MARKETING CHALLENGE: Pharmaceutical brands rarely advertise to Hispanics, although Pepto-Bismol is tailor-made for a population that eats with gusto. If only the marketer could tap into their relationship with food in an entertaining way.
CREATIVE SOLUTION: A woman sits in a car in front of a motel with her boyfriend, who happens to be, well, an empanada. He cruelly breaks up with her, saying she bores him. She sobs; she thought they'd get married. "I lied," the empanada says. "And I was seeing your sister." The empanada orders her out of the car and drives away. What? Then the spot's tagline appears: "Don't let the food you love hurt you."
"It brings to life the love-hate relationship Hispanics have with food," said Laurence Klinger, senior VP -chief creative officer at Lapiz. "Our food is spicier and heavier, we know we might have trouble and we eat it anyway. ... It was natural to ask what if we took it to extremes and had food behave really, really badly?"
The judges appreciated the effort.
"It's a difficult product to sell," said Rebeca Vargas, senior VP and marketing director-multicultural segment at JPMorgan Chase. "But it's very relevant to Latinos because of our type of food. The work is dramatic and unexpected."
The second spot, "Cheesecake," also hits all the clich�s of a bad relationship. A slice of cheesecake shows up at the door to talk his way back into the life of the woman who threw him out. He gets her name wrong. She flees, and he falls asleep, snoring, in front of the TV.
With painstaking attention to detail, Lapiz gave the spots a feature film look. "Empanada" was shot like a road movie, and "Cheesecake" felt like a psycho drama, right down to the moody lighting.
What's next? With a limited budget, one more spot will be picked to shoot this year from four ideas.
The judges separately awarded a Gold prize to "Empanada" and a Silver to "Cheesecake."