free html hit counter Currency | John Battelle's Search Blog

Currency

By - September 21, 2010

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I’m very proud of a new platform launched today by American Express: Currency. Sometimes when a brand embraces the concept of truly being a publisher, they align with strong voices around the web, underwriting existing properties and helping them create new sections or services. But every once in a while, a brand realizes that its marketing goals align with a very real need in the marketplace, one that for whatever reason hasn’t been addressed. That’s how Currency came to be.

Yes, Currency is an ongoing FM partnership, just as Open Forum is, but this one is a bit different – it’s for young adults just starting to grapple with financial issues (I wish it existed when I got out of college), and it’s got a lot of social media chops, including a game (called Social Currency natch) built on top of Foursquare that helps you track purchases. It also features tons of coursework to help folks get smart on important money matters, and everything – from reading an article to completing a course to checking into purchases – earns you Currency points.

Now, I know my demo here at Searchblog, and let’s face it, most of you are a bit older, wiser, and richer than Currency’s core constituency. But I also know you’re interested in all things web and media, so check it out, and let me know what you think.

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  • http://larrison.blogspot.com Jim

    As usual very impressive.

    I have been impressed with American Express since you guys launched the Open Network with them. It is clear they are very much ahead of the curve in the market in their thinking and how they are willing to engage with the social web.

    Was most of this contrived from FM and Digitas, or was Amex leadership and their marketing team involved in this effort? I only ask because it is pretty odd to see such innovation coming from a company that has been known to be conservative and risk adverse.

    Either you have really great sales people at FM, or their agency is really a thought leader, or the client is willing to take risks and has figured out how to traverse the Amex ivory towers of red-tape land.

    I would guess it is a combo of the first two, and maybe a sprinkle of the last.

    Do you see other brands and marketers removing their risk cloaks and being willing to try out skinny dipping in the cold water of the web? I am not talking about them being willing to go into social media for customer service, or being okay having a Facebook fan page, or even a twitter account, I am talking about willing to really be exposed and listening to the market. Is this real? Or is this an oddity that will take years, if not decades to move into the planning and marketing teams of the Global 200 brands.

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    I signed up @ GetCurrency two days ago and I think it’s pretty cool. I’ve been using Mint.com for a long time and I think I’ll use this as a way to make decisions/interpret the wealth of info Mint gives me.

  • http://battellemedia.com John

    @Jim – This was a team effort with Amex very much the driving force behind the execution. This is very real.

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    Either you have really great sales people at FM, or their agency is really a thought leader, or the client is willing to take risks and has figured out how to traverse the Amex ivory towers of red-tape land.

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    This is a superb post John Battelle’s Searchblog .
    But I was wondering how do I suscribe to the RSS feed?