Best of Show: Radio

Published on .

Agency: The Vidal Partnership, New York

Credits: Creative directors: Paco Olavarrieta, Mauricio Galvan.

Copywriters: Javier Fuentes, Alex Ortiz.

Category: Radio

If there's a campaign that clearly encapsulates the central debate in Hispanic advertising, this is it. Unlike other winners, which could have easily been translated for use in the general market, this series of radio commercials is built squarely on the many permutations the Spanish language takes across Latin borders.

The setup is simple storytelling of everyday vignettes by narrators of various nationalities-Argentinian, Mexican and Dominican, among others. In one scenario, the narrator tells of fetching a beer during a house party, only to find there's no bottle opener, wrecking his car keys to pop a cold one and walking home. In the other story line, he hangs at a bar where he spots an attractive woman but has to settle for his beer when he realizes she's not alone.

But the joke is not in the story, but in the serious-sounding "translator" who tags after every statement, rendering the storyteller's country-specific words into Standard Anchorman Spanish.

The gold-winning campaign gets its punch line from the listener's recognition of the diverse slang and accents that separate Hispanics across nationalities, a concept that would be lost in translation. The clever premise and the fine execution put this Heineken campaign at the same or higher level of quality as any general-market work on the air now, but the advertising is clearly meant to work only on its intended Hispanic market.

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