American Express has a new global brand platform, “Powerful Backing: Don’t Do Business/Don’t Live Life Without It.” The goal is to unite its consumer and business customer segments under one shared message. That message: “American Express has your back to help you build your business and get the most out of life.” A new advertising campaign was created by McGarryBowen, along with Ogilvy, Mindshare and Digitas, and with a visual identity refresh by Pentagram.
It is the first major work from McGarryBowen for American Express since winning the account last year. CMO Elizabeth Rutledge says that “at its core, our new brand platform reinforces our relationship with our customers and that American Express is there to support them in ways big and small.”
As for Pentagram’s visual identity refresh, it focused on retooling the iconic Blue Box logo and deriving a bolder typographic language. While the composition of the Blue Box has been retained — two bars of outline lettering crossing through the center of a blue square — the design team redrew the letterforms and finessed the details of the complex logotype to render it in a clear way that functions better at both a large and small scale.
The update also introduces an alternate logo for small-space digital use on Twitter, Instagram and the like. The system of graphic elements and patterns, along with photography and illustration, is intended to offer great flexibility in creating applications and expressions of the brand. Abbott Miller of Pentagram’s New York office led the project with a team of Kim Walker, Andrew Walters, and Naresh Ramchandani, as well as collaborator Clayton Ruebensaal of American Express. Type designer Jeremy Mickel, the team developed lettering faithful to the spirit of the original logo.