Creativity. It’s Small Business.
As a new financial year commences it’s probably worthwhile looking at a couple of success stories form last year that warmed the hearts of customers and tickled the heads of the finance department.
Small Business Saturday.
Quite often we hear of ‘new’ campaigns and see their success lauded but the challenge is, can they back up the next year?
Small Business Saturday shows us just how it’s done.
In 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday to launch on the day after Black Friday, America’s biggest retail sales day of the year – their equivalent of our Boxing Day sales. This new shopping event day was designed to stop small businesses being ignored in this sale frenzy and get what they needed most: more customers. The challenge in 2011 was to cement its place as an official shopping day in the US, and drive solid business outcomes to America’s independent, brick-and-mortar retailers. If 2010 was about awareness, 2011 was about sales.
American Express built a marketing campaign that communicated the importance of small businesses, while driving home a call to action for consumers and small businesses at the local level. Consumers were asked to shop, and small businesses were provided with the tools they needed to get the word out to their customers.
To help it become an annual event, American Express challenged consumers to step up and publicly pledge to shop small. TV, print ads, and banners asked them to pledge on Facebook, where they could also find and map out local small businesses in their area. Corporate partners also pitched in, with FedEx giving away $25 American Express Shop Small gift cards to encourage people to shop. American Express sought to: 1.Create a community, garnering more Facebook ‘likes’ than in 2010. 2.Drive demand for goods and services at small, independently owned businesses.
Small Business Saturday struck a chord with consumers, small business owners and employees, corporate America, and policy makers in a way that few could have ever predicted. Over 40,000 people redeemed the $25 Shop Small gift cards, and 2.7m people ‘liked’ the Facebook page—more than double the previous year. In the end, 103m Americans shopped small including President Obama, who took his daughters on a shopping trip to a bookstore in Washington, DC. The US Senate even declared Small Business Saturday an official day. In just its second year, it had become a permanent fixture on the holiday shopping calendar.
American Express and its agency, Crispin Porter Bogusky, won the Grand Prix in the Promo and Direct categories at the Cannes Advertising Festival.
Take a look at the work here.