As everyone is aware, small businesses are struggling more than ever. Collectively, small businesses employ 47.5%
of the private workforce and generate 44%
of the country’s economic output. That's why American Express recently announced
the launch of the Stand for Small
coalition, a digital platform that brings together resources, offers and tools from 50+ leading companies across industries - from Google and Facebook to Microsoft, Amazon and IBM - to help get small businesses back to business. Pinterest, Snap, PayPal and others recently joined too bringing the total coalition members to 60+ companies.
The coalition is coming together for the first time to launch a new creative above-the-line campaign. The creative is moving from what has become the Covid-19 norms of emotionally-led marketing to focus on utility, as society moves towards reopening and recovery from the crisis.
SETTING THE STAGE
One of the things that small business owners have told American Express is that they need resources and support right now but many of them don’t know where to go. Together with partners in our coalition, it came up with the idea of putting all of the resources and offerings in one place which led to the creation of Stand for Small.
CREATING A COALITION
American Express has been committed to helping small businesses for decades, including founding the Small Business Saturday movement in 2010. It is now leveraging the power of its partnerships to launch a new coalition called Stand for Small with 60+ companies across industries to help get small businesses back to business by bringing together collective resources, offers and tools under one digital platform. It also recently added PayPal and Cisco, and in addition to rolling out new coalition partners, this week the coalition is coming together for the first time to launch a new creative ATL campaign.
ATL CREATIVE INSPIRATION: BRAND AGNOSTIC PSA
The new ad spot, which was spearheaded by the creative team at international design company and consultancy R/GA, takes a new approach to the campaign, focusing on the needs of small businesses. Wave one of brand ads = emotion. Wave 2 = utility. The new spot takes the next step of focusing on utility, giving small businesses the tools they need to weather the crisis and rebuild, reimagine and reinvigorate their businesses into the future. The hero creative builds a completely new brand, larger than any one partner, to focus on giving small businesses the collective tools they need.
American Express is providing coalition partners with toolkits to customise the Stand for Small creative, and is encouraging partners to amplify efforts across their own channels and platforms. American Express will be debuting its own branded version too, which was created in partnership with mcgarrybowen. As the nation begins to shift to recovery, the coalition brands are sharing what they can do to help small businesses come out on top.
BTS CREATION OF THE BRAND & AD SPOT
The goal was to create a digital platform and new multi-company brand that was ‘bigger than any one partner’ completely from scratch, with only 24 hours to create a logo and less than a week to create a new ad spot. Initially, the team thought it would launch with ten brand partners, but the interest received from partners was so strong that the number quickly jumped to 43 committed for launch. This not only speaks volumes about the number of companies that wanted to pledge their support, but the power of relationships American Express has with its partners.
The new spot showcases the dramatic impact the pandemic is having on small businesses everywhere as more continue to close their doors. It then introduces the Stand for Small website and provides a glimpse into just a few of the available resources, offers and tools from the growing group of companies who want to help.
PROMOTING THE CREATIVE
American Express know that many small business owners are turning to the internet as a resource as they try to keep their businesses afloat. Beginning on 1st May, the creative will roll out across search, social and programmatic, including NPR podcasts (AXP has a deep relationship), Megaphone podcast network, Roku streaming services, and more. It is working closely with coalition partners like Pinterest and iHeart on unique targeting to further amplify these efforts, alongside Google and Microsoft on search and email as well as social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. Over the course of the campaign, it will continue to adapt media plans to best target and provide maximum benefit for small business owners.