Amex’s Shop Small Campaign is all Jab

Last night while watching catch up (yes. I’m guilty of not hating on Ten’s Party Tricks. I quite enjoy it), this add appeared throughout the program. It’s a good little ad – good sentiment, well made, and released at the right time (in the lead up to Christmas)

However, I’m bewildered as to why American Express would run a support-small-business-this-Christmas campaign. While it’s an excellent sentiment, very few small businesses take American Express due to their high merchant fees (it costs businesses more to take a payment using an Amex card than other cards).

But perhaps the intention here is to create meaningful content that supports the needs of the market/audience it wants to have. Through this campaign American Express is becoming an advocate and champion of Australian small business. And rather than focus on the purchaser (as in Visa’s Priceless pitch), it’s choosing to focus on businesses who are still reluctant to accept Amex cards. If you can convince stores to accept Amex, buyers will not be as reluctant to use them.

The Shop Small campaign looks like its working to create goodwill before going for the sales pitch somewhere down the track. If you’re a Gary Vaynerchuck follower, this is clearly a jab (and a very good one), before the right hook.

Looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

An introduction to Gary Vaynerchuck if you’re unfamiliar with his work: http://vimeo.com/89621314