New American Express Canada Shop Small Ad Campaign puts Canada’s Small Businesses Front and Centre

Amex teams up with real business owners and notable personalities to help rally support for small businesses in latest marketing…

Amex teams up with real business owners and notable personalities to help rally support for small businesses in latest marketing campaign 

TORONTO, July 29, 2020 /CNW/ – American Express Canada is rolling out the next phase of its Shop Small marketing campaign to encourage Canadians to get behind small businesses and help revive local communities. The program, which is backed by American Express Canada’s largest ever Shop Small Cardmember offer, includes national advertising including influencer and social media marketing that puts real small businesses and their stories in the spotlight. By placing businesses at the forefront, American Express is putting their resources and marketing experience into making a direct impact for small businesses across the country.   

«From shop keepers to bakers, florists and restaurateurs, it’s our local business owners that make the Shop Small campaign so important,» says David Barnes, Vice President of Advertising and Communications, American Express Canada. «We want to use our advertising to help elevate real small business owners from our main streets to the main stage, putting them front and centre in creative across high-impact placements from billboards to digital media to video.»

The 360 campaign is a rallying cry in support of small businesses and comes to life over the 12-week program through video and digital display, audio, out of home, content partnerships as well as influencer and social content.

A variety of Canadian local small business owners are featured front and centre in creative across marketing channels, putting small businesses at the heart of the program:   

  • Video creative featuring notable Canadian personalities including Donte Colley, Eden Hagos, Sarain Fox and Tyrone Edwards, and Toronto-based small businesses including, Mary’s Brigadeiro, Throne Barbershop, SugarKane, May Flowers, The Dirty Bird and The Good Son
  • Social media features with more than 40 small businesses
  • Digital OOH with high-impact billboard placements across Toronto
  • Custom partnership with award-winning content team Twitter Originals fueled by so.da (Corus Entertainment)

«With the Shop Small campaign, we’re lending our marketing platform to the businesses that can directly benefit from our investment and experience,» continues Barnes. «Putting them at the heart of our campaign allows us to personalize the Shop Small story, with the goal of encouraging Canadians to get out there and show up for the local businesses that play such a crucial role in our communities.»

«It’s been a really challenging year for businesses like ours,» said Mariane Oliveira, owner of Mary’s Brigadeiro, a hand-crafted Brazilian confectionary shop in Toronto. «This kind of spotlight really helps shine a light on small businesses and the role we play within our community.»

To drive additional awareness for the Shop Small program, American Express Canada also partnered with professional basketball player and Canadian fan-favourite Fred VanVleet to help spread the word and encourage Canadians to support local businesses. 

«Part of what I miss most about Toronto are the local places that give the city a great culture and vibe,» says Fred VanVleet, professional basketball player. «I’m proud to be partnering with Amex Canada for this campaign and to be using my voice to help encourage fans and all Canadians to get out there and support local businesses.»

Notch Video developed local video creative, with North Strategic (social media, PR and influencer marketing).  BT/A (merchant communication & experiential) and UM (media). Global creative was developed by McGarry Bowen and includes digital banners, online video/TV and OOH.

Globally, American Express is investing $200M USD in Shop Small across six international markets to help jumpstart spending at local businesses. American Express has been running Shop Small and the popular Small Business Saturday program in the US for 10 years. Shop Small launched in Canada in 2013, and this marks the first time the campaign has extended its reach at such a large-scale in Canada.

This Shop Small offer is the largest ever for American Express Canada. Eligible Cardmembers can earn $5 back in statement credits when they spend at least $10 at up to 10 different qualifying small businesses, allowing them to earn up to $50 in statement credits through the program. To learn more about the offer and for Cardmembers to enroll, visit:

About American Express in Canada

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. American Express was established in Canada in 1853 and offers a variety of consumer and business products. Learn more at and connect with us on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

About American Express Shop Small

Shop Small is an international movement founded by American Express to ignite passion for small businesses, call attention to the valuable contributions they make to their communities and the economy, and encourage shoppers to support them. Shop Small celebrates small businesses ranging from retail stores and restaurants to fitness studios and salons, and everything in between.

Visit and follow #ShopSmall for more information.

SOURCE American Express Canada