Twilight sparkles for American Express

Amex rolls out the red carpet for an exclusive Canadian The Twilight Saga: New Moon premiere tonight in an effort to show people what it's like to be a cardholder.

Although Twilight-loving teen girls aren’t exactly American Express’s target demographic, their parents certainly are, and that’s whom the brand is hoping to reach with its gala premiere of The Twilight Saga: New Moon tonight and the week-long campaign to support it.

Toronto’s Endeavour Marketing set up the partnership with Twilight’s Canadian distributor E1 Entertainment, and worked with Amex’s media agency Mindshare and AOR Ogilvy to roll out a media and street-level campaign this week to give away over 700 tickets to the movie’s Canadian premiere. The goal was to open up Amex’s signature VIP-access benefits to the general public to give people a taste of what it’s like to be an cardholder.

The Twilight event is part of a larger campaign American Express is currently running called ‘Realize the Potential,’ which focuses on the cardmember benefits and customer service. The Twilight promo started Nov. 12 and included media (print, online and TV), blogger outreach and PR through event mentions in online and broadcast media outlets. Fans are directed to a campaign microsite, where they can find out where the street teams will be and the ‘secret’ phrase they must tell a street teamer to win a ticket. The phrase was ‘American Express lets me realize my New Moon potential.’

Hooking up with E1 and the Twilight franchise provided the opportunity to give the ‘Realize the Potential’ micro-campaign some serious red-carpet buzz, David Barnes, VP communications, American Express Canada, told MiC.

‘We wanted to do something that would have a tremendous appeal, that would be meaningful for people and would create buzz and excitement in the marketplace, and it’s certainly done that,’ he said. ‘The first afternoon we opened the promotional gates, we got 16,000 [unique visits] to our campaign microsite.’

The Canadian premiere kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight at the Elgin Winter Garden in Toronto. Ticket pre-sales for the movie’s public premiere on Friday have already broken box office records, with $1.5 million in Canadian sales as of yesterday.