As the scary season of the Day of the Dead and Halloween draws near, JWT Mexico and Victoria beer are pitting classic Halloween horror movie characters like vampires and mummies against a lineup of Mexican legends, including La Llorona, the Black Charro, and the Lady in Red.
The campaign kicked off with a teaser video that appeared to be a ghostly figure of a woman captured on security cameras installed along Mexico City's elegant Reforma boulevard as cars pass right through her.
In two spots running on TV and online in Mexico, the vampire, mummy and witch are scared off by the more fearsome Mexican legends. La Llorona ("the weeping woman") is the ghost of a woman who killed her children and spends eternity in a tearful search for them or, in another version, other children to finish off. (The La Llorona character was once used in a U.S. Hispanic "Got Milk?" commercial by Grupo Gallegos, in which she roamed through a slumbering household and cried over an empty milk carton.) The Black Charro is a man in black who offers people bags of money in return for some hideous sacrifice, and the Lady in Red is a hotel-haunting murder victim.
In one spot, "Subtitles," the horror film characters chat in English, with Spanish subtitles, about the Mexican legends when they suddenly appear. In the other, "Frontier," a woman forced off the highway by a detour is unwittingly heading toward Victoria beer's sinister hotel when she is ambushed by the whole gang.
The horror movie effect is enhanced by the use of a Hollywood makeup artist, Barney Burman, who was part of the team that won an Academy Award for Best Makeup in 2010 for "Star Trek: The Future Begins" and a director, Daniel Benmayor, who has directed several feature films, including action movie "Tracer" last year.
Both spots end with a dare: Visit the Victoria Hotel of Legends, sponsored by Victoria, a Grupo Modelo AB InBev beer brand. The spooky hotel is open to the public in Mexico City for a month until Nov. 6,; in the spirit of the Day of the Dead, visitors can enjoy performances of the three urban legends' stories.
Other agencies participating in the campaign are GroupM, Hill & Knowlton, RT Marketing, AgÃ¼ita de LimÃ³n, Vangard and Vice MÃ©xico.