Why Latin America is driving global creativity

Why Latin America is driving global creativity
August 31, 2015 Richard Brett

The creativity that is coming out of Latin America at the moment is incredible. After seeing a big contingent of winning campaigns at Cannes this year I wanted to find out why – and I heard from Joanna Monteiro, VP creative director, FCB Brasil; Jose Miguel Sokoloff, president, Mullen Lowe Group, Global Creative Council and co-chairman and CCO Lowe Group; Laurel Wentz, global and multi-cultural editor, Advertising Age and Pablo Rodriquez, president, World Markets, LatAm, IPG Mediabrands as to what the reasons where.

But first here are some great examples from the region:

Operation Christmas and the Rivers of Light

The Colombian National Ministry of Defence has achieved some incredible results through their partnership with Bogota based agency Lowe/SSP3. Communications campaigns don’t really become more important than trying to prevent war, and thanks to a couple of innovative campaigns (Rivers of Light saw plastic balls filled with messages to the guerrillas from their loved ones, and Operation Christmas saw trees in the jungle strung out with lights to encourage the soldiers to come home) 331 guerrillas have decided to stop fighting and return home.

Nivea’s Sun Block Ad from FCB Brasil was a simple and clever new take on a print campaign where a tearaway strip from an ad became a bracelet that parents synced to their smartphone and attached to their child, and through a downloadable app told them how far away their child was on their phone. This really gave something useful back to sun-worshippers and tapped into the real fear of losing children on the beach that Latin American families have.

Another great campaign from Nivea saw the brand create a Doll that changes colour when exposed to the sun. The dolls were given to kids and parents on a beach in Rio and were a brilliantly effective way of educating children on the importance of applying sunblock. The doll went bright red in sunlight, but soon turned back to its natural hue when the sun-cream was applied.

This amazingly engaging Look At Me campaign by Samsung was based on one fact: autistic children don’t like to look at people, but they love looking at digital devices. This campaign is a great example of the humanisation of technology trend and how simple solutions can help change the world and improve lives. The Samsung team, together with psychologists and psychiatrists, created 15 – 20 new games for autistic children that encouraged them to connect to, and look at, their families. The games have achieved a marked increase in the children’s ability to connect and show emotion

Finally the simple genius of Brazilian soccer mums  – fans’ mums were employed by clubs to prevent violence on the terraces. After a horrifying rise in football related violence seemed unstoppable, the mums of fans were employed as security guards on the terraces, watching over their boys. This brilliantly simple idea, based on the fact that of course men will never fight in front of their mothers, has meant that not a single act of violence has occurred where the mums are present.

HP’s Print for Hope  is a brilliantly simple campaign. Over 200,000 people go missing in Brazil every year, so HP used their ePrint technology (where any connected HP printer can be used to print anything it is sent) to print out missing posters for those who are lost. So the traditional missing posters, which have historically just been seen in the small area where that person used to live, can now be seen nationally.

Finally the emotive Last Wishes campaign to celebrate the last ever Volkswagen Kombi being made in Brazil in 2014. Reflecting the place that the Kombi has had in our lives and the fact that the bus really has such an emotive connection with so many, the Volkswagen Kombi wrote a will.  In this will, parting wishes were made to a number of special people from its life. Such as Bob (who created an incredible Woodstock painted Kombi to attend those iconic festivals) who got a one off themed Woodstock art kit, Frank and Iris (who travelled the world in theirs) got an odometer with the highest mileage possible and Orlando (who created an Italian restaurant in his) got Kombi shaped pasta cutters. A really entertaining piece of content that reflects the world’s affection for Kombi – more than just a bus, but a member of so many families.

So why is all this creativity coming out of the continent? Well the conclusion of Monteiro, Sokoloff, Wentz and Rodriquez was that the region has a very emotional and fun-centred culture and this breeds creativity. This is then coupled with the crazy and hectic life of Latin America; where things are slow to change and institutions seem incapable of solving problems. So a creative brand solution can work and resonate with consumers as it bypasses bureaucracy and solves big community issues.

Written by Richard Brett, Managing Director – Pulse Communications