Crafting a creative approach for travel during a pandemic

Client: American Express

Role: Designer

Year: 2020-2021

One of the biggest industries affected by COVID-19 was travel. American Express asked us to come up with strategy and creative during this period, entirely shifting their tone and creative approach to encourage their card members to travel safely and responsibly.

Over a 16 month period as a designer, I was involved in creating and producing digital and print assets, image sourcing, retouching, and establishing creative guidelines that highlighted this new direction.

Photography through a COVID lens

Photoshoots were no longer a thing, as the risk to shoot them and gather the talent was impossible. Instead, our solution was to build a robust stock image library that was individually retouched and curated to match the style of American Express Travel.

The result was an image library of over 100+ images used for internal and external marketing and design teams.

A group of photos with small groups who are outside and/or wearing masks to protect from COVID.

Ad hoc print material

In 2021, a variety of print ads were created during this time to reassure travel industry partners, advisors, peers, and card members.

A letter from Audrey Hendley addressed to travel industry partners, advisors, and peers. On the bottom of the letter is a photo of a family walking up a beach.
A print ad directed to American Express card members assuring them that will be there every step of the way. On the bottom is a photo of two people holding hands in a green meadow.
American Express Platinum and Gold cards.

Card members

Booking travel through American Express Travel as a card member gave you access to their luxury hotel selection with The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts.

I concepted, designed, and produced mailers for their Platinum and Gold Card Members utilizing the same language and intent from "Every Step of the Way."

Young, aspirational woman leaning on an orange wall with a red bike next to her.
Long vertical mailer that highlights the benefits of hotels with perks.
Young, aspirational couple walking on the beach, with the man carrying the woman on his back.
Long vertical mailer that highlights the benefits of hotels with perks.

Thoughts & Credits

I don't think I would've ever guessed that I would be working on a project that only came into existence because of a global pandemic—at least not in my lifetime. This was a very unique opportunity that required a lot of empathy and understanding in the do's and don'ts of advertising, especially in a sensitive topic such as travel during this time.

The work we've done won a silver HSMAI Adrian Award in the "Recovery Campaign Evolution" category, as well as a Gold Magellan award by the Travel Weekly Awards in the Advertising/Marketing Campaign category.

Creative Direction
Lisa Chernin
Todd Alexander ↗
Art Direction
Angelo Alcasabas
Design & Production
Pedro Peguero Jr.
Vee Qian ↗
Taylor Pavacich ↗
Courtney Ryan ↗
Mira Elzanaty

20% increase in traffic to

23% increase in American Express Travel bookings between September and November 2020