Brand Slam: American Express vs Mastercard

In this month's Brand Slam we pitch the experiential marketing strategies of financial brands American Express and Mastercard against each other.

Financial brands: head to head
Financial brands: head to head

American Express

Event structure:

American Express has recently worked with agency Momentum Worldwide and has also devised activations in partnership with the London Restaurant Festival, London Fashion Week and the United States Golf Association. 

Social footprint:

@AmexUK has 61.1k followers on Twitter, @americanexpress has 158k followers on Instagram and @americanexpressuk has 6.6m likes on Facebook. 

Recent campaigns: 

In February, American Express hosted press and buyers at this year's London Fashion Week (LFW) in a dedicated lounge space on the first floor of the pop-up space at Brewer Street car park. The finance brand also provided a working area, wifi and refreshments to all accredited guests. Its Amex Insiders proposition, an onsite concierge was also available around LFW.

In November in the US, American Express staged the ‘Airbnb Open Spotlight: Los Angeles’ as a closing celebration for the Airbnb Open Festival, the brand's annual global event for its community, which featured headlining musical talent. Also in the US, American Express offers fans golf experiences at the 2016 US Open Championship, which took place in June. 

Latest campaign: 

American Express is partnered with the London Restaurant Festival for the seventh year running to celebrate dining out in the capital. The event, which ran throughout October, offered consumers the chance to sample some of the finest menus in London and explore the culinary delights the city has to offer. There were two main elements to the event: Restaurant Experiences, which aimed to deliver memorable and creative events, taking place in restaurants and Festival Menus, a restaurant promotion available through Bookatable.com, allowing people to eat at over 200 restaurants for between £10 to £60. 

Mastercard 

Event structure: 

Mastercard has delivered a number of experiences this year, activated via several of its sponsorships, including those of Goodwood and the Uefa Champions League. 

Social footprint: 

@mastercardUK has 94.8k followers on Twitter and 14.5m likes on Facebook and @mastercard has 58.6k followers on Instagram. 

Recent campaigns: 

For this year's Uefa Champions League tournament, Mastercard's activations included fan zones on site as well as priceless surprises’ - one-off events or stunts that were designed to engage the consumer, stemming from the brand's now 18-year old Priceless campaign. 

At SXSW last year, Mastercard teamed up with Mashable to give an entertaining twist to the world of business, with its 'Priceless Pitch' activation. It featured a contest aimed at start-ups, where Mastercard cardholders could pitch their big ideas in sixty seconds or less. Those pitching a new business idea, solution or product were escorted into the Priceless Elevator. Once the door closed, they had up to 60 seconds to pitch their idea for a chance to win the grand prize of $15,000.

Latest campaign: 

This year, Mastercard  announced it had signed a four-year sponsorship agreement with Goodwood, focused on the Festival of Speed, the Goodwood Revival and Goodwood Road and Racing. From 2017, the Festival of Speed will be presented by Mastercard, the first headline sponsor the motoring event has had since it first began 24 years ago. Mastercard’s sponsorship kicks off at this year’s festival, where cardholders were offered Priceless Surprises throughout the event, which took place in the last week of June. 

Verdict: 

Event says: Mastercard has continued to reinvent its 'Priceless' campaign to attract a new and diverse audience and its sponsorships of the Uefa Champions League and Goodwood have resulted in innovative activations. 

Comment below to let us know what you think.

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