American Express focuses on the problem of “under-banking” in its “docu-ad” film

American Express has released a documentary film about people who got stuck in the American banking system swamp. The 40-minute film titled “Spent: Looking For Change” narrates stories of several families and individuals who ended up “under-banked” or “unbanked” in their tough life troubles and had nothing but to turn to costly alternatives like check-cashing, payday loans, and pawn shops. The project casts come light onto the problems that arise in such situations and advocate for traditional banking.

The full-length film has a professional team of filmmakers behind—it’s produced by award-winning Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth) and directed by Derek Doneen. The “docu-ad” film follows people, entrepreneurs and everyday US residents from lower- and middle-income families, who have struggled and finally managed to get through all the problems related to an antiquated banking system. In the video, American Express mildly promotes its banking solutions such as prepaid card products Bluebird and Serve to avoid financial troubles.

The film will be heavily promoted on American Express social media sites, and the company will also be sharing tips and inspiration of smart money spending&saving. More information about the film as well as about how to take action is revealed on the dedicated micro-site.

“There is this saying, ‘It’s expensive to be poor,’ and usually the less money you have the more it costs to manage it. But talking about ‘financial exclusion’ can fall flat and tends to not have the impact that great storytelling can have,» commented Daniel H. Schulman, group president for enterprise growth at American Express, to the New York Times. “We wanted to create a documentary that brings to life this story in a way that a print ad or an article could not.”