The Cine Las Americas campaign includes TV, movie theatre, print, website and YouTube components. It reflects good practices in marketing a cultural event. A description of the campaign and its creative follows.
 
Austin, TX-based LatinWorks this weekend launched the television portion of its multi-media campaign to pitch the 2011 edition of Cine Las Américas, the annual Latin American film festival that this year will run from April 21-28. Three spots, Bolivia, Uruguayand Mexicobegan running on both movie theatres throughout Austin and on the local Spanish-language Univision 62.
 
The three spots are based on hard, real data which is then re-enacted in an absurd context to show how bizarre Latin America can be: In Bolivia, we learn that the landlocked country actually has 173 navy warships and 4,500 marines, so the spot attempts to answer the puzzling question: What do Bolivian marines do all day? A group of Bolivian men and women are shown in a spot that echoes the introduction of Baywatch, showing them enjoying life, running on the beach and splashing around in Lake Titicaca.
 
“We take hard, real data about Latin America and then show the ridiculousness of it,” Sergio Alcocer, president and chief creative officer of LatinWorks, tells Portada. Another spot, Mexico, tries to explain how Mexico, a country that invented the contraceptive pill in 1951, has seen its population quadrupled since 1960.
 
The TV spots –some of which are running also in English at the movie theatres- are only the final leg of a broader campaign that launched in January with the unveiling of LatinTourTravel.com, a fake online travel agency that “sells” non-traditional tours to Latin America. Latin Tour Travel promises travelers the adventure of a lifetime by showing them “bizarre locations” in a Latin America that is not appropriate for the faint of heart.
 
The print portion of the campaign depicts a darker side of Latin America, showing sights that are usually left out of the picture-perfect postcard (see photos): A favela under the Corcovado in Rio de Janiro; a Zapatista fighter in Mexico wearing a T-shirt with the Virgin of Guadalupe or a fancy cruise ship cruising the Pacific Ocean, while a poor family seeing on the forefront around a small, wooden fishing boat.
 
The 2011 campaign is an evolution of the one launched three years ago under the concept that Latin American reality is so bizarre that its movies must be very good. The tagline, If this is our reality, imagine our films, has been the trademark of the Cine Las Américas campaign for the past three years, although LatinWorks has worked with the film festival since 2000.
 
Alcocer, who this year will serve on the Cannes Lions print jury, says it is early to measure the results of the campaign, and will have to wait for attendance numbers (the festival ends April 28). But one thing that is less measurable, but almost as impressive: “The virality of these ads is amazing,” says Alcocer. Last year, there were spots that were seen 200,000 times on YouTube, and most of those hits came from Latin America. “This gives the festival an international visibility that is possible through the advertising.”
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