By Published on .

Most Popular
Marketer: Unilever's Sunsilk Agency: Zig, Toronto

A messy local festival that leaves an entire Spanish town covered in smashed tomatoes inspires a detergent campaign

[Toronto] A lucky Canadian shopper will win a trip for four to one of Europe's strangest festivals-the gigantic tomato fight called La Tomatina that takes place in the Spanish village of Bu¤ol during the last week of August.

Dramatizing Sunlight's positive attitude toward getting dirty, Toronto-based independent agency Zig re-created the lighthearted annual tomato fight in a 60-second cinema commercial and a 30-second TV spot. A little girl spots a boy who is clearly a rival and prepares to throw the first tomato. When the little boy's shot goes wide and hits a man, the confrontation erupts into a citywide tomato fight.

No one knows exactly how the real Tomatina got started, but Bu¤ol's first tomato fight happened in 1945. Local authorities tried and failed to ban the squishy battle and finally gave up in 1959 and made it part of the weeklong festival in honor of the town's patron saint, even trucking in some 250,000 pounds of tomatoes. There are rules: The fight starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. All the tomatoes must be squashed before throwing, so no one gets hurt. And a massive cleanup begins immediately after the siren sounds ending the fight, using water pumped from a nearby Roman viaduct.

The cinema commercial-Sunlight's first-includes a tag about winning a trip to next year's La Tomatina, which attracts visitors from all over the world, and the contest is promoted on-pack. The spot ends with a voice-over: "Tough enough for La Tomatina. Go ahead. Get dirty."

In this article: