THUMBS UP by McCann Worldgroup Colombia for Ejercito Nacional De Colombia

THUMBS UP

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Industry Government & Other Authorities
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Colombia
Agency McCann Worldgroup Colombia
Creative Director Germán Zúñiga
Account Supervisor Angélica Santacoloma
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Public Sector
Advertiser: EJERCITO NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA
Product/Service: COLOMBIA´S ARMY
Chief Creative Officer: Samuel Estrada (Mccann Erickson)
Creative Director: German Zuñiga (Mccann Erickson)
Account Supervisor: Angelica Santacoloma (Mccann Erickson)
Account Manager: Andres Jimenez (Mccann Erickson)
: Oscar Orlando Lopez (Colombia´s Army)
Media placement: Tv News Note - TV - 21 June 2010
Media placement: Press Realeses - El Pilon-Newpaper - 23 Nov 2010
Media placement: Magazine Notes - Army Magazine - August September 2010

Summary of the Campaign
After 20 years, Colombians can travel again through the roads of their own country that were previously under guerrilla control. The National Army of Colombia had to make evident this achievement and strengthen the link with Colombians.
We proposed to the Army Commander to replace traditional communication using a simple PR strategy: A sign that indicates everything is ok on the roads. In less than an hour the order to greet travellers was accomplished by all soldiers in the country.
With only one day of strategy, the initiative was already news in different media. Tourism on the Colombian roads increased 2.9%.
The favorability index went from 77% to 86% beating the Catholic Church, Media and even United Nations. The sign became a symbol of faith in a better country.

The Situation
Before president Alvaro Úribe Vélez, Colombia was known as one of the most insecure countries in Latin America. After his government, security indexes started to improve due to strategies based on "Democratic Security."

The Army was an important player in the development of strategies; it had worldwide famous operations such as "Jaque" in which they achieved to recover a group of 15 kidnapped, without using a single bullet.

In past years Colombian people were unable to travel through the roads of their country due to fear of being kidnapped. After 20 years of fear and distrust, Colombians can enjoy their own country and live in a safer environment.

The Goal
The Goal was to communicate to the whole Country, that the National Army was working to achieve security on the roads and strengthen the link.

Specific Ojectives:
• Maintain the Institution Favorability Index in 77%.
• Create a bond between the National Army and the population.

The Strategy
Thinking in an immediate execution, overwhelming to our target and achieving the objective of creating bonds, we established that it should be through a dialogue between soldiers and travellers, but as travellers displace in vehicles it couldn´t be verbal so we wanted to generate the same effect with a sign that says "Everything is OK."
Colombians traditionally used the thumbs-up expression to indicate that "everything is ok," therefore we proposed to the Army commander the sign used in the campaign.

Execution
The execution was a simple PR idea: A sign that replaces traditional communication. The idea was that every Colombian soldier guarding the roads must give a 'Thumbs up' sign to every car passing through the road. One hour after the idea approval, the soldiers did the sign and travellers responded with the same sign.
This campaign started on Holy Week of 2010 on every road of the Countrry, and is still current.

Documented Results
With this strategy, we went from being people dressed in camouflage to being a friend in the trip of every Colombian; we observed how all Colombians responded with the same sign in a very enthusiastic way.

Tourism through roads increased in 2.9% since the launch of the strategy. The favorability index polled by Gallup went from 77% to 86% (that has not been achieved since "Jaque" operation) Surpassing traditional institutions such as media, Church and United Nations. Also media, celebrities and common people took the signal as a national symbol.

Without investing a single penny, saving 3 million dollars in advertising (This was the investment made by the Army on its last advertising campaign), we achieved to restore confidence in the country and faith in their soldiers.