Amex Keeps the Bar High.
Some TV spots look great. Some have a catchy jingle. Few have both. It strange, but it seems that American Express has consistenly popped out great TV ads. I loved the Members Project ads with Jim Henson and the Muppets and when they followed that up with more modern icons such as famous directors/actors like Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson. The one that I think stands out the most was the long form ads with Jerry Sienfield and Superman. Was it the 2004 Super Bowl that they showed a 2min version of that ad? Being a hugh Seinfield fan topped with Superman voiced by Patrick Warburton I had a complete nerdgasm.
I know Amex has shit tons of money so its easy to produce nice spots with big actors and great music. But I applaud the Creatives at Ogilvy & Mather for consistently putting out well art directed spots with sharply written copy and of course a decent concept. Having a big budget to work with doesn't mean your going to get good work. It still takes a good team of people to make something awesome happen. I'm sure I could list some crap creative that was done on a large client budget... but I'm going to be shy and keep my mouth shut (for now).
The latest Amex spot that I recently saw on TV that caught my attention was mainly due to the great music behind it. It was one of those spots where your talking with someone and your brain recieves a signal saying "Hey. Dumbass! Stop talking. Something amazing is pumping through your ears!" I listen and do as my smart brain tells me and turn to watch this latest Amex spot "Blank Canvases" with music by Passion Pit.
After watching I made a note in my trusty iPhone to look that spot up later for the song. When I looked it up on the good ole YouTube, I noticed in the spot that it gives a shout out to Passion Pit via an old school cassette tape in the first 5 secs... Sweet! This spot is talking to old school fools like me that actually know what a cassette tape is! The more I kept digging I found out that Amex did 3 versions of the same spot. Each with an different artists version of the Music track. One of my fav bands "The Antlers" did a version and new to me but still awesome "Andrew Bird" did a version. I hate to pick a favorite here because they are all really good. And I'm actually more blown away at the fact that Amex had money sitting around for licensing 3 different popular artists for one spot. In my wildest dreams would I get a chance to have three of my favorite bands do a track for a spot I did... I habing troble typn jst thikin abot that...
But if I were to pick my favorite version I would say the Passion Pit track just seems to nail it. The build of the instruments/synth along with somewhat eery perfect timing on some of the edits just seems...well... just right on. Thanks American Express to continuing to keep the bar high for your TV ads.
The other versions of the Blank Canvases spot. Which do you like better?