Banco Popular De Puerto Rico DM, Case study The Most Popular Song by J. Walter Thompson San Juan

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The Most Popular Song

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Industry Banking & Financial Services
Media Direct marketing, Case study
Market Puerto Rico
Agency J. Walter Thompson San Juan
Creative Director Miguel Angel Fernandez
Art Director Obed Varela
Copywriter Pablo Torres, Gabriela Bonilla Ocasio
Producer Noro Sebastian
Released April 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
PR Lions - Grand Prix

Credits & Description

Category: Best use or integration of music
Product/Service: BANK
Creative Director: Miguel Fernández (JWT San Juan)
Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Johanna Santiago (JWT San Juan)
Copywriter: Pablo Torres (JWT San Juan)
Copywriter: Gabriela Bonilla (JWT San Juan)
Producer: Noro Sebastián (JWT San Juan)
Vice President/Regional Creative Director: Jaime Rosado (JWT San Juan)
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Lixaida Lorenzo (JWT San Juan)
Interactive Creative Director: Manuel Torres (JWT San Juan)
Interactive Art Director: Juan Carlos Montes (JWT San Juan)
Interactive Art Director: Daniel Vicente (JWT San Juan)
Sound Engineer: Carlos Dávila (JWT San Juan)
Video Editor: Mizael Morales (JWT San Juan)
Art Director: Obed Varela (JWT San Juan)
Account Director: Juan Martínez (JWT San Juan)
Account Executive: Cristina Cruz (JWT San Juan)
Account Executive: Cristina Rodríguez (JWT San Juan)
Interactive Account Director: Auribel Chaar (JWT San Juan)
Media placement: Song - Radio Stations - August 16, 2011
Media placement: Film - TV Stations - August 16, 2011
Media placement: Print - Newspapers - August 16, 2011
Media placement: Outdoor - Billboards - August 16, 2011
Media placement: Web Banners - Pandora - August 16, 2011

Campaign Description
In Puerto Rico, the main media outlets are still rooted in traditional advertising methods. Brand messages are mostly limited to commercial breaks between programming segments and formatted around standardised time slots.
Local programming executives are used to this system and have not yet developed a model flexible enough to accommodate engaging original content that integrates naturally into their programmes, especially when the content deviates from the traditional 30-second spot.
To make matters more complicated, US Hispanic networks own the largest local stations, so programming is often retransmitted from other markets. This makes locally produced network content increasingly scarce.
Therefore, brand ideas that require unconventional but seamless integration into existing formats often suffer or get killed due to local media outlet’s old habits and restrictions.
In addition, even those brands that bypass integrations and decide to create original content from scratch still face restrictions if they wish to air it through mass media. It is often very expensive, requiring the purchase of entire commercial breaks.
In the past, Banco Popular was used to adjusting their campaigns to traditional formats, so they had to work around these hurdles when they decided to create something truly unprecedented for their 2011 institutional campaign.

Most of the world is facing high unemployment. Puerto Rico is no exception. The Puerto Rican economy, however, must deal with an even greater crisis. While the world struggles to find jobs, Puerto Rico struggles to find people who want to work.
With 60% of Puerto Ricans receiving government handouts, living off welfare is a common way of life. It’s so embedded into the island’s culture, that it’s celebrated in one of the greatest salsa hits of all time, a Puerto Rican classic titled ‘No Hago Más Ná’, which translates to “I Do Nothing.”
The song, a journey through a day of a lazy man who’s proud of his welfare-financed lifestyle, is one of the greatest hits of El Gran Combo, the most famous salsa band in the world.
As the largest bank in Puerto Rico, Banco Popular’s success depends on the island’s economy. Therefore, to help propel it in the right direction, it convinced El Gran Combo to rewrite history.
On August 15, Puerto Rico’s news waves buzzed with the announcement that El Gran Combo had an important message for the island. It was simultaneously unveiled on every TV and radio station of the country. El Gran Combo delivered an inspirational address before releasing a rewritten and rerecorded version of their hit song, this time with new lyrics that conveyed a completely different message.
The legendary ensemble had just transformed their anthem of laziness into an anthem of work.
The entire country was caught off-guard. No one expected that the group would ever rewrite such a classic. The new song was the talk of every media outlet in the country.
The next day, Banco Popular revealed it was behind the effort by launching a multimedia campaign asking consumers to help make the new track the country’s most popular song.

To make sure we turned the new song into the most popular song, we wanted everyone to listen. So the bank invested in a large teaser campaign announcing that El Gran Combo had “an important message for the country”.
The day after, morning and evening, 4-minute roadblocks of all major TV and radio stations were set apart to play the song for the first time.
However, after that, it became so popular so fast, that 13 radio stations included them in their standard rotations. Therefore, each time the song played, Banco Popular got 3 minutes of free publicity.

The song quickly became part of Puerto Rican culture, instantly becoming associated with the bank’s brand without even mentioning its name. In times when banks are particularly disliked, the bank’s overall Image and Reputation Index reached a record-high 80%.
A hotline set up and connected to all the island’s major FM radio stations received over 50,000 song requests in matter of days.
The new song immediately climbed all the way up to the top of the charts in 13 radio stations. So each of the thousands of times the song played consisted of 3 minutes of free publicity for the bank.
The song’s overnight success moved Banco Popular to organise a free concert around it. From morning to night, a line-up featuring the island’s top artists and bands played for over 60,000 spectators. El Gran Combo was the event’s headline performer and their new song was the grand finale.
The popularity of the new tune grew into a movement sponsored by the bank and joined by 100 corporations and community organisations.
It produced documentaries and established grassroots efforts in order to bring together Puerto Rican workers and entrepreneurs, of all ages and classes, committed to the progress of the island.