That many brands are cutting back on print advertising is no secret.
And it’s no secret that more and more of them are focusing their
efforts on digitally-oriented campaigns.

In many cases, such campaigns make a lot of sense. While print can
still be a valuable medium in a marketer’s toolbox, it’s often
expensive and depending on a campaign’s needs, diverting cash and
resources to the internet may provide more bang for the buck.

American Express appears to think that the internet, and social media in particular, can serve up just what it needs at the US Open tennis tournament this year. The financial services giant is ditching print for its 2009 US Open ad campaign and is instead looking to score a victory using the internet and social media.

AmEx will use social media, including Twitter and Facebook to “better connect fans and players“. As part of its effort, its campaign will focus attention on four young players – Sam Querrey, Shahar Pe’er, Caroline Wozniacki and Gal Monfils.

AmEx will also be offering a mobile phone game and giving US Open attendees the ability to create digital videos against a green screen that puts them in a virtual match with Querrey, Pe’er, Wozniacki and Monfils. Those digital videos can then be shared on popular social media sites.

It’s somewhat fitting that AmEx has decided to invest in social media for this year’s Open as tennis is a social sport. The question, of course, is whether this focus on social media will hit the sweet spot when it comes to achieving the campaign’s goals.

Tennis is generally associated with affluence and the demographic of US Open attendees and viewers reflects that. The Open’s lucrative demographic is a major reason it has traditionally been a popular venue for financial, luxury and higher-end auto brands. Whether an online social media experience will prove to be a suitable, effective replacement for print when it comes to  the Open’s affluent demographic remains to be seen.

Photo credit: StuSeeger via Flickr.