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Brazilian Retailer Reserva Turns Robbery Footage Into Ad

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Brazilian menswear entrepreneur Rony Meisler came up with an original idea for an ad to promote his summer sale: Use genuine security-camera footage shot during a recent burglary at one of his Reserva stores in Sao Paulo to convey the frenzy of shoppers scooping up bargains.

In the fuzzy black & white video (below), a gang of thieves burst through the big glass windows, knock over a dummy and grab clothing off the shelves, escaping after clearing out the store in about a minute.

Mr. Meisler, a former engineer from Rio de Janeiro, started the Reserva chain of casual clothes for men in 2006 and is both founder and creative director. He superimposed over the chaotic robbery scene the words "There's no need to break the store window. Just go in! Reserva sale: Up to 40% off."

As the thieves plunder the store, stealing about $20,000 of clothing, Mr. Meisler adds more words to the security video describing the various items available: "Jeans. Shorts. Polos." At the end, he adds to the security-camera footage the sentence "Hurry up! Because there are people doing crazy things for Reserva!"

Already digitally savvy, Reserva is posting the video on social-media networks. Reserva claims it is the first Brazilian fashion brand to get a million Facebook fans and now boasts 1.2 million.

Adopting the adage that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade, Mr. Meisler dubbed the spot "Limonada."

The Reserva story was first reported in Meio & Mensagem, Ad Age's editorial partner in Brazil.

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