Did anyone read the New York Times this past Sunday, and did you see the full page ads for American Express? The ads, which are part of the company’s larger “#ExpressLove” campaign, illustrates American Express’ support for gay marriage and coincides with the one-year anniversary of the ruling by the Supreme Court.
Brad Minor, American Express’ head of global brand partnerships and experiential, explained this endeavor: “We really wanted to focus on the everyday moments of love that are expressed by our card members and really highlight those and make those feel special and just as important as one day… We came up with this program, #ExpressLove, and this notion of sharing our card members’ stories, our merchants’ stories of how they’ve expressed love over the past year and how they’ve continued to do so.”
Therefore, American Express chose to use real card members and their personal photos instead of models or professional photo shoots for the advertisements. Minor further explained: “We didn’t go out and create new photos for them because we really wanted to make sure it captured who they are and who they were this past year… (These ads are the) first time we’ve done a big ad related to our work supporting the LGBT community… It’s a bit of a clever play with the first wedding anniversary. Traditionally that gift is paper so we wanted to do a New York Times hard copy print issue and do multiple ads there as well as with Paper Magazine.”
Minor continued: “The campaign is authentic to who we are but it’s also a big statement for us to do an ad in the New York Times on this anniversary date … What’s so great about the campaign and the ad itself, (is that) it takes that notion of membership that we’re known for and really turns it into community and inclusion and that you’re part of something bigger and special.”
The American Express ads are from Ogilvy & Mather, and the larger ExpressLove campaign will run in 11 markets until November. In addition to the advertisements, American Express is supporting nonprofits that work to advance LGBT issues. Minor elaborated: “Right now for us and for everyone we have to remind ourselves that it’s our responsibility to articulate our stance on social causes and contribute to the greater conversation that’s happening.… There’s a power in numbers, there’s a power in showing up, there’s a power in presence and so we wanted to do our part to be part of that conversation supporting our community.”