PLAZA STUDIOS for PLAZA LAS AMERICAS

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PLAZA STUDIOS

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Industry Department Stores & Shopping Malls
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Sponsorship
Advertiser: PLAZA LAS AMÉRICAS
Product/Service: SHOPPING MALL
Vice President Regional Creative Director: Jaime Rosado (Jwt San Juan)
Associate Creative Director/ Copywriter: Miguel Fernández (Jwt San Juan)
Interactive Creative Director: Manuel Torres Kortright (Jwt San Juan)
Art Director: Héctor Buscaglia (Jwt San Juan)
Agency Producer: Noro Sebastián (Jwt San Juan)
Account Executive: Gretchen Pueyo (Jwt San Juan)
Account Executive: Laura Priegues (Jwt San Juan)
Audio Engineer: Carlos Dávila (Hocus Pocus)
Director: Joel Pérez (Latitude 18)
Editor: Joel Pérez (Latitude 18)
Editor: Pablo Espada (Latitude 18)
Media Planner: Rebecca Pérez (Mindshare)
Media Planner: Johanna Martínez (Mindshare)
Media placement: TV Launch 2 X 60ss - Cable, Local Network - 20 February 2009
Media placement: TV Campaign - 9 Spots - Cable, Local Network - 1 March 2009
Media placement: Webisodes - 12 Chapters - Plazalasamericas.com - 1 March 2009
Media placement: 3 Student Short Films - Plazalasamericas.com - 22 March 2009
Media placement: Voting Sweepstakes - Plazalasamericas.com - 7 September 2009
Media placement: Movie Premiere / Award Ceremony - Caribbean Cinemas - 7 October 2009
Media placement: 1 TV Program - PRTV - Local - 14 October 2009

Summary of the Campaign
Our challenge was to make Plaza Las Americas, the most exclusive mall in Puerto Rico, relevant during the worst economic crisis of our times. We reversed the roles, instead of asking people to spend money at our mall; we spent money on the people. We joined forces with the best film school in Puerto Rico, to provide three students with a scholarship to produce their first film and put our advertising budget at their service. There was just one condition, everything they needed to produce their films, had to be from Plaza. We launched the project during Oscar season and provided the students with the mentorship of an Oscar-nominated director. Their search and production process became our TV campaign and everyone was invited to follow the process and view the finished films online. The public got to vote for the winning film, each voter was entered in a sweepstakes to win film-related prizes from PLAZA, including tickets to the grand finale: a sold-out premiere for the winner of the contest, at the largest movie theatre on the island, also at Plaza Las Americas.

The Goal
Our goal was to drive traffic to the mall and its web site as well as generate free media coverage. Our target, women 18-49, is extremely loyal to the stores found at Plaza. Our public relations had to strike a balance between featuring these stores, and creating a consistent brand image for the mall as a whole. By having public relations drive our advertising campaign we were able to showcase more stores than any traditional advertising effort could ever cover, and delivered a consistent message and positioning that no single retailer or smaller mall could promise.

Results
The value of the free media coverage generated by the project almost equalled that of our media buy. PR TV aired a TV programme dedicated to the project and screened all three films. Plaza Studios has become a part of the university’s curriculum and a yearly scholarship commitment. Sales remained steady despite the crisis. Traffic to the mall increased 11%. Web Traffic was tripled. Page Views were quadrupled. Time spent at the site increased 27%.

Execution
Dec 2008- Jan 2009- Call for Entries at Sacred Heart University. Jan 2009- Three finalists selected by panel of judges. Jan 2009- Jacobo Morales, Oscar-nominated director signs on as spokesperson for PlazaStudios and offers free mentorship to finalists. Jan 2009- Caribbean Cinemas becomes official movie theater of PlazaStudios. Jan 2009- PR TV, channel 6, becomes official TV partner of Plaza Studios. Feb 2009- Project and Finalists launched with Press Conference at Caribbean Cinemas, Plaza Las Americas. Web site goes live. Feb 2009- 60-second introductory spot airs, featuring Jacobo Morales. March 2009- Contestant #1 TV Campaign, Webisodes, Media Tour and Film Launched. May 2009- Contestant #2 TV Campaign, Webisodes, Media Tour and Film Launched. August 2009- Contestant #3 TV Campaign, Webisodes, Media Tour and Film Launched. Sept.-Oct. 2009- Voting Period/ Sweepstakes Oct. 2009- Premiere at Caribbean Cinemas Oct. 2009- PRTV Programme dedicated to PlazaStudios airs.

The Situation
In Puerto Rico, 2009 started off on a sour note. Unemployment shot up 2% overnight due to massive government layoffs. Spending plummeted, and shopping at an exclusive mall like Plaza Las Americas was looked upon as an unnecessary luxury. This was no time for fashion shows or catalogues. The answer was a yearlong public relations campaign that made shopping at Plaza meaningful again. We had to transform people’s perception of Plaza as a place where people waste their money on things they don’t need, into a place where people find everything they need to make their dreams come true.

The Strategy
We filmed the project in January but distributed the media across the year, to create the illusion that everything was live while keeping costs down. Press Conferences, TV and media tours were launched in unison to create momentum and drive traffic to our web site. Our media tour was handled in stages. Oscar-nominated director, Jacobo Morales, went on tour during our first phase, to introduce the project. Contestants made appearances later when their campaign was running, to keep the news fresh. We scheduled the voting sweepstakes and grand finale during October, a slow month for the mall to boost traffic and publicity.