanExpress needed a simple call to action and clearincentives or all participants. Consumers whoused their AmEx card at a small business on theSaturday ater Thanksgiving received a $25 credit,when they spent $25. American Express provided10,000 businesses ree advertising on Facebookand oered them in-store materials to promotethe event to their customers. “Many o them hadnever advertised on Facebook beore, and weinspired them to use a new medium,” says Susan.“Many are continuing to do that now that they’veexperienced Facebook.”
in encouraging consumers and small businessowners to take an action related to SmallBusiness Saturday. Across all metrics, AmericanExpress saw positive dierences whencomparing those citing Facebook as a sourceo awareness versus those not encounteringSmall Business Saturday on Facebook.
saw a 28 percent lit in revenue over theprior year, compared to a 9 percent lit or allretailers. “This was a threeold increase versuswhat total retail was able to see,” says John.“That certainly made an impact on these smallbusinesses.”
Advertising Case Study
opinion o American Express. Among thegeneral public, nearly orty seven percent othose who cited Facebook as a source havea more avorable impression o AmEx versusthirty percent o those who are awarerom sources other than Facebook. AmongCardmembers, sixty fve percent o thosewho cited Facebook as a source have a moreavorable opinion o the brand, comparedto orty nine percent who did not citeFacebook as a source.
downloaded point-o-purchase andpromotional materials rom the SmallBusiness Saturday Facebook Page and 10,000small businesses signed up and receivedree Facebook advertising (this oer soldout).
movement by liking Small Business Saturdayon Facebook. This means the brand can nowreach over 100 million riends o those answith Friends o Connections Targeting.
2010 “Small Business Saturday” includingMayor Bloomberg o New York.
approximately 3,000 press mentions.American Express says Facebook helped createthe community that made Small BusinessSaturday credible and so successul. “Facebookallowed us to achieve connectedness, creatinga sense o community around an eort to drivecustomers to small businesses, which we couldnot have accomplished in any other way,” saysJohn. “You don’t oten get to work on a projectwhere you really eel like you’re making adierence or an entire community.” In addition,Susan says that as the Facebook communitygrew, so did the movement’s credibility andpress attention.The company credits the power o thiscommunity and its cross-media campaigns or
percent awareness among Americans. “The speedat which we could get a message in market anditerate on it, literally in the course o a day, is notsomething you can do through email, direct mailor TV,” says Susan. “Not only were we able to geta an base o over a million people on Facebooksupporting Small Business Saturday, but whenyou think about their riends, we’re talking aboutover 100 million people being aware o SmallBusiness Saturday,” says John. “We don’t knowany other way that we could have scaled thatlevel o awareness and that level o engagementin about two and a hal weeks.”We’ve built an engaged community around acause that people are passionate about Susansays. “The million and a hal ans don’t goaway—they are now a permanent community.”John adds that as a marketer, “the challengeor American Express is how do we engagepeople and get them involved in the things weare doing that we jointly value. When you dothat, you change the way people eel aboutyour brand and your company, and that is themost important thing that marketing can dotoday. That is the outcome o the Facebook andAmerican Express eort behind Small BusinessSaturday.”

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