Screen shot 2009-11-17 at 10.05.21 AMI was one of the lucky attendees at the American Express sold-out Jon Bon Jovi unplugged exclusive cardmember show last night. American Express was nice enough to extend a ticket to me last minute and after hearing how they sold the rest of the tickets, I was inspired and impressed.

The first and only link to purchase tickets was posted exclusively on the @AmericanExpress Twitter account and they were able to sell out the show 1 day. The tickets were $50 with all proceeds benefiting City Harvest via the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

Everyone in the audience (roughly 500 people) were tweeting, snapping TwitPic photos and spreading the word about the event while they were there. Excellent use of Twitter to promote and sell out an exclusive event, as well as spread the word about the brand. I had a blast and think American Express has created a great case study of how to offer something special to your fans and followers, donate to a great cause and create enthusiastic and positive conversation around your brand using the power of social networks. 

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  • David Fisher says:

    I’m not sure of the takeaway. Most of the lessons here don’t apply to most businesses.
    If Amex was a new credit card company with little mindshare- if they posted a concert to Twitter and only had 200 followers, I’m unsure of how many conversions they’d get to the purchase level.
    If Bon Jovi were nobodies, I’m unsure of how well Amex could have sold them via Twitter- let alone $50 tickets.
    It seems a great win when you combine a wildly successful band with a huge brand that has a long tradition and established presence and then add in Twitter- its sure to be a win. In fact, if they screwed it up and weren’t able to sell 500 tickets- I’d be shocked.
    Its really cool they did it, and it sounds like a fun concert- but I’m trying to imagine how a smaller brand, band or twitter account might be able to take advantage of it.
    I think one lesson that everyone’s learning is that Big Brands still rule the roost and the past 100 years of marketing and advertising has done them well when they’ve come into this space.

  • Daniel says:

    Would love to see a case study, Julia. Have you written one yet?

  • Julia Roy says:

    David – What is truly amazing about this is they only had 1,400 followers when they launched the promo. I know plenty of startups and smaller brands that have a much larger following than that.
    Daniel – I’ll leave it to American Express to produce you a case study 😉

  • David Fisher says:

    Damn, i’ve got more followers than that. Now if my band was Bon Jovi :)

  • Freddie_b says:

    While this is a great use of Twitter to sell tickets for an event, I am wondering how much of the buzz generated affected American Express in a positive way? The benefit to City Harvest is a great goodwill gesture but I am still wondering of direct business value to American Express. Is this really the best way to leverage social media platforms?
    I am also looking for some stats to put a number to the buzz generated by this. Anything like number of tweets with a hashtag for the concert, number of clicks on the link that allowed people to purchase the tickets or anything else out there. If someone could help me out here that would be great.

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