June 5th, 2014
A ‘Docu-Ad’ Looks at Hardship of Those Without Bank Access
By Stuart Elliott
REMEMBER the longtime pitch for Campbell’s Chunky soup, “the soup that eats like a meal”? A project that American Express is to introduce Wednesday can be described as a commercial that watches like a documentary.
The commercial is styled and presented like an investigative nonfiction film that might be part of the “Frontline” series on PBS or a segment of “60 Minutes.” Titled “Spent: Looking for Change,” it runs almost 40 minutes and can be watched free online: on the YouTube channels of American Express and a digital news show, the Young Turks; on hulu.com; and on a special website, spentmovie.com. “Spent” has some big names behind it: Tyler Perry is the narrator and the filmmaker Davis Guggenheim is an executive producer, with Christopher Gebhardt of the Participant/Tag division of Participant Media, which handled the project for American Express.