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American Express Can Kiss My Ass

July 24, 2008
There is an American Express commercial that comes on about ten times a day but I cannot find it on Youtube. Instead of relying on others to provide a video, I may have to actually record it and learn how to post on YouTube. Anyway, this commercial makes me sick. A man and a woman, possibly American I assume, are having a business lunch/dinner with three Germans, two men and a woman. The Americans are pitching something and the Germans are interested, impressed. A deal is made. The American man offers to pay for lunch and pulls out his credit card. The card has a cartoon character on it, I think a superhero, maybe Superman. The Germans who were previously speaking in English switch to German so they can mock the man’s card. One German asks if they are still in kindergarten. After concluding the situation is awkward, the Germans begin to speak in English again to say goodbye. The American woman notices the ridiculing (assuming she does not speak German), then after they are gone she pulls out her serious minded American Express Gold card, and declares that she will pay, “Let me get this.”

My knee jerk reaction was, “fuck you you fucking Germans.” Who the fuck are you to criticise someone for showing individuality. Should we all have the same card, one that conveys a group think image over a personality? The important thing is if the card is approved. If the man is not over his credit limit and can afford the lunch/dinner, then what is the problem? If the Germans like the Americans’ proposal then what difference it makes what image is on the card.

Then I thought about the woman paying for the lunch. I am assuming they are in business together so what difference does it makes who pays, it will/should be deducted from their small business expenses. It is not as if she corrected the situation in front of the Germans. The Germans had gone by the time she laid down her professional and acceptable gold American Express business card. Unless she did it in order to correct the poor stumbling and bumbling Peter Pan who elected to have a superhero on his business credit card. It would be in her best interest to correct him since they are partners in order to avoid a similar situation in the future. Or she could have told him straight up. Oh but that would have been attacking. The Truth is so uncivil. However, I could not help to think about how in the end he would get more credit and make more money than her anyway. It is the way things go after all.

But I still kept going back to that image on his card. I am so sick of the demand for group think, group acceptance, group inclusion. A person can belong and still have individuality. I just don’t get why so many “enlighten” people are against individuality. A person can be part of the whole and still be an individual part. Why is there such a demand to paint the world beige? Why is beige so fucking safe? Wait until it is time to renew my major credit card (will not be American Express), I am so going to pick yellow rubber ducks, Cat Woman, or Harry Potter.

  1. CountryDew permalink
    July 26, 2008 9:17 pm

    That post did not go in the direction I was anticipating! Individuality is scary. Individuality brings about change, it can make people think, it shakes things up. It is non-conformity. It is throwing wine in the face of the idiot who pinched your butt. Individuality is standing up for yourself. It is not group-think, leming-like or inside the box. It means you care about yourself and that scares people.

    The government and corporations hate individuality because individuals do not follow the leader or buy the same brand or color or whatever. They may not buy anything at all!

    I don’t watch TV so I haven’t seen this commercial, but good catch. Interesting blog entry.

  2. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    July 26, 2008 9:31 pm

    What makes this commercial even more stupid is, not too long ago American Express advertised the opportunity to have superman on your card. They used Jerry Seinfeld and his love of Superman. In some stupid way, I wonder if they are saying, one can have an image on your personal card but not your business card. Even so, it is they who are dictating what should go on a card that they need you to have. This makes it even more grating. There is this, “we offer you these services, but we dictate what type of services you should want and if you think about wanting something else we will ridicule you for wanting it but it is us who need you to need our services.”

  3. Chris permalink
    July 26, 2008 11:33 pm

    First of all, AMEX can kiss my ass too, but that is just from personal experience. This huge company not only would not allow us to pay two company accounts with one check, they had a problem with us sending two checks for two accounts in one envelope. So bite me, AMEX.

    But I saw this commercial and didn’t walk away with the same take. I pictured the woman as the lead person (maybe even the owner) and the guy as just a young doofus that she didn’t want to embarrass in front of the client.

    As far as individualism, yes there is a place for that. But in business, that has to be balanced against professionalism. In this case, I don’t think that the superhero card was an awful demonstration of being unprofessional, but that’s a subjective thing based on the competitive market in which you exist. Admittedly it is a fine line.

    Either way, AMEX still can bite me!

  4. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    July 27, 2008 5:04 pm

    Yeah, they can bite. And to mention how AMEX has their chops in to Costco. I think you said once your family shops there. Cash, Check or AMEX, nothing else.

  5. bclear permalink
    August 5, 2008 12:01 am

    Thank you for writing this blog I was looking for the commercial on Youtube to write a blog on it myself. I really do hate this commercial. All it does is make think, “Wow, the Germans really are superficial jerks.” To be honest this commercial makes me NOT want to ever do business with American Express. I mean seriously you judge my entire business operation on one credit card I have?

  6. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    August 6, 2008 4:08 am

    I mean seriously you judge my entire business operation on one credit card I have?

    My point exactly. And I would think the Germans would not want to be portrayed as promoting group think.

  7. bclear permalink
    August 6, 2008 7:48 pm

    HA! Very true! AMEX presents its peer pressure version of the Beer Hall Putsch!

  8. Karl permalink
    September 10, 2008 12:31 am

    The psychology behind this commercial is disgusting – the target audience, represented by and associating itself with the white American guy in the ad, if he wants to avoid getting shamed by a bunch of pompous Germans and his own patronizing “with it” Desi-American parter, should get an AMEX card. Amex is preying on it’s own customers insecurity. Sucks.

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