Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Amex Promotes "The Members Project"

Here is a great idea that American Express has come up with relating to social responsibility. Cardmembers need only register on the site. They have the ability to submit an idea for a social project, such as rebuilding a school in New Orleans. The ideas are voted on by members of the site, and for each member that joins, American Express kicks in money (up to $5 million), with the winning idea getting funded! Overall, this seems like a great idea. Consumer sentiment toward the idea is extremely positive.

Here is what a few consumers have said:

"Kudos to American Express for doing something that's actually engaging, and paints the brand in a positive light. Unlike most advertisers, they actually are putting some real money behind the effort, in a way that makes sense, and certainly provides some incentive to participate." Randomcultureblog

"This morning, I received an invitation from American Express to join The Members Project. American Express cardholders get to submit service project ideas, read about other projects, and in the end, help decide where to direct a $5 million donation. I think it is a brilliant move that has great lessons for Rotary Clubs and other nonprofits. In a busy world, nonprofits work ever harder to get people involved involved with their organizations, build distinctive brand identity and get input on where they can have a real impact. How does American Express branding initiative compare to other successful nonprofit ventures? What can we learn that can help us shape our own projects and campaigns?" Innovate Rotary I highly recommend reading this blog for additional insight about American Express' "Members Project."

The graph above tells a compelling story regarding the buzz about American Express' newest cause marketing initiative. Popularity for "The Members Project" is due to the fact that consumers find the initiative interesting. Additionally, consumers like the celebrity element and the fact they can particpate by submitting their own ideas. Greg Krauska at Innovate Rotary comments on the celebrity aspect of "The Members Project" by comparing it to American Idol. He says, "And just like American Idol, there is a celebrity element to this. The 50 project finalists will be chosen by a diverse Advisory Panel, including Gabrielle Reece, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Wynton Marsalis,Geoff Canada, Ellen DeGeneres, Icon_wynton Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr.Michael Lomax. The diversity of backgrounds and professions of these panelists will make for some really interesting commentary. I can't wait!"

American Express' Members Project Buzz Trend

The project launched May 15, 2007. It will be interesting to see if additional buzz accumulates.

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