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AMEX Canada - Cobalt


The launch of the American Express Cobalt™ Card was a fully integrated, 360 campaign that was PR led with a robust influencer, social and experiential strategy at its core. A global first Amex, this campaign drove record-breaking results.

Region North America
Practices Financial Communications

The Challenge

For years, American Express has successfully attracted the affluent Baby Boomer market. In order to future-proof its business, Amex needed to win with millennials, an audience they had never previously pursued. In 2017, Amex changed the financial services game in Canada with the launch of Cobalt, a completely re-thought credit card designed exclusively by and for millennials.

Success for this launch meant creating a campaign that would break-through and appeal to the next generation of Amex Card members in a way that was authentic and relevant.

The Solution

To bring this fully integrated campaign to life, Amex’s communications strategy was a multi-faceted approach, rooted in The Cobalt Social – a pop-up restaurant that converted an old Kensington Market grocery store into Toronto’s newest hotspot and the main hub for all PR activity including our media press conference, influencer relations and social content.

To maximize media interest and break-through to mainstream publications, Amex partnered with multi-Michelin star chef, Gordon Ramsay, and other notable Canadian chefs to attend on launch, and create menus for the pop-up. To further broaden our narrative, limited quantities of Ramsay’s dish were made available for two days through UberEATS. 

The Results

Business Outcomes:

  • 54 percent of Cobalt card members are between the ages of 25 and 40 (compared to 39 percent for all other cards).
  • In the first month following launch, Amex received 84 percent more applicants compared to previous card launches.

Media Outcomes:

  • 41 million impressions and 76 unique traditional media hits – all positive in tone

Target Audience Outcomes:

  • Real-time community management and social content resonated with the target market and increased overall positive brand sentiment online by over 28 percent
  • Average Sentiment: 90 percent Positive
  • Total social Impressions: 152,827,136 
  • Total Facebook Impressions: 82,635,008 
  • Total Instagram Impressions: 18,359,833 
  • Total Twitter Impressions: 32,121,573 
  • Total Snapchat Impressions: 19,710,722
  • Total #AmexCobalt paid and organic Impressions (Twitter Only): 47,200,000
  • Total #AmexCobalt mentions (Twitter & Instagram, Paid & Organic): 3,334 
  • Total brand partnership impressions (Buzzfeed & BlogTO): 18,262,618
  • Social media & influencers drove 50 percent of new accounts acquired (NAA) through media (compared to 26% of media NAA for other Amex acquisition campaigns running at the time of the Cobalt launch)

Influencer Outcomes:

  • Paid influencer impressions: 12,581,558
  • Organic influencer impressions: 3,639,368 
  • Paid influencer average ENR: 2.78 percent
  • Organic influencer average ENR: 12.23 percent 
  • Paid influencer engagements: 327,935 
  • Organic influencer engagements: 52,719
  • Total link clicks: 6,992 (3 percent of total traffic) 
  • Influencers drove 14 percent of total applications across social, influencer and affiliate


Gold SABRE Award North America - Financial Services
CPRS ACE Award - Best Use of Special Events 
CPRS ACE Award - Digital Communications campaign 
CPRS ACE Award - Marketing Campaign of the Year
CPRS ACE Award - New Product or Service

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