Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

American Express launches AR game to highlight member benefits

American Express has launched ‘American Express Summer Drop’, a virtual game that gives people the chance to get a taste of what it’s like to be a Cardmember. Players can win tickets to a range of sought-after events from the American Express® Experiences programme or vouchers from a range of American Express retail partners. 

The augmented reality (AR) game will be live until 20 July 2022 with players able to win tickets by finding the “drops” – a virtual treasure hunt that unlocks interactive AR experiences linked to prizes – including tickets to The Championships, Wimbledon, American Express presents BST Hyde Park; Wilderness Festival; Luno presents All Points East; Somerset House Summer Series with American Express; and Brighton & Hove Albion FC. There are also vouchers to spend at places like Harvey Nichols and Bloom & Wild plus free coffees at Caffè Nero. The AR game will also be amplified through Yahoo’s omnichannel ad tech platform, with ad creative across TV, DOOH (digital out of home), VOD, mobile and video. 

As an additional component of the campaign, American Express has commissioned German illustrator and graphic artist Andy Gellenberg to create eye-catching murals as a central component of a series of pop-up events across London. Passers-by will be able to scan a QR code embedded in the artwork to launch the ‘American Express Summer Drop’ game and collect prizes nearby. The pop-ups will be at BoxPark Shoreditch (17-19 June 2022), Old Spitalfields Market (23-24 June 2022), Neal Street, Covent Garden (1 July 2022) and South Bank Observation Point (16 July 2022).

Developed in partnership with Yahoo, ‘American Express Summer Drop’ is the latest instalment of the brand’s integrated, multi-channel marketing campaign in support of its ‘Member When’ global brand platform, designed to celebrate the possibilities that are unlocked when you’re #WithAmex. Other elements of the UK campaign include TV, VOD and OOH placements, as well as social, PR and influencer campaigns all showcasing the breadth of benefits available to Cardmembers including rewards, offers and tickets to some of the country’s best cultural events and experiences.  

Nikki Edelman, Vice President, Head of UK Brand at American Express, said, “We know that many people are looking forward to a summer of new experiences and, through our new brand-led ‘Member When’ activity, we hope to establish an emotional connection with a new audience to show them how Amex Cardmembership offers them the exciting opportunities to make memories with the people, passions and places they love. 

“We’re especially excited about working with Yahoo to bring to life the American Express Experiences programme as an interactive experience that offers people a taste of what it’s like to be with Amex and make this summer one to remember.”

Josh Partridge, Head of EMEA at Yahoo said: “Working with American Express and our other partners, including SmartMedia Labs, to create this great campaign has been fantastic. Bringing creativity and technology together to deliver exciting, interactive projects like this is what we thrive on at Yahoo. Formats like augmented reality can really bring experiences to life and ad platforms can ensure they reach audiences at scale so more people can join the fun to find those ‘summer drops’ and win these great prizes.” Players can take part using their smartphones by opening the game map on to find nearby prize boxes. At the prize box map locations, entrants can play the game in AR mode, scanning the area and tap on a prize box for their chance to win. Alternatively, players out and about this summer can head to the ‘American Express Summer Drop’ pop-up events taking place at a range of Central London locations, where they can scan the QR code and launch the game to collect prizes nearby.