Text 7 Nov


Sleepwalking when I was 2 years old. I thought I was drinking a glass of milk, but I was sleepwalking.

Video 4 Nov

"Niños Incomodos" Video from Nuestro México Del Futuro Initiative

Text 4 Nov Digital is spelled the same in Spanish

Even though most organizations are moving to digital platforms at a rapid speed, some have migrated slower than others. My next two posts will compare two distinct digital social movements geared towards Mexicans living in both the U.S. and Mexico.

While the nature of these campaigns is quite different, they are speaking to like audiences. The two initiatives share the common goal of empowering their audience by giving them the control.

The video posted is entitled “Niños Incomodos” and was created a few months before the July presidential election in Mexico by non-political organization called Nuestro México Del Futuro (Our Mexico of the Future).  

It uses child actors to depict scenes of violence, corruption, and poverty that are prevalent in Mexico. The video is a plea to presidential candidates, begging them to put the country’s needs before their personal political ambitions.

While the use of child actors received a great deal of flak from the same politicians who are unwilling to confront these issues, it was a compelling manner to reach out to voters. In Mexico, journalists fear for their lives if they publish details related similar real-life scenes. For Mexican citizens voting from the U.S., there is little in-depth coverage about the realities occurring in their homeland. 

By using a YouTube video that anyone can access freely with the most innocent segment of society demonstrating the horrors that plague the country, this initiative has crafted an innovative digital narrative.

Text 26 Oct a global brand mantra for a local event

With 15 consecutive years of sponsoring the NYC marathon Asics America has the challenge of innovating their campaign without alienating the core concepts that have brought them success in the past.

One of the most interesting aspects of this year’s effort is the fact that social media is not only being used to reach audiences globally, but also to promote that this is very international event.

Asics is working with their agency, Vitro, to incorporate new platforms into the campaign to create a distinct experience. The interesting part of this campaign is the forms it is taking to recreate the marathon experiences.

At the Columbus Circle subway station Asics created an installation called “The Sound Room” where people can engage in the sounds of the marathon. This space also includes the “Wall of Marathoners” that lists the names of the 45,000 participants.

The Sound Room is also being promoted the Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo with their creation of a soundtrack that combines the sounds runners hear with the heartbeat of an actual runner.

Asics will also run print ads, tv commercials, bus ads, posters, apps, and social media outreach to help tell their brand story through this event. A new product, the GT2000 running shoe, will also be marketed during the campaign and Asics will do so by designing a model of the shoe with a map of the NYC marathon.

It is clear that Asics and Vitro are incorporating cultural trends and social innovation in the campaign. Instead of targeting their audience with a new shoe, Asics is recreating the marathon experience for people on both a technological and cultural level.

With the brand mantra “Stop at never” the root of the campaign’s message has similarities to Nike’s “combative solo willpower” ideological foundations. The use of new technologies to allow the public to experience aspects of the marathon is key to the success of Asics in reaching their target audience of those who desire to one day run in the NYC marathon.

Text 19 Oct Debating in the future

As the election approaches and after watching the film, No, I wanted to take a look at how social media has taken a different role in this election.

A survey by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press from October 4-7, of 1,006 adults, showed that younger viewers are more probable to watch the debates on two different screens whether on a tv, mobile device, or computer.

What is most interesting, however, is that only 5% of the total viewers who watched the debate live digitally said they communicated their reactions online. This equates to one third of those who watched the debate live online. With so many posts on Facebook and Twitter after the debates, these results surprised me, especially since the 5% includes 8% of online viewers younger than 40 and 5% between the ages of 40-65.

With 78% of Americans using traditional media (tv, radio, & newspapers) for their debate coverage, only 36% went online or to social media platforms for their coverage.

I found this study to be intriguing in an era where we use social networks to share ideas and personal information like never before. Could it be possible that political views are the last frontier of privacy in an age we share everything?

While I can understand viewers still opting for traditional sources for their debate coverage versus online coverage, it is interesting that there was a very small percentage of online viewers that engaged in online sharing about their views.

Clearly the younger adults polled were more likely to both post and follow coverage online, but perhaps viewers don’t want to engage in a conversation instantly online because they are actually digesting their thoughts.

This could also explain why viewers opt for traditional sources for their coverage as they do not want to be distracted with other information or ideas. There is a great deal of information overload online which could explain why many are sticking to traditional coverage, but I think it may be the one area of their lives that they want to keep somewhat private.

Video 13 Oct

Director Pablo Larrain and actor Gael Garcia Bernal discuss their film “No” at the Cannes Film Festival.

Text 13 Oct Selling happiness

Last night I watched Pablo Larrain’s film, No, which is based on real life events in Chile in the late ’80s during General Augusto Pinochet’s regime. In 1988, after over 16 years of running a violent military dictatorship, Pinochet launched a national plebiscite to decide whether his term would be extended an additional 8 years. The referendum was in response to international pressure and concern regarding human rights violations including countless disappearances, murder, and tortures under his rule.

Although opposing parties were allowed to create an ad campaign encourage Chileans to not fear voting against Pinochet’s oppression, it was never Pinochet’s intent to allow a fair referendum.

Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rene Saavedra, an advertising executive who is hired by the “No” campaign to help end Pinochet’s rule while his boss works for the “Yes” campaign to keep Pinochet in power.

Rene uses the same approach that he used for a soda ad campaign as well as for a soap opera campaign. Instead of a product, however, he decides to sell the concept of happiness to Chileans. 

Instead of showing footage of innocent Chileans being beaten or the testimonies of mothers documenting when their loved ones disappeared, Rene films clips of Chileans dancing freely. He also creates an upbeat jingle and uses a comedic approach for parts of their ads in addition to making a rainbow the logo for the “No” campaign.

In the end the “No” campaign succeeds at selling the concept of happiness and Pinochet loses, but I couldn’t help but think of the larger implications of selling ideas in political campaigns. Society’s future could be determined by the same advertising metrics that a consumer product company uses, but does anyone really believe the slogans used whether to promote a candidate or a product?

Text 7 Oct Sweetness from nature

In contrast to Pacifico’s $5 million budget, Truvia, the stevia leaf extract sweetener, launched a new advertising campaign with an estimated budget of $30 million. 

As a newcomer to the low-calorie sweetener category with its introduction in 2008, Truvia has positioned itself as a completely natural calorie free option.

The independent, global ad agency Creature is creating the campaign with the tagline “From nature, for sweetness.”

The efforts will include television, print, online, radio, coupons, sampling, in-store ads, public relations and social media. A new product for baking, Truvia Baking Blend will also be introduced.

While the campaign is focused on promoting the fact that Truvia comes from a plant, with print ads making a connection that because coffee comes from a plant, one’s sweetener should as well, the Facebook page is lacking the authenticity seen in Pacifico’s campaign.

It seems as though the brand is talking to its customers rather than allowing them to become part of the conversation. This may be the correct approach for their target demographic, which most likely differs greatly from Pacifico’s target market, but aspects of the campaign feel a bit forced.

The “celebrity” commercial in particular shows beautiful footage from natural, but stating that Truvia is nature’s ‘true celebrity’ because it comes from a ‘humble’ plant felt contrived to me. The music combined with the message the narrator conveyed was unsuccessful at promoting nature for me.

Video 7 Oct

Truvia’s “Celebrity” commercial

Video 6 Oct

Unmarked Swimming Hole in Texas from the State of Pacifico page.

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