Cannes Lions

BIG BREAK 2012

DIGITAS, New York / AMERICAN EXPRESS / 2013

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

In 2011, American Express OPEN® launched Big Break for Small Business®, a national competition to select 5 winning small businesses, and empower them to tap in to the power of social media

The 2012 objective was to increase the scale of this social media educational program to reach small businesses and their local communities.

How? Partner with and utilize Facebook. Over 12,000 small businesses entered and received free tools to help enhance their online presence. Our judges narrowed down the contestants to 10 finalists. Lastly, it was up to the business owner’s community to rally on Facebook and help select the 5 winners.

Execution

Big Break extended beyond the individual business winners. The program encouraged entrants, their fellow small businesses, and locals to participate: a Big Break for the winner was a Big Break for the entire community. To reinforce the social features of the program, we put the word out on Facebook, with support from American Express OPEN’s proprietary channels and owned networks (YouTube video, Twitter, Facebook posts).

American Express OPEN established the social media educational program. But, it was the small businesses and communities that rallied who truly made it a Big Break.

Outcome

Over 12,000 small businesses entered the Big Break competition. 250+ mentions in national and local press, generated almost 76 million total PR impressions—a 78% increase from 2011. PR impressions combined with the 57,000+ votes and 37,772 video views finalists received (45% were generated through organic traffic) translated into huge results for the five winners, like Casale Jewelers who saw a 90% sales increase year over year.

As a fully integrated cross-channel campaign, we preserved the authenticity of the Big Break program by continuing to provide social media tools, overall knowledge and community support that small businesses need to succeed.

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