MARKETING CHALLENGE: Lapiz had to bring to life the idea "For the cleaning battles in the kitchen, choose Bounty" in a radio spot for the paper towel brand.
CREATIVE CHALLENGE: The creative team imagined a real battle, fought by foods that cause messy spills and whose names can be pronounced or chanted to mimic soldiers marching, artillery fire and soaring aircraft. The spot opens with the word "flan, flan, flan" sounding like marching feet, followed by a "Piiiizaaaa" bomb whizzing by and then the staccato "taco, taco, taco" of a helicopter.
Before taping the radio commercial in Buenos Aires, Lapiz compiled three different lists: battle sounds, names in Spanish of foods found in the kitchen and grocery store aisles, and possible messy spills.
"We combined all the lists to find the best words to record," said Lapiz Associate Creative Director Maria Bernal. They drew inspiration from the way sounds are used in video games, a field Ms. Bernal's husband works in. Then they looked for people who could replicate the sounds they envisioned, like sputtering the word aceite (oil) to suggest machine gun fire.
"It's about winning the war against spills," Ms. Bernal said.
Back in Chicago, the Lapiz team made new lists to create an English-language version for bilingual Hispanic radio stations. A few of the words worked in both languages, such as ketchup and pizza, but most were new, with "jam" replacing the marching feet of "flan" and the addition of the "rat-a-tat-tat" of ratatouille. (The English-language version "Battle" won two Gold awards at this year's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival).
The Best of Show debate came down to "Batalla" and the Cine Las Americas work that the judges loved so much that the campaign for the Latin film festival in Austin garnered seven awards, including four Gold prizes, in four different categories.
As true theater of the mind, "Batalla" won the battle, with extra kudos for working in a product category that doesn't inspire a lot of breakthrough creative, and a medium that is also not the easiest but holds special relevance for Hispanics.
"It's a very fresh idea, with the power to please an awards jury and my grandmother, one of those ads you love whether you know anything about advertising or not," said one of this year's judges, Curro Chozas, a creative director at Grupo Gallegos and president of the Hispanic creatives' group Circulo Creativo. "In addition to impeccable production, it's one of those ideas that you feel someone must have thought of before because it seems so simple [but] it's the kind of work that awakens healthy, and not so healthy, envy among other creatives."
What's next? A current Bounty radio spot plays with the idea of a song that you can't get out of your head. The song is about guacamole.
"If a super sticky Bounty song sticks in your head, imagine how well it will work on something like guacamole that sticks to your counter," Ms. Bernal said.
That inspired the Lapiz team to transform "Bounty the Guacamole" into a silly but catchy music video, with two girls in Bounty-colored green and orange outfits singing and dancing to the guacamole song with a Latin fusion beat. They accompany the star, a squat, singing dachshund with bling around his neck in the form of a big "B" for Bounty.