Thursday, July 03, 2008

American Express Takes on Capital One

It appears American Express is going after Capital One. This isn't happening in the court system but in the court of public opinion. American Express, which largely has a history of producing high brow or clever, but savvy, ad campaigns is taking more of a "head on" approach as it compares itself to the competition.

The competition in the new campaign is not mentioned by name, but it appears obvious. Recently, Capital One has been boasting about how easy it is to customize the image you want on your platinum credit card. Kittens, mom, the kids, all of these are regular choices of happy card users, according to the ads. You simply upload your images and the next thing you know you are showing off the thing, or person, or whatever you are proud of in each transaction.

American Express is arguing that such cards are not what you want to display when making business purchases. There is the poor guy who has his credit card littered with kittens and he says he is going on a business trip. As a result of the card, he faces interrogation and even cavity expections! Meanwhile, the person who walks up with his American Express Platinum Card gets on board of his flight without incidence. Then there is the poor fool who uses a super hero imaged credit card at a business meal. He thought his guests were impressed by his presentation. That positive impression was wiped a way by a silly credit card.

I'm not use to seeing American Express taking a confrontational stand, it will be interesting to see how good it is for business.

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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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