Alberto Espeja on the ilusion theme of Spanish creativity [GUEST POST]

Example of how emotions brought back the excitement about advertising in Spain

Alberto Espeja is a creative with more than 8 years of experience working in some of the best agencies in Spain and Europe: Saatchi Saatchi in Madrid and London, Lola Madrid, JWT Madrid and Bassat/Ogilvy Madrid. Among his client are top brands like: Ford, Unicef, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Corona and Tourism of Ireland. His creative work has been recognized with several national advertising awards, and internationally in the Cannes Festival.

“In the last 4 years, crisis has hit Spain very hard. But it has not been a reason for Spanish people to lose the excitement, a sentiment they call “ilusion”. Advertising goes very deep into Spanish culture and acts as a mirror of the situation: so, it has tried to bring back the lost excitement, sometimes with really bright ideas.
Spain has some special factors that make it different in advertising communication development. Its population is very emotional: being that advertising comes from society and returns to society, commercials have tried to communicate in a more emotional than rational way, despite the second kind of messages also work in most other countries.

I would like to show you four cases of advertising that have met big success in Spain in the last years, just by following that magic formula of emotion.

Calle la Palma – JWT

In 2009, after the beginning of the crisis, people were worried about big companies, but Spain is a country full of little shops, what happened to them?

The Advertising Agency JWT decided to help the commerce in the street where little shops are located (Calle La Palma) in the best way they knew, with imagination! The agency developed an advert for each shop using the owners as actors. So by helping their community, they were also helping themselves, because they were also proving that advertising sells.

Nike – Shine –VILLAR ROSAS

Sport is one of the things that make Spanish people proud. There is no doubt about the success of their athletes. So Nike used that feeling to connect with their costumers and make a memorable advert for the brand without talking about any of their products.

Ford Selección: Smell New – BASSAT OGILVY

Nowadays not everyone can afford to buy a new car, but Ford didn’t want those people to not feel that emotion. So they thought about the deepest insight of a new car which is the new car smell and put it into their used cars. The result was used cars that smell new, a contradicting but very easy message for consumers to understand, and one that also broke the category of used cars forever.

Campofrio – Comicians – Mccann Erickson

Campofrio is the leader brand of cured meats in Spain. Their products are part of the culture and don’t need any rational explanation so for Campofrio to try the emotional side was almost obligatory. So in the hardest days of the crisis, when everybody had no reason to smile they proposed to people to keep smiling. They made a commercial about Spanish comedians that used to work together years ago, but then split up. The brand joined them in a cemetery in a group visit to a very famous and dead comedian called Gila, who even in the hard times after the Civil War, was capable of making the whole country laugh. With a so simple message like, “Don’t let no one take away our wish of smile”.

There is a Spanish saying that says: “In hard times, you can either cry or sell tissues”. This is an interesting view for the world of marketing and advertising that makes you think that maybe when it is not the right moment, maybe it’s the right moment”.