Campaign: American Express Members Project

Client: American Express
WPP company: O&M and Mindshare New York

Members Project® is an American Express initiative providing customers a means for giving to the causes they care about. Initially introduced in 2008, in 2010 O&M and Mindshare helped American Express re-launch the Members Project, raise its profile and encourage more cardholders to get involved.

Ogilvy created TV spots featuring the inspiring life stories of Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, encouraging people to get involved and join the Members Project community. Another series featured cast members from the popular FOX TV series Glee, which encouraged hundreds of thousands of new Member Project community members and enabled fans to join members of the Glee cast to work with children and build instruments. Mindshare developed a comprehensive social media strategy that encouraged cardholders to share stories about the causes they support on the Members Project Facebook page.

Over $4.2 million was set aside to donate to 61 selected charities throughout the year. Visitors to the MembersProject.com or Facebook page could vote weekly on which charities American Express should support. The sites also allowed visitors to volunteer or donate to selected charities, and receive Membership Rewards points for doing so. In the first three weeks, Members Project website visits increased by 1,600% due in a large part to 43.2 million PR impressions generated. The Glee campaign generated 49,000 new Facebook fans in one week alone – resulting in over 400,000 new fans by the end of the year. In total, $6,000,000 and 648 million Membership Rewards points were donated to almost 7,000 charities.

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