Pepsi, Cadbury, Burger King Among Big Winners at Wave Festival

Entries up 40% at Latin America Ad Show

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RIO DE JANEIRO ( -- Latin America's Wave Festival this week saw a 40% increase in entries as at least some awards festivals seem to be recovering from last year's steep drop due to the global recession. The big winners from Latin America include PepsiCo's name-changing "Pecsi" campaign and Cadbury's Chocolatometer spots, both from Argentina; Burger King's "Whopper Face" from Brazil; and a moving promotional effort from Uruguay in response to violence among sports fans. These winners may be a preview of what from the region will do well next month at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

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Cadbury: Shhh

The Wave Festival jury awarded both the Promo category Grand Prix and one of the two coveted "Blue Wave" awards to a little-known independent agency in Uruguay, Notable Publicidad, and the Uruguayan Federation of Basketball. After two teenagers were killed in post-game violence during the Metropolitan Basketball championship, play was suspended for a month. When the tournament resumed, a message needed to be sent. So for the next three games, each player switched shirts and wore the rival team's jersey for the whole game to make the point, "No jersey is worth a life."

The other Blue Wave award went to a fun campaign by BBDO Argentina in which PepsiCo changed its brand's name to "Pecsi" to reflect how Pepsi is pronounced in Argentine Spanish and tell consumers that Pepsi costs a bit less than unnamed rival Coke.

One of the creators of the "Pecsi" campaign, BBDO Argentina's director of integrated communications, Nicolas Pimentel, is leaving this week to open what he describes as an "innovation house" in Buenos Aires, to be called +Castro. Mr. Pimentel also worked on earlier award-winning integrated campaigns such as "Bring Back Slow Dancing" for Doritos and Nike's "Barrio Bonito."

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"I realized there was an opportunity to really focus on big ideas in innovation, including both creativity and implementation, " he said. "One of the biggest challenges is to bring a big idea to life."

The three-year-old Wave Festival is held at the historic beachfront Copacabana Palace Hotel, and drew 1,565 entries this year. The Wave is organized by Meio & Mensagem, Ad Age's editorial partner in Brazil.

In a stunt reminiscent of Crispin Porter & Bogusky's U.S. work for Burger King, Ogilvy Brazil won the Grand Prix for Outdoor with "Whopper Face." To prove sandwiches are made fresh your way, customers' photos were secretly taken by a hidden camera as they placed their orders, which are then delivered with a picture of the customer's face on the wrapper.

Gaston Bigio, regional creative director for Ogilvy Latina, said his agency considered Crispin Porter's well-known work on Burger King as a benchmark for creative ideas. "With 'Whopper Face,' 'Have it your way' came to life for people to understand this burger is just for you," he said.

Film Grand Prix recipient Cadbury won by cleverly proving its tagline, "A man will never be as good as a whole Cadbury bar," with three spots by Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Buenos Aires, that each show a man scoring points with his girlfriend, measured by squares of chocolate added to a Chocolatometer, then losing them all with a fatal mistake. In one spot, the man's chocolate rating goes up and up to almost a whole bar as he wines and dines a woman at a restaurant, until he loses all his squares by suggesting they split the check. In another spot, a boyfriend almost redeems himself with his girlfriend by promising to change and be more attentive until he gives her a really stupid gift: a video-game controller. "It's wireless!" he brags.

The Print Grand Prix went to Almap BBDO, Sao Paulo, winner of the Wave's Agency of the Year title for the third year in a row, for a very, very long copy ad for Volkswagen's Passat that covered a double-page spread. The joke in the well-written ad is that there are so many irresistible product features to talk about that the ad is actually the short version. Almap BBDO's consistently great work for Volkswagen and strong relationship with the client has made Brazil one of the few countries in the world where Volkswagen isn't handled by DDB Worldwide.

Another car marketer, Fiat, won the Radio Grand Prix for a spot by Leo Burnett Brasil Publicidade.

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