American Express will debut a new network TV commercial this weekend in conjunction with the NFL playoffs featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Superman. Combining animation and live action, the TV spot marks the first time the cartoon superhero will appear with a major celebrity in an advertisement. American Express recently signed agreements with DC Comics to use the “Man of Steel” cartoon. Warner Bros Animation and Ogilvy & Mather created the new commercials.
In an unprecedented arrangement between DC Comics and American Express, Jerry Seinfeld and Superman will co-star in an American Express television commercial debuting during the NFL Playoffs, January 11. Combining animation and live action, the spot marks the first time the cartoon superhero will appear with a major celebrity in an advertisement.
A comic book buff, Jerry Seinfeld is a long-time fan of the Man of Steel. In fact, Seinfeld came up with the concept for this commercial and specifically asked that the Man of Tomorrow be drawn in the style of the late Curt Swan, the principal Superman artist during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Seinfeld occasionally references Superman on his hit television show, which often features Superman products as part of the set decoration.
“This is an incredible collaboration between a superhero, a superbrand and a television superstar,” said Joel Ehrlich, Senior Vice President of Advertising and Promotion for DC Comics and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “The humor, animation and live action featured in the commercial were greatly enhanced through a collaboration of the talented teams at Warner Bros. Animation and American Express’ advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather.”
John Hayes, Executive Vice President of Global Advertising for American Express, noted that the brands work in synch to bring forth a powerful message. “Trust and security are two of the American Express brand’s most powerful attributes. Featuring Jerry Seinfeld with an American Express Card that ‘saves the day’ for him and Superman is a light-hearted way to break through commercial clutter and reinforce the value of the Card for everyday use,” Hayes said.
“This is truly an example of the mutual admiration society getting together — Clark Kent has been a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld since seeing him perform at Metropolis Comedy Club,” said DC Comics Executive Editor Mike Carlin. “He even has a Seinfeld magnet on his refrigerator!”
There is a 30-second and a 60-second version of the commercial. The 60-second script is as follows
Seinfeld and an animated Superman are walking down a city block, talking
like old friends.
Superman “I mean it’s not like I asked to be famous, I just want to do
what I do.”
Jerry “Yeah, well, it’s the price you pay.”
Superman “You sign a lot of autographs?”
Jerry “Oh yeah. You?”
Superman “Some. They ask me to bend stuff a lot.”
Suddenly, Superman stops still.
Superman “It’s Lois. She’s in trouble.”
Jerry “Did you look through that building?”
Superman “Well kind of — it’s glass.”
Cut to Lois Lane. She is at the front of the line in a glass-fronted
grocery store with bags full of groceries. Superman is about to step out in
to the busy traffic.
Jerry (to Superman) “Watch yourself.”
Jerry (to driver) “Idiot!”
Cut to inside the store.
Lois (to Superman) “Superman! I’ve forgotten my wallet.”
Superman pats himself where pockets might be.
Superman “I can’t carry money in this. I’m powerless.”
Jerry “I’m not.”
Jerry starts spinning round and round in a superhero-like blur. When he
comes to a stop, he is holding the American Express Card. He dramatically
swipes the card at the register.
Old man in line “What’s with the spinning?”
Superman “He idolizes me. It’s embarrassing.” Lois (to Jerry) “My
Jerry and Superman step out onto the sidewalk. A crowd has formed. A
huge shadow envelops them. They look up.
Jerry “What’s that?”
Passerby “It’s a huge comet hurtling perilously towards earth. We’re
Jerry turns to Superman.
Jerry “I think you better get this one.”
Cut to the American Express Card.
Jerry Voice-over “You can do more with the American Express Card.”
DC Comics, a division of Warner Bros., has a 60-year history of innovative publishing and utilizing its characters to support the marketing of products. >From its early alliance with Kelloggs on the classic Superman radio programs that debuted in 1939, to the first online service devoted to comics, DC has demonstrated its heroes’ capabilities to leap from the printed page to conquer other media.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which includes Licensing, Studio Stores, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, WB Sport and WB Toys division, is a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.