Yesterday NBCU and American Express invited the public to nominate and vote online for the small business story that most inspires them based on innovation, community spirit and customer service. “Shine A Light,” which marks the largest ever cross property campaign at NBCU, will award the winning small business with $100,000 in grant and marketing support from AMEX, and the people who nominate the three small business finalists will each receive a $3,000 American Express Gift Card. People are encouraged to participate in the program by nominating, “spotlighting” and voting at www.nbc.com/shinealight, a microsite developed and hosted by iVillage.
The nominations will be vetted by NBCU and American Express and then judged by Ellen DeGeneres, Diane von Furstenberg, and MSNBC’s small business expert and host JJ Ramberg, to narrow the field to three finalists. The public will ultimately vote for the winning small business to be announced on 10/19. The winning small business will receive a $50,000 grant and $50,000 marketing support from AMEX and will be featured on MSNBC’s small business show, “Your Business.”
The campaign will include significant on-air and online promotion, in-show integrations on NBC Local Media’s “First Look” as well as series of custom videos that will air on multiple NBCU networks and online properties. The videos will feature various NBCU personalities such as chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Tom Colicchio and Law & Order’s S. Epatha Merkerson discussing small businesses that have inspired them and encouraging participation across media platforms. iVillage has built the entire community platform at nbc.com/shinealight, where all promotional elements will drive consumers to nominate, “spotlight” and vote.