‘Adulting’ May Be Hard, but American Express Understands

Capitalizing on the Theme of Transition

We have all experienced the challenges of transitioning from the teenage years to adulthood. What seemed like trials and tribulations then, often persist as bittersweet memories in our minds. Acknowledging this transition, American Express’ ‘Everyday Congrats’ was a campaign that extended a hand to millennials progressing along their own journeys.

Using Social Media to Research Their Audience

Reminding their millennial audience that the team at American Express knew what it was like to be young and new to adulthood, the company’s ad campaign, featuring U.S. actress Tina Fey, released 12 ad spots that featured her in various, yet universal, situations. Turning to their agency, DigitasLBi, AmEx used social media to identify millennial dilemmas – content they found universally relatable, labelling it with the hashtag ‘#Adulting’ to identify major milestones that would resonate with the target audience.

Celebrating the Adulting Journey

Highlighting some of these ‘adulting’ victories, one ad celebrated hosting your first-ever dinner party, while another congratulated millennials on flying to meet their in-laws for the first time. But instead of showcasing these as smooth-running, perfectly managed wins, they took a more realistic, albeit humorous, approach.

In one ad, the roast chicken at the dinner party turned out completely frozen and, in the end, had to be abandoned, while in another ad, the gift for the in-laws just happened to stink up the airplane! Using a light touch of humor and cheery music to set the tone, they congratulated all those who had been through these struggles, turning such relatable moments into indulgent memories.   

Conveying the Right Message: We Understand!

The understanding that American Express was prepared to stick with their customer through both life-altering experiences and their small everyday victories made the ads endearing.

The advertisements were aimed at publicizing the benefit of the company’s ‘Blue Cash Everyday’ credit card, promoting the card’s cash-back offer to suit the millennials’ needs. The card’s perks were slipped in at the end, rather than forcing the placement within the ad, thereby allowing the memorable content to carry the campaign.

About the author

Anuradha graduated from Christ University with a triple major degree in Journalism, Psychology, and English in 2018. While pursuing her graduation, she was selected for an internship with The Hindu, a leading Indian newspaper. Several articles authored by her have been published by the paper. Anuradha has previously interned with soft skills training company People and Change Consultants India and also worked with children at counseling clinics. Pursuing her interest in exploring a diverse range of hobbies, she has completed...


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