Ogilvy Goes Retro for American Express

By Erik Oster 

Ogilvy takes a look back at American Express’ past in a new spot entitled “Retrospective,” which promotes the brand’s introduction of Apple Pay. The 30-second spot ran last night during AMC’s premiere of The Walking Dead and will also run during the NBA All Star Game on TNT next week.

“Retrospective” takes the form of a clip show, featuring past American Express ads, before finally looking ahead to Apple Pay integration at the conclusion of the ad. Among the memorable moments from the brand’s advertising history are appearances from Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Henson, Jesse Owens and Tina Fey. When the spot finally makes the transition to a man using Apple Pay at a store, it is accompanied by the message, “American Express’ timeless safety and security are now available on Apple Pay.”


With competitors like Chase, MasterCard and Capitol One all touting Apple Pay integration for months, it was only a matter of time before American Express joined the party. Allison Silver, vice president, marketing marketing at American Express explained to AdAge that the delay was due to the brand focusing efforts late last year on Small Business Saturday. “We thought it made more sense to stagger those messages,” she said, adding, “Apple Pay is certainly a priority message for us this year.”