Campaign Trail: AmEx eyes small-business owners in whimsical new push

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A new article on Marketing Dive says that pop-up workstations -- billboards that flip into desks with charging ports -- are designed for people on the go and manifest how the brand's cards are "built for business."

A new national campaign for American Express playfully illustrates the benefits business owners receive when using the credit card as they grow. For some, growth could take the form of a major pivot, depicted in one ad as a bike shop smoothly transitions into a modern cycling studio. In a second clip, a hair salon kick-starts a viral hairdo, while another shows a pet supply store revamping into a bougie shop with vegan dog shampoos.

The four spots showcasing store owners embracing change to evolve their companies are the latest in AmEx's broader business-to-business (B2B) platform, "Built for Business," targeting small and mid-size business owners. To appeal to this audience as remote work continues to take priority in the pandemic, the financial services brand created pop-up stations designed for business owners on the go, converting billboards and bench ads into desks and mobile charging ports.

The installation -- in New York's Madison Square Park through today (Sept. 24) -- represents a physical manifestation of how AmEx's cards are built for SMBs, according to Jessica Ling, senior vice president of global B2B marketing:

"We're taking a new creative approach to reach small and mid-size business owners that aligns with our latest national spots -- it's playful, bold, fast-paced and optimistic. We had fun creating these videos and wanted that energy and excitement to come through on screen for the business owners we're talking to through this campaign. We wanted to create something that would stand out from the crowd in the world of B2B advertising. We're showcasing the benefits of using a business card but in a playful, bold, fast-paced and whimsical way."
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