Why American Express Used Grocery Items as Decor

To emphasize the target consumer for its latest credit card, the financial company turned ordinary everyday items into creative visuals at a New York event.

By Michele Laufik April 9, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

The DJ booth was surrounded by groceries, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the lifestyle of the target audience for the new card.

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

American Express Everyday Card Event
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Hitting the supermarket probably isn't anyone's idea of a good time, but American Express is trying to change that with the introduction of its EveryDay card. Targeted at small, frequent spenders, the credit card rewards customers for those everyday errands. To reinforce this positioning—and match the tongue-in-cheek tone of the commercials featuring spokesperson Tina Fey—the financial services company hosted a launch party on April 2 that offered playful twists on common household items.

“We were inspired by multitaskers, and there is no better example of a multitasker than a busy mom juggling family, work, and everyday life,” said Elizabeth Crosta, vice president of public affairs at American Express. “The card is designed for everyday spending—from trips to the grocery store to a spontaneous afternoon visit to an ice cream shop with the kids.”

Held at loft space Home Studios, the event was produced by ExtraExtra. For decor, the creative team designed customized wallpaper featuring common household items, like toilet paper, deodorant, gum, cleaning products, and pizza, all coming together in fun geometric patterns. In addition, DJ Kiss spun from behind a supermarket-inspired DJ booth, which was piled high with groceries. Following the event, the items were donated to C.H.I.P.S., a nonprofit organization in Brooklyn.

For food, there was a menu of American classics from caterer Creative Edge that included deviled eggs, chicken and waffles, and mini grilled cheese sandwiches that were customized with the #EveryDayMoments hashtag. The bar was inspired by another American classic—the Lite-Brite. Backlit and filled with several thousand straws that spelled out the hashtag, the wall behind t become the focal point of the event. The social media promotion was also featured on the check-in tables, the DJ booth, and as floor decals throughout the space.

In addition to the launch of the card, Amex also kicked off its Mother’s Day “selfie & snapshots” photo contest; more themed contests asking consumers to share their everyday moments are in the works. Plus, the company will release a series of animated short films about fun, quirky daily life as part of the campaign.

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