Ogilvy Changes AmEx Tagline

NEW YORK WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather next week launches a U.S. campaign for American Express that introduces the tagline, “Are you a cardmember?” Recent AmEx efforts had been tagged, “My life. My card.”

New TV, print and outdoor ads focus on the service benefits that AmEx offers its cardholders, such as the option to use points accumulated through purchases to buy airline tickets online. The first in a series of TV spots breaks Monday and features snowboarder Shaun White.

The print ads, which bow Tuesday, contrast knotty problems with AmEx-enabled solutions through questions that begin, “Are you…” For example, one ad asks, “Are you arriving in Dallas to find your bags are in Uzbekistan? Or, “Are you glad you have complimentary baggage insurance?”

AmEx also is redesigning its Web site to reflect the new campaign, a company representative said.

The budget was not disclosed. The New York-based financial giant typically spends between $400-500 million annually in major domestic measured media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“The new campaign continues the tradition of defining the value of belonging to the American Express community by showcasing some of our most exceptional cardmembers and the ways in which membership works for them,” said AmEx chief marketing officer John Hayes, in a statement. “But the challenge we put forward in our latest campaign (‘Are you a Cardmember?’), not only reaffirms for existing members why they belong, it calls to non-members to consider becoming a cardmember.”

The effort succeeds the celebrity-focused “My life. My card,” which began in fall 2004. Spots in that campaign reflected the personalities of each subject, be it the animal-loving Ellen DeGeneres or dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker Robert De Niro.

One vestige of that effort will remain: print ads that resemble the one-page questionnaires in Playboy. As in the past, such ads will feature famous cardholders, such as director Martin Scorsese.