Hispanic Creative Ad Awards 2009

Best of Show: Cine Las Americas' 'Estratosfera' Spot Wins Best Ad

Stranger-Than-Fiction Effort From Latinworks, Austin Takes Prize

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MARKETING CHALLENGE: With a minuscule ad budget, Cine Las Am�ricas wanted to increase the audience, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic, for Austin's 12th annual Latin American film festival.

CREATIVE SOLUTION: LatinWorks hit on the idea of using real footage from unbelievably bizarre -- but real -- speeches by Latin American leaders to make the point in TV and radio spots: "If this is our reality, imagine our films."

The "Estratosfera" footage, edited into a 30-second TV spot, is from an infamous 1996 speech by Carlos Menem, then Argentina's president, promising the inhabitants of an impoverished region of his country the construction of a base to allow Argentines to shuttle back and forth through space. His government, he said, would look into building "a system of space shuttles that would leave the atmosphere, take on the stratosphere and from there pick any destination ... so that in a matter of one-and-a-half hours, Argentines will be able to travel from Argentina to Korea, Japan or anywhere in the world."

This mesmerizing spot is the ultimate low-budget ad. And kudos to whoever must have researched a vast inventory of TV speeches to find and edit these zany gems.

"We played with the concept that [our] Latin American reality is already too magical, and too weird, which makes you wonder how much more fantastical our films must be," explained Sergio Alcocer, LatinWorks' president and chief creative officer. He added: "What made this [Menem] speech perfect for the pitch is that he was actually being serious about the whole thing!"

All the ads are so riveting that one judge said, "I wish there were more." Check out the other Cine Las Americas winners: Silver and Bronze prizes for radio spots "Muro" (Mexico) and "Coca" (Venezuela), and a TV Silver to "Fujishock" (Peru).

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