American Express debuts holiday-themed campaign for Small Business Saturday
With less than a week until the 11th annual Small Business Saturday—American Express’s bid of support for mom-and-pop shops between Black Friday and Cyber Monday—the credit card company drew inspiration from the upcoming holiday season for its latest ad campaign that stars real small businesses in the United States.
Scored with an original cover of New Year’s anthem “Auld Lang Syne” by singer India Carney, the campaign, created by Dentsu McGarrybowen, spotlights Christmastime stalwarts, from warming up with hot chocolate to shopping for presents, all of which will look a bit different this year due to the pandemic.
“American Express started Small Business Saturday more than a decade ago, but shopping small throughout the holiday season has never been more important than now,” says Andy Goldberg, senior VP, global brand management and planning at American Express.
The spot—cut into 30- and 60-second variants—is positioned to serve as an “emotional reminder” of the benefits of supporting local businesses, Goldberg adds, “no matter if it’s curbside, online or socially distanced in-store.”
It’s a bit of a departure from last year’s celeb-backed Small Business Saturday campaign, which cast Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karlie Kloss in various capacities.
Showcasing genuine mom-and-pop retailers, such as Breakwater Books in Connecticut and Coffee & Cornbread in New Jersey, this year’s SBS ad will first air during Fox’s Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL game on Thanksgiving Day. It will continue to run throughout the holiday season on TV, social and streaming services, including Roku, Spotify and Pandora.
Originally created to help small businesses recover from the Great Recession, Small Business Saturday is arguably more important in 2020 than ever before, with many local shops and restaurants struggling with coronavirus-related restrictions—or worse, shutting down permanently.
Last week, the company released its American Express Shop Small Impact study, which found that 88% of respondents felt a “personal commitment” to support small businesses in the wake of the pandemic.
Amex has also committed resources to assist local stores and restaurants year-round. The company recently launched the Coalition to Back Black Businesses, which includes $10 million dedicated to grants and mentorships, and pledged to double its spend with minority-owned suppliers by the end of 2024, among other initiatives.