American Express AmEx

Creating a comprehensive program to “Do More” for a Client, their Customer and their Community.


You’ve probably heard a store clerk or two shrug and say, “Sorry, but we don’t take American Express.” AmEx lags behind Visa, Mastercard and Discover in acceptance by merchants. It is critical to AmEx’s bottom line to convince new merchants to take their card, and OTT was tasked with building their acceptance rate in the Cincinnati, Ohio market. Our challenge was to raise brand awareness of AmEx activity in Cincinnati, and encourage consumers to “do more” with everyday purchases by using their American Express cards.


The best way to achieve our goal was to demonstrate the traffic-building opportunity that AmEx provides, and illustrate the community involvement platform that could be executed on a merchant-by-merchant basis. We created a comprehensive plan that included trade and consumer advertising, promotion, direct marketing and public relations.

Partnering with one of their newest retailers, United Dairy Farmers (UDF) convenience stores, OTT created a promotion that first tied AmEx usage at UDF, and then to charitable donations for The Children’s Museum of Cincinnati. “Charge Children’s Minds” offered consumers a free children’s music CD with every American Express card purchase at UDF, and a portion of each sale was donated to the museum on behalf of AmEx and UDF.


The lift in store traffic at UDF exhausted the supply of CDs well before the end of the planned 3-month campaign. Additionally, American Express awarded the museum a $25,000 check, obtaining goodwill for the AmEx brand, and through public relations outreach, generated increased awareness for both AmEx and UDF.