NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- For most people, it's early December. But at Dieste, this month is pre-January 2010.
The U.S. Hispanic agency declared an early end to a bad 2009 with a "Leave 09 Behind" campaign aimed at getting a head start on a better year. Visitors to the site can post pictures and videos of reasons to end 2009 early, which are then fed into a virtual shredder.
The site also features a petition to the U.S. government, currently numbering more than 2,000 signatures, to put an early end to the year. "Leave '09 Behind" has about 1,000 Facebook friends, and one of the site's videos was viewed more than 17,000 times on YouTube. Dieste hosted a year-end party for 500 on Nov. 30, with a radio host DJ whose station aired Dieste advertisements. It also sent all of its clients a pre-January calendar as part of the effort.
"With the new year comes new energy, and with the right attitude we can bring about a positive change," said Aldo Quevedo, Dieste's president. "It doesn't help to complain about the crisis, the pandemics, the financial debacle. We have to act. We will leave '09 behind. Literally."
The effort demonstrated to clients, who are still sometimes reluctant to do much with Hispanic digital, that it's possible to do a pervasive digital campaign with measurable results, and on a small budget.
For some agencies, 2009 can't end too soon. Phoenix-based Arvizu, for instance, filed for bankruptcy in June after a major supermarket client went bankrupt. President-CEO Ray Arvizu said he is working on a plan for Arvizu, ranked by Ad Age as the No. 14 Hispanic agency by 2008 revenue, to emerge from bankruptcy in 2010.
On the bright side, agencies say that after a very quiet year, new business is suddenly active again, with major pitches underway for marketers including Home Depot and Ikea.