Amex gives TikTok users a choose your own ad-venture

Who: American Express Canada, with Notch Video and North Strategic for creative, production and PR;  UM for media.

What: A new “Elevated Membership” campaign emphasizing the travel benefits of being an Amex cardholder, using TikTok’s choose-your-own-adventure style ad format.

When & Where: The TikTok element just launched this week, but other media includes linear TV, OLV, audio, experiential, PR and influencer.

Why: American Express wanted to reach younger consumers, and deemed TikTok an ideal place to engage them by using some of the new tools it has been introducing, such as Story Selection and Instant Page.

“The core objective of this campaign is to build brand consideration among the next generation of prospects including older Gen Z’s and millennials,” said Lauren Dineen-Duarte, vice-president communications, American Express Canada. “And showcase how being #WithAmex is the difference between a good experience, and an epic one.”

American Express only started advertising on TikTok last year, for its Elevated Membership launch. “This year, we’re looking to expand our presence on the platform with more innovative formats,” said Dineen-Duarte.

How: While global brand strategy guides positioning, social content is always developed with a “hyper local lens,” said Dineen-Duarte. The creative is meant to show the extensive benefits that come with being an Amex Canada cardholder by featuring a real Canadian couple on their honeymoon in Portugal.

It was produced by Notch Video, although the couple shot some of the footage themselves to provide an authentic social feed feeling. While the content itself looks and feels like native social content, the ad format makes it unique, with American Express saying it is the first financial brand to use TikTok Story Selection.

The ad starts by showing the couple’s ideal day in Lisbon, highlighting the hotel and travel benefits they’re enjoying thanks to Amex. After seven seconds, viewers can then choose where the ad goes next: explore the hotel, or explore the city. According to TikTok, the format leads tosignificantly higher engagement rates and average watch times.”

The ad ends with a CTA leading to the brand’s landing page which, starting June 1, will be a TikTok “Instant Page,” which looks like a webpage but inside TikTok platform. When TikTok introduced the option early last year, it was described as a “lightweight native landing page within the app that loads up to 11 times faster than standard mobile pages.”

And we quote: “TikTok is at the forefront of platforms taking innovation and storytelling to the next level, which is a brand priority for Amex.” — Lauren Dineen-Duarte, vice-president communications, American Express Canada

David Brown