When Ogilvy & Mather was tasked with evolving the credit card giant’s upscale image, the agency wisely cast Jerry Seinfeld in a series of ads for its Green Card in 1992.
The ads not only brilliantly capitalized on the observational comedy of his stand-up routine and increasingly-popular NBC sitcom, they ushered the brand into new territory, depicting the sharp-witted New York comedian thwarting inconvenience with perfect timing and his trusty AmEx card. Suddenly paying for gas, going to the grocery store, or buying flowers for a date weren’t just a series of ordinary events, but a chance to prove just how convenient and empowering American Express could be for average Americans.
The ads were well received by both consumers and ad-industry critics; often named among Adweek’s monthly Best Spots during their run in the 1990s. They were so successful that the brand kept using popular, down-to-earth comedians after Seinfeld, with top talents such as Ellen DeGeneres and Tina Fey following in his footsteps.