In August 2008, American Express unveiled a new TV commercial jam packed with big name celebrities. As part of a new initiative, each star was given a few moments to have their passion featured on screen.
The ad spotlights director Martin Scorsese, the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, actor Robert De Niro, comedian John Cleese, producer Wes Anderson, surfer Laird Hamilton, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Venus Williams, and many others.
I was able to preview the spot and aside from the fact that it's practically a work of art on its own, the concept itself has a pretty cool spin. While celebrating the achievements of the stars, American Express hopes to inspire others to do what they can to change and improve the world around them.
Members Project, the online initiative, enabled American Express Cardmembers to submit, nominate and discuss their ideas for projects that can bring about change. The plans would have an impact in the areas of Arts & Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment & Wildlife and Health. American Express will be funding the winning projects with a whopping $2.5 million.
The submission phase has officially closed and now Amex is working with a panel of experts to review the projects. The top 25 submissions will be announced on September 9, 2008. It's up to Cardmembers to ultimately choose which projects American Express will fund. The winning projects with the most votes will then be announced on October 14, 2008.
The top project will receive $1.5 million, second place will receive $500,000, third place receives $300,000 and the remaining two finalist projects in the Top Five will receive $100,000 in funding.
More info on Members Project from American Express.