American Express was all the rage during interactive week at South by Southwest, the annual music, film, and interactive conference held in Austin, TX. AmEx showcased their new Sync offering, and it didn’t hurt that they threw one of the biggest parties at SXSW with one of the world’s top performance artists to spread the word.
AmEx announced only days before the big reveal that it would showcase the new Twitter feature during a very special, national live-streamed concert from SXSW via YouTube. The AmEx Sync Show Presenting Jay-Z was a huge success in promoting this new functionality. AmEx Sync allows card members to synchronize their cards with their Twitter accounts for seamless savings. Major merchants such as Whole Foods and McDonald’s offer special deals that consumers can redeem simply by tweeting the offer #hashtag to load the deal directly on the card. Card members save with an automatic statement credit when a qualified purchase is made in store or online with the synced card allowing for a coupon-less social experience.
Actually, last year at SXSW AmEx piloted Sync but with Foursquare instead. This allowed early-adopters to give it the credibility it needed for a successful launch. Now, Sync works with Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter. However, AmEx seems to have focused their efforts to the Twitter offering to better appeal to the SXSW crowd that leans more towards Twitter and Foursquare.
The AmEx Sync Show was a huge success at SXSW. Over 16 million views on YouTube, massive Twitter engagement during the stream of the show, and as fans got to request the set list via Twitter it was a hugely interactive experience as well. AmEx is the first financial institution to have successfully introduced this form of social commerce. The mix of technology and music was perfect. There was no better place than on a stage at SXSW to raise awareness of this functionality—with Jay-Z. No big deal.
Images courtesy of Jessica Doren.