Bill Clinton made a cameo appearance at the annual Cannes festival recently, and his message to marketers was “do something to create positive change.”

We try to get on that wave-link here at mCause, highlighting (where possible) campaigns and companies driving positive change as they build innovative businesses.

One area that has been a little neglected on the blog, however, is B2B.  This post aims to fix that…

Shop Small

AmEx’s Small Business Saturday is one of my favorites B2B campaigns, so I was happy when I heard that it had won two Cannes Grand Prix awards at the festival.  The AmEx campaign actually goes beyond B2B, bringing everyone together (business owners, consumers, government officials, etc.) in support of small business– the real backbone of our economy and the middle class.

For those not familiar with the campaign, back in 2010, AmEx invented a shopping holiday for US small businesses during Thanksgiving weekend — a period typically dominated by big box retailers and scary news about people being trampled by over-zealous deal seekers.

In order to spread the campaign organically, AmEx built a nice little digital toolkit for small businesses to use on their webpages, etc. Watch the campaign video–>here to see how they did it.

What I love about the campaign is that in the middle of a hostile climate for financial services, AmEx managed to rally so many diverse groups (Republican & Democrat) in a positive way behind the idea.  The campaign also smartly addressed AmEx trial barriers–some merchants refuse to take the card due its higher fees–building brand equity and deepening relationships with small business owners.

AmEx has been on a roll in the B2B space with respect to digital over the past few years.  It was recently rated the #1 branded content creator on the net (see the content marketeer 50 by Kapost) for its OpenForum work.  In addition, it is stepping up its cooperation with Facebook on SMB social media education, among other initiatives.

Congrats to the AmEx team.  We’re looking forward to watching them scale Small Business Saturday in late Nov 2012.   Let’s see if you guys can get Pres. Obama (or Pres. Romney?) to tweet again this year…