American Express’ premium card franchise had been weakening in Canada for some time due to steady fee increases, intensifying competition and a perceptual weakening of the link between American Express and premium travel. Amex needed to protect its base of high-margin customers while reversing the decline in applications by attracting valuable new prospects, a task complicated by the annual fee on the Platinum Card increasing by 75% in June 2012 (rising from $399 to $699). What’s more, the key acquisition channel, Toronto Pearson International Airport, was inundated with marketing clutter from competitors.
Premium travelers in Toronto International Pearson Airport.
Strategy and Media Used:
Implemented at Pearson Airport, the “Cloud 10″ platform offered a range of benefits to card members at key points in the airport experience. All travellers had access to free Amex Wi-Fi and branded rest areas beyond security checkpoints, while card members received complimentary valet parking services, exclusive taxi and limo privileges and access to premium lounges, all topped off with exclusive Priority Security Lane access. Throughout the airport, “Cloud 10″ signage flagged the Amex-specific services, so prospects couldn’t miss them. To convert the envy into sales, kiosks highlighted membership benefits specific to the airport, while Wi-Fi log-in screens enabled immediate applications (and further re-targeting opportunities). Away from the airport, Amexcloud10.ca shared information about benefits at the airport and contained a link to learn more about the Platinum Card and apply.
Monthly card applications increased by 51% against target. Tracking data showed greatly increased linkage of Amex with premium travel experience. “Cloud 10″ returned $2.74 for every $1 invested.