Marketer interview: E. Parapugna “Panregional approach looses the freshness of the local”
Portada interviewed Eduardo Parapugna, Business Director for Ford at JWT Argentina. Eduardo told us what he thinks about the Argentinean and Pan-regional Advertising Markets as well as the details of the Ford Ka campaign “Monsters”.
Portada: How would you characterize the Argentine advertising market in comparison to other markets such as Europe or the U.S.?
Eduardo Parapugna: “There are many factors to analyze. But if we look at the quality of the communication generated and the level of advertising created, I believe that we are at the highest level and on par with British advertising, which is number one in the world. This reputation has been clearly validated at the Cannes festival, where Argentina has been among the top creative global players since the 90's.
“Regarding business factors, we’re seeing tightened budgets when it comes to the amount spent on advertising in Argentina, but I think it’s due to the media business which directly affects the financial health of agencies.”
Portada: What do you mean by "the media business?
Eduardo Parapugna: “By that I mean the rise of media planning and buying agencies in media centers. The profitability of the advertising business is in crisis as never before because of this. Moreover, there is a paradoxical situation where we have high-quality creative output, but a crisis at the advertising business level. It’s a question of Quality vs. Business.”
Portada: How do you view the development of pan-regional advertising?
Eduardo Parapugna: “I see a growing trend toward making projects that are more global in scope. For example, last year we worked on the launch of the Ford Ranger in Brazil and Argentina. The problem with pan-regional campaigns is that you lose a lot of the freshness of a local approach.”
Portada: In your opinion, what are the most important points to consider in designing a successful campaign for Argentina’s advertising market?
Eduardo Parapugna: “Put the focus on the consumer more than anything else. Create consumer-oriented communications. The mistake is to fall into merely communicating corporate information, which leads to a "businesses talking to businesses" mode where communication is no longer focused around the consumer. I think the balance lies in combining both; conveying the client’s message, but not as a flat flow of facts, otherwise the campaign is irrelevant to the consumer. The point is to reach consumers by taking into account their tastes and lifestyles, by focusing on what’s important to him or her.”
Portada: What did your client Ford specifically want for their Ford Ka campaign?
Eduardo Parapugna: “The campaign we did for Ford Ka in 97 was a healthy and successful one. It was a completely innovative advertising campaign made to accompany their innovative new car design.
In the second stage, where the Ford Ka changed its design and made its car interior bigger, the model lost the freshness and surprise that had been part of the original model’s innovative design. Therefore, the advertising campaign had to step up its efforts to sustain the message of innovation. That’s why we came up with a different campaign targeting very young consumers. The idea was to try to avoid clichés, highlighting the car’s practical advantage of more interior room. From there came the idea of monsters that gobble up as many humans as can fit in the car.
The idea was to communicate in the world of the young, and this meant not expecting young people to come to us, but for us to try to join their world. Hence our identification of areas of interest to them, such as music, fashion and technology.
Portada: What were the challenges in the Ford Ka campaign?
Eduardo Parapugna: “We faced a new way of communicating that called for redefining the agency model. Before, we were ready to create campaigns in traditional media. Now, with the advent of non-traditional media, an agency’s traditional conceptualization also changes."
Portada: How did you come up with the campaign strategy for Ford Ka?
Eduardo Parapugna: “The campaign was exclusively based on the consumer we were targeting. Young people are the least traditional segment of the population, so we had to approach them in an unconventional way. We used clothing, Pony shoes, and points of sale as mediums. In any event, nowadays any consumer – not only young people – is connected to the digital world, which makes it necessary to think of ways to communicate that transcend the use of traditional media."
Portada: What are your goals for this year?
Eduardo Parapugna: “To grow within the new channels of communication, enhance our modern agency model, launch brands in digital platforms, and build up our experience in order to work with these new communication models."
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