Our favorite campaigns from Latin America in the past year involved deception, intrigue or surprise, and used media ranging from the latest digital techniques to old-fashioned megaphones. Here are six campaigns Ad Age will be watching for at the Cannes Lions festival:
'Whopper Face' (Ogilvy Brasil for Burger King), Brazil
With 2,115 entries, Brazil has the second-biggest presence at Cannes after the U.S., which has 3,370 entries. Practically anything from Almap BBDO, already crowned agency of the year at ad shows around the world, is a potential winner, but other Sao Paulo shops have entered some gems.
In "Whopper Face," Ogilvy pulls a stunt reminiscent of Crispin Porter & Bogusky's U.S. work for Burger King and takes "Have It Your Way" to extremes. To prove sandwiches are made fresh your way, customers' photos were secretly taken by a hidden camera as they placed their orders, which were then delivered with a picture of the customer's face on the wrapper.
'The Mascherano Case' ( Leo Burnett Argentina for Fiat), Argentina
Leo Burnett used gossip to launch Fiat's new Multi-Jet Diesel engine in Argentina. The agency recruited the hosts of two popular, low-brow shows, "Animales Sueltos" ("Animals on the Loose") and "Intrusos" ("Intruders"), to gossip during their programs about seeing an internet video that revealed a secret about a famous soccer player: Did Javier Mascherano, captain of the Argentine team, really have his heart removed by surgery and replaced with a Multi-Jet Diesel engine? That would explain the player's stupendous performance.
Thousands of people flocked to The Mascherano Case site, and many speculated that the rumor might be true. Leo Burnett's integrated campaign revolved around Luis Dapelo, a fictitious independent journalist who swore in supposedly home-made videos posted on his blog, that he was investigating the truth about Mascherano. Every day the blog site contained new evidence gathered by Dapelo, with a link to Fiat's own website. TV, radio and outdoor ads positioned the story as a soccer scandal, and Fiat's sales soared.
'Teletransporter' ( Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi for Andes beer), Argentina
A capsule that transports people instantly to wherever they want to be is an innovative use of media, especially if the capsules are placed in bars. For Quilmes' Andes beer, the agency built 15 Teletransporter cabins and put them in 15 bars in the city of Mendoza. The brand humorously empathized with men who want to drink beer with their friends but are often interrupted by their girlfriends calling to see what they're up to. A guy can step inside a soundproofed Teletransporter to take his girlfriend's call and pick a background sound -- and excuse -- that lets him pretend to be at a hospital, at home with crickets chirping or in a noisy traffic jam. The relationship-saving Teletransporter was only in bar rotation for two months because maintenance costs were so high, but brand preference for Andes went up by ten points and Teletransporter videos got six million YouTube visits.
'Perifoneo' (Sancho BBDO for El Tiempo newspaper), Colombia
Colombian newspaper El Tiempo used the army of ambulant street vendors who sell fruit and vegetables from push carts to promote to housewives a new weekly publication called "Food for Health."
For decades, they have used megaphones ("megáfono" or "perifoneo," in Spanish) to let housewives know which products they are selling each day. The voice of the announcer who records those messages is well-known and immediately associated with buying fresh produce. El Tiempo hired him to record the promotional messages about the new weekly magazine and the health benefits of grapes, strawberries and avocados as radio spots that were later played through the megaphones of the fruit and vegetable sellers all over the country. The new magazine sold out.
'El Talismán' (ArrechederaClaverol for Axa Seguros), Mexico
Independent agency ArrechederaClaverol used branded entertainment to liven up a usually dull product category and associate insurance company Axa Seguros with the World Cup without a pricey sponsorship. The 12-episode online miniseries, called "El Talisman," features insurance salesman Álvaro Vega, who becomes a national talisman when every bizarre misfortune that befalls him -- like getting kidnapped by Argentines -- brings good luck to the Mexican soccer team. In the last episode, Alvaro and a friend heroically throw themselves off a tall building so Mexico can win the World Cup. The show was widely watched online, received massive media coverage, and two local TV channels asked to broadcast the show.
'Pecsi' (BBDO Argentina for Pepsi), Argentina
In one of the most popular campaigns of the last year, Pepsi changed its brand name in Argentina to "Pecsi," reflecting the way Argentines tend to pronounce Pepsi when speaking Spanish. It started as an effort to highlight that Pepsi is cheaper than Coke with the message: "If you drink Pepsi, you save. If you drink Pecsi, you save, too." People loved the idea so much that Pepsi replicated it in Spain, adapting it to Spaniards' pronunciation: "Pesi."