Global highlight: Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi's 'Sidewalk'

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When the Hospital Aleman, one of Latin America's leading hospitals, asked its ad agency to help promote the hospital's first marathon, the creatives at Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Buenos Aires, Argentina, noticed there were lots of cracks in the sidewalk. Not that they were worried about runners stumbling. What struck them, using a little imagination, was that those cracks looked a lot like the lines on an electrocardiogram, which measures the health of a patient's heart.

That inspired the agency to create white stickers that framed the cracks, turning them into individual asphalt EKGs. With a tiny heart in the corner and the slogan "La calle te hace sentir vivo" ("The street makes you feel alive"), the little sidewalk ads grabbed the attention of passersby.

"The idea was to attack people in the same place they walk and run," said Gaston Bigio, the agency's executive creative director. "They were given the message through the pavement."

It wasn't hard to find places for 1,000 stickers.

"Buenos Aires is full of cracks in the pavement," Mr. Bigio said.

More people than expected-1,500-signed up for the first annual marathon in late October 2006, a feat in a city that doesn't run a lot of footraces except for an annual Nike-sponsored marathon. (No one from Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi ran the marathon, the agency said.)

The Hospital Aleman (Spanish for "German Hospital") has an innovative approach to marketing and involving consumers in health care. Last year's ad campaign encouraged people to take a more positive attitude toward beating cancer with a campaign that depicted cancerous cells as art. The swirls of colorful cells looked so much like abstract paintings that they were exhibited at a Buenos Aires art gallery.
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