U.S. Hispanic Agency LatinWorks Wins Two Lions at Cannes Festival

Cine Las Americas Takes Gold for Radio Campaign Inspired By Crazy Speeches by Latin American Leaders

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LatinWorks was the big winner among U.S. Hispanic agencies at last week's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity , picking up two Lions for new twists in long-running campaigns for Austin's Latin film festival Cine Las Americas and anti-child obesity effort Active Life.

The Cine Las Americas campaign, winner of a Gold Lion in the radio competition, mines the seemingly endless supply of bizarre but genuine public statements made by megalomaniac Latin American heads of state (Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a favorite target ). The tagline is always: "If this is our Latin American reality, imagine our films."

The new twist this year is to pretend at first that the news report is about a European or U.S. leader. In the spot "Cameron," a news reader reports that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said all European men are going bald because they eat chicken, which also leads to hormonal changes that could turn them into homosexuals. Then he rants against potatoes from the Netherlands. The news reader then explains that if Mr. Cameron had really said those things, he would have been shut up in a psychiatric ward. "But Bolivian President Evo Morales said it. He's still the president of Bolivia." The spot ends with a quick clip of Morales' real rant in Spanish about baldness, chicken and homosexuality and the "If this is our Latin American reality, imagine our films" tagline.

In another spot called "Obama," the U.S. president is greeted at an airport by 50,000 people "and jumped into the crowd screaming 'I'm Batman.'" (That was Ecuador again.) "Merkle" features the German leader's graphic description of a bout with diarrhea, which turns out to be from a public speech by Venezuela's uninhibited Mr. Chavez.

Over the last few years, the annual version of the Cine Las Americas campaign has both boosted attendance at the film festival, held in Austin, Texas, and opened the door for the festival organizers to get good films for the program because the ad campaign has become so well-known among Latin American filmmakers. In the U.S. Hispanic market, radio is a bigger and more creative category than in the general market. Last year, Leo Burnett's Hispanic shop Lapiz won two Gold Lions in the radio category, both for a Procter & Gamble spot for Bounty paper towels called "Battle."

This year LatinWorks also picked up a Bronze Lion in the press competition for a print campaign for Active Life encouraging kids to enjoy the active outdoor activities they often abandon to spend hours online, contributing to child obesity. Each ad shows two children as paper cutouts from a Facebook profile, with each child's photo, name and a few words like "4 mutual friends. Add as friend." In each ad, the two kids meet outdoors to fly a kite or play on a slide or swing. The copy line is "Meet online, play outside."

Several other U.S. Hispanic entries were shortlisted but didn't win Lions, including a Conill spot in the film category called "Lineup" for the New Cinema Film Festival, which last year won a Gold Lion in film for the shop, and another Conill effort for T-Mobile, shortlisted in the media category.

The U.S. Hispanic market also sends two teams to compete in onsite Young Lions contests for film and cyber, open to creatives aged 28 and under. The U.S. Hispanic team for film won the Gold Lion in that category after competing with 40 other Young Lions teams from around the world to create the best 60-second mobile spot in 48 hours. The film Gold, which was judged by the festival's film jury, was awarded to Omar Sotomayor and Gaston Soto, a creative duo from Lapiz.

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