Just last month, American Express launched the following ad to promote their Blue Cash Everyday Card. Full of Tina Fey’s witty humor as she discovers ‘creepy gloves for her feet’ and makes up her own yoga poses, she inspires us all to get to the gym … or maybe just watch the video a few times. Take a look:

The entire clip is full of witty, parody humor, classic of Tina Fey. Her request at the end for the protein powder not to be bagged: “You don’t wrap that, I’ll eat it here.” just seals the deal!

What’s even better is that this is only the first video in a 7-part series.

American Express decided to sign Tina Fey as an endorser back in 2014 to help customers relate to the American Express brand (which is ironic given that she’s spending more than any average woman would on fitness equipment in one go!)

“Tina Fey is universal in many ways with her humor, she is easy to relate to with her ‘every woman-ness’” said Andrew Katz, VP-Advertising at American Express.

Regardless of the motives for Tina Fey’s endorsement contract, let’s take a look at what B2B marketers can learn from this witty series.

Storytelling before Selling

When did you know exactly what this video was selling? Not until the very end of the video, right? The clip wasn’t all about Tina paying with her Amex card here, there, and everywhere. Instead, the video focused on a story — still related to using her Amex card — and reeled you in with humor right off the bat.

B2B marketers can do this, too. In fact, they should do this. People love stories. They’ll watch your stories more willingly than they’ll watch your product pitch. But one word of caution, you better make sure your video is ridiculously interesting if you’re not going to throw your brand or product/service in until the end … or else no one will still be there to see it. And no, this doesn’t mean that you can get away with a crummy video just by adding in your branding halfway through!

Make it a Double … or a Series!

While the workout gear video is certainly the star of this series, the other videos help to build out Tina’s character and also offer a next step in the journey for the viewer. Another video within the same series is a perfect way to move a YouTube viewer along your content journey; it’s not too much of an ask, but it doesn’t leave them hanging, either.

To learn more about creating your own video series, check out our post Video Marketing How-To: Creating an Episodic Video Series.

Ask for What you Want, and Be Consistent

At the end of every single video in the series, American Express offers you two different options: subscribe to the channel, or watch more of Tina Fey’s outrageous spending habits and punchy humor.

If you’re letting your videos fade to black, you’re definitely missing out on a massive opportunity to help guide your viewers to another stage with you. This is true for any distribution location: YouTube, your website, social, etc.

Live and Breathe the Campaign

When you land on American Express’ YouTube home page, it’s all about the Tina Fey series.

American Express Tina Fey

As with any good marketing campaign, they’ve extended the reach beyond the videos themselves to hammer the message home. They even created a Tina Fey series-themed header image for their main page.

American Express Blue Cash CardThere was one opportunity left untouched, which was their website. There didn’t seem to be any mention of the series on American Express’ Blue Cash page. But hey, maybe that’s for good reason – to keep visitors purely focused on the card and features at hand.

Now here’s the real question: do you need a massive celebrity star to make this concept work? We don’t think so. Especially since it’s a series, you have time to develop a character that people really love. Sure, Tina Fey helped this first video get off the ground, but AT&T had a great series with some unknown characters named Frank and Charlie (no longer available on YouTube). But that series was wildly successful and anyone who watched a couple videos within the series became intimately familiar with these characters and their lines of humor.

Kimbe MacMaster