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Many voices, one message

Launching its Blue credit card, American Express turned to News Corp.

The focal point of the marketing campaign was a free concert in New York's Central Park billed "American Express Brings You Central Park in Blue." Headlined by Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, it was aggressively promoted by local News Corp. outlets, the New York Post and WNYW(TV) New York, as well as by and co-owned TV Guide.

The concert itself aired on the Fox network with simulcasts on the SFX radio network and on Fox and Amex Web sites. It was also rebroadcast on co-owned cable network FX. The Blue credit card was targeted to active, tech-savvy thirtysomethings, pretty much Fox's target audience, and ads for it ran throughout the season on Fox.

The Amex campaign was fairly simple compared with one Fox put together last fall. " The Simpsons Global Fanfest" combined 30 advertisers and 26 News Corp. media units around the world to mark the 10th anniversary of the prime time cartoon. Advertisers included 7-Eleven, Burger King, Wal-Mart, Pepsi and Frito-Lay. In-store events (like 7-Eleven's "Springfield for a Day"), product launches, contests, sweepstakes and on-air promotions all factored into the year-long campaign.

"When you can integrate a project so that it's a consistent and compelling message to your target audience across the Internet, network, cable, print, radio, etc.," says Kayne Lanahan, senior vice president, News Corp. One, which oversees cross-platform sales., "it's like you're lining up all of your guns. If you can do it through one company, particularly through a piece of their branded content. It's a slam-dunk." -S.McC.