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Clever Creative: American Express – Thinking Outside the Blue Box

American Express has recently launched a new multi-layered rebranding campaign called “Powerful Backing Don’t Do Business Without It"

Clever Creative: American Express – Thinking Outside the Blue Box

Posted Tuesday April 24th, 2018 in Creativity + Art.

American Express has recently launched a new multi-layered rebranding campaign called “Powerful Backing: Don’t Do Business Without It / Don’t Live Without It,” which includes, not one, but two new logos, new commercials and a refreshed approach to doing business. American Express’ rebranding efforts have been piloted by Pentagram partner Abbott Miller. In an interview Miller did with Co.Design, he describes the new logo by saying, “It was more if you cleaned the smudges off your lenses. It’s cleaner. Clearer.” With keeping the same blue box customers will still be able to identify with the logo, but at a closer look, it will give them a more clean, modern feeling.

American express didn’t only clean up their logo, but they’ve also created a more mobile-friendly version too because so much of business is done on our phones these days. The mobile-friendly version, unsurprisingly enough, is a smaller blue box, with only the letters “Am” and “Ex.” The old mobile, AMERICAN EXPRESS, logo seemed illegible next to other credit-card services like Visa and Mastercard via online checkout. While Visa has a short and very recognizable name, Mastercard has their indistinguishable red and orange overlapping circles. By cutting out 11 letters and scaling down the blue box, American Express will be able to compete with a much clearer logo that will take far fewer pixels to create, in turn creating a new touchpoint for customers to identify with and for the brand to play around with.

A Bank Worth Trusting

Elizabeth Rutledge, CMO at American Express, explains, “People are living rich, vibrant and layered lives and appreciate when someone has their back as they navigate this blended lifestyle.” The focus AmEx puts on having your back is meant to be comforting, and after all the deception that has been going on in the banking industry these last few years, it’s nice to be able to trust in your banking again. With more and more people having very closely-related work and personal lives, this strategy is sure to resonate with many younger families.

Aside from the logo, American Express has worked up new taglines and commercial advertisements. The new taglines are “Don’t do business without it” and “Don’t live life without it.” One of the driving messages these slogans suggest is that American Express has your back whether you’re about to close a business deal or planning a trip with your kids. This is such a powerful message that hits home for a lot of young moms and dads out there, and it makes sense that one of their new commercials is called, “Balancing the Balance.” While focusing on newer parents, the commercial does a great job capturing how life is unpredictable and you shouldn’t be afraid of missing out because American Express has your back through it all. Check out their other spot conveying the same message: “The World Awaits.”

What do you think about American Express’ rebranding campaign? Do you think cleaning up the original logo was the right choice, or do you think they should have thrown out the old and brought in something brand new? Is it successful in making the brand more modern and relevant? Let us know what you think on our social media pages!

If you’re looking for some clever creative of your own, feel free to contact us, and be on the lookout for next week’s instalment of Clever Creative!

Written by Dane Christiansen, during his Spring 2018 internship at GEM Advertising.


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