Latin Ad Show Invents Self-Destructing Grand Prix Trophy

El Ojo Hands Out Prizes Before Judging, but Losers' Awards Will Blow Up, Disintegrate or May Be Eaten by Ants

By Published on .

RIO DE JANEIRO ( -- In a bizarre call for entries promotion, a regional Latin American advertising festival is handing out Grand Prix trophies to agencies in advance this year, but warns that they will self destruct when the jury picks this year's real winners in November.

El Ojo de Iberoamerica festival, in a campaign by Sao Paulo independent agency Santa Clara, is offering the Self-Destructing Grand Prix trophy to agencies that submit more than 50 entries to the festival. A viral video, narrated in Spanish by an El Ojo executive, explains that you get the trophy now, but that it will self destruct after the judging unless the agency really does win a Grand Prix.

The "Making of" viral video, filmed at several Sao Paulo ad agencies, demonstrates the various methods of self-destruction tested for El Ojo by supposed scientists who include a U.S. plastics explosive expert who blows the trophy up, a chemical engineer whose acid solution melts the trophy and a Japanese entomologist who unleashes vicious trophy-eating ants.

Get Global News delivered to your inbox -- register for the new weekly Ad Age Global newsletter.

A Portuguese-language print ad for the Brazilian market says: "Experience the indescribable sensation of having one of the world's most prestigious prizes on your shelf for several months, until the jury decides if you get to keep it."

The winners will be announced at the festival, held Nov. 22-24 in Buenos Aires, with up to nine Grand Prix prizes awarded in different categories.

"If your agency wins one of them, great," the ad explains. "Your self-destructing Grand Prix will be preserved. Otherwise, adios trophy."

El Ojo won't reveal exactly how the trophies will self-destruct. In one scene from the viral video, DM9 DDB staffers flee in horror from the agency, pursued by little yellow Pac-Man-like creatures unleashed by El Ojo's biohazard consultant from Argentina.

El Ojo promises that if any participating agencies really do win a Grand Prix, a team will be dispatched to their offices to shut off the self-destruct device inside the trophies, which are equipped with a bomb-like countdown clock.

The agencies themselves aren't sure what, if anything, will happen. At one Sao Paulo agency, where a self-destructing Grand Prix is currently sitting peacefully in the trophy case, one staffer confirmed in an e-mail that the trophy will somehow disintegrate while another responded, "It's too heavy! It's just a joke. I think. Imagine a trophy exploding in the middle of the creative department."

Most Popular
In this article: