Aretha Franklin and Mindy Kaling star in AmEx's big money Oscars ad campaign

American Express is betting big on the Oscars this year with a run of four 30-second ads during the event, which will be broadcast on ABC this Sunday, February 22.

Each ad features a celebrity (and AmEx customer) - singer Aretha Franklin, TV star Mindy Kaling, GoPro founder Nick Woodman, and chef Natalie Young - talking about how they overcame adversity to get to where they are today.

Here's the Mindy Kaling spot. She was told "they don't put girls that look like me on TV."

Here's the Aretha Franklin ad. She said when she first started singing she was "shy, and had to hold on to the mic for confidence."

Natalie Young had an addiction that "destroyed everything - I lost my family, my partner and my job," but she built her career back up after getting sober.

GoPro's founder Nick Woodman speaks about how his first business failed.

The aim of the campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, is to be aspirational and open up the brand to a "new generation" of customers.

In a press release, AmEx explains: "While many associated American Express with achievement or having arrived at success, Card Members know that American Express is really about supporting them along their journey to what they define as success, as they persevere in what's truly valuable. That even in the face of failure, they find the grit and determination to take that next step on their journey and pursue that next goal."

The price of a 30-second spot during the Academy Awards has soared 10% year on year to $2 million. Broadcaster ABC says it has sold out of all the available commercial spots, according to The Wrap.

Other brands advertising during the show this year include: Coca-Cola, Comcast, Samsung, The Walt Disney Co., Netflix, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch AARP, Coldwell Banker, Discover, GM, J&J, King's Hawaiian, Mars, McDonald's, Spring, and Sonos.

Alongside the TV buy, American Express is also launching a social crowdfunding campaign. The brand is asking Twitter users to tweet to help generate the last remaining funding required to complete and distribute a documentary on the life of ballerina Mistry Copeland.