Over time, the American Express brand had lost relevance to its customers. It needed to refresh the international brand platform and help accelerate business growth.
Their long running and highly successful ‘Realise the Potential’ campaign had run on every continent across the globe for over a decade, so when it came to updating it, the stakes were high. Everything that made it successful needed to be retained, yet it needed to be refreshed and updated for a digital first, connected audience of today.
18 months of global research had yielded a wealth of information on both the brand and the campaign – but in some ways too much. The client knew that before embarking on creative development we needed to rediscover the magic and soul of American Express as well as understand the visual world in which it would need to cut through.
We worked with Ogilvy to run a series of workshops to address these issues. Visual Planning techniques were used to understand the new premium brand landscape, add much needed emotion and to identify the unique experience that lay at the heart of being an American Express member. We also used our ‘Rules of Thumb’ to analyse the visual system 1 opportunities in both the current campaign and the competitive context within which it had to sit. Armed with this additional richness and insight, Realise the Potential 2.0 was created. It dialled up modern service, value and utility and put the customer back into the centre of the brand.
Once the campaign had been created we took the direction and, over a six-month period, created identity assets that included masterbrand elements, typography and colour palette, illustration style, photography, animation and live action, composition, tone of voice, co-branding and global merchant service principles, to ensure the new platform would seamlessly integrate with over 20 product and service brands, each with their own identities.