Why American Express is banking on the Australian music scene

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 17 May 2018
The Killers for American Express

As part of the launch of its first global brand platform and new "consistent" marketing strategy, American Express is backing the Australian music scene with a series of bespoke local events.

The new brand positioning and associated marketing and advertising activity kicked off with the launch of ads around the world, as well as a performance by The Killers last week in Sydney's Coogee.

The performance kicks off Amex's newly launched $1 million Music Backers Program which actively looks for Australian venues, artists or businesses who are in need of backing.

For The Killers gig, Amex gave away more than 400 tickets to Sydneysiders, inviting a host of media execs, from News Corp, Fairfax, Val Morgan and more. 

The new brand platform is the first time American Express has targeted its various customer segments with one piece of creative, previously targeting corporate customers, merchants and everyday individuals with separate ads.

“Having multiple ads was making it hard to communicate externally and we found that the audiences often overlapped,” American Express VP of brand and experience Naysla Edwards tells AdNews.

“Our customers are global citizens and big travellers so we wanted consistency of messaging, whether someone was in the UK or India.”

Edwards says the brand’s increasing focus on events is unique to the Australian business.

This year alone, American Express will sponsor the launch of Vivid at Taronga Zoo, Vogue’s Fashion Night Out and American Express open air cinemas.

“That’s not happening in other markets,” Edwards says, also adding that backing the music industry as part of the global brand platform was unique to the Australian arm of American Express.

“It doesn’t matter if you use American Express as a corporate or an individual, our research shows music is a passion point for everyone," she adds.

The global platform, which introduces the tagline ‘Powerful Backing’, roles out across outdoor, cinema, TV and digital and has been localised by Mindshare and Ogilvy.

“We believe in a traditional brand approach and we wanted to make sure we had large channels to drive awareness and get reach,” Edwards says.

“In terms of our media channel mix, we continue to invest in large broadcast channels like TV, but we can absolutely tell you our investment in digital has increased dramatically over the years.”

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