A hit song carries a potent message from Puerto Rico’s Banco Popular

Last year Banco Popular, Puerto Rico’s largest bank, changed the lyrics to one of the country’s most popular songs in a bid to help end an almost eight-year recession. This week the campaign, created by JWT, won the Grand Prix Lion for public relations at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The bank wanted to help stimulate the economy by challenging a reliance on welfare (among 60 percent of the population) and a mindset celebrated in a hugely popular salsa song, “No Hago Más Ná” (“I Do Nothing”), by the band El Gran Combo. The lyrics include the lines, “It’s so good to live like this, just eating and not working/It’s so good to live like this, just eating, sleeping, and not working.” Banco Popular worked with El Gran Combo on a new version of the song that goes, “It’s so good to live like this, always willing to work/It’s so good to live like this, moving forward, never backwards.” The bank then started a successful campaign to make the new song the No. 1 track in Puerto Rico, generating around $2.3 million in earned media in the process.

The campaign addressed the bank’s core need (a better economy means more business for Banco Popular) and also boosted its image and reputation. At the same time, it helped to spark a political debate and, ultimately, a movement of Puerto Ricans committed to the island’s economic progress.

13 Responses to “A hit song carries a potent message from Puerto Rico’s Banco Popular”


  • It’s about time that we Puerto Ricans change the image of “mantenidos”. I commend Banco Popular and the Gran Combo for the effort.

    Pearland, Texas

  • Jose Morales Cintron

    Very embarrassing state of affairs for my island . We come across as lazy with a corrupt police department.Take a look at the number of official holidays. It is a miracle anything gets done. And I do not want to hear that we are being oppressed by the US.The reality that PR also suffers from a brain drain where all the talent of the island departs due to the lack of employment.So let’s keep living by the philosophy of dame un fria .

  • A band is doing what the government should be addressing.

  • The island is going through a tremendously difficult time. Corrupt police,high unemployment,brain drain, insensitive politicians ,lowering of rating from Standard and Poors and poor medical and mental health services.

  • Well done! pureto ricans need to get off of wellfare in order to
    progress and have pride in themselves.

  • My mother was born in PR and my uncles came to Ny and farmed out in nJ to make $ to send for my mom and grand parents. My mom finished her High School out here and but didn’t go to college. At some point we were on welfare. But not forever. It helped for a little bit as my mother raised me as a single mother. It wasn’t easy. Saw eviction notices. But she somehow got us through. When there’s a will there’s a way.

    But in the end she worked hard and now works a world known company. She taught me that if you really want something you have to work for it. I’ve been working since I was 13 and now am able to support myself. Went to school for business and am now a small business owner here in NYC. I thank my mom for enstilling these values in me. we all as Latinos be strong and work hard to show the world that we are valid contributors to this economy. We can make a difference.

    Good parenting can make a difference. Gracias mama!!

  • To all of our Latino brothers and sisters but especially to my Puertoriquenos in PR and throughout the US. My family too emigrated from PR in the late 40′S. We were low man on the ethnic totem pole in NYC.And it was a struggle to establish a foothold in the new land. It is telling that from over 60 years ago and probably before that, our people have been leaving La Isla Del Encanto (The Island of Enchantment)for greener pastures abroad. As a Child I visitted the island and wondered why anyone would want to leave paradise. And I soon found out that there simply wasn’t enough commerce to sustain everyone who wanted to realize their dreams ; whatever they were dreaming about. We too had strong parental role models to mentor us into upstanding citizens in another city. And you can see it today in government, schools and throughout the many professions here in New York. In NYC you had to stand up for yourself and work hard to achieve what you wanted in life. Those are the values that many proud Puertoricans living abroad have used to survive tough times. Our race is filled with both good and bad like people throughout the world. We are no different. Unfortunately prejudices still exist and we must be ever vigilant to overcome that ignorance. And the sensationalism that wrongly colors many other people aboutwho we raelly are. Even though I was born in NYC, My heart is both here and in the mother land Boriquen. We still have many family members we visit often. And sadly we have seen the island devolve over the many years. Each time we visit it seems that things are worsening. But still our brethren manage to persevere. We are, in the final analysis, survivors. This new song was inspiring to me and makes me feel that there is still much to be hopefull about “La Isla Del Encanto” . I will be there next month and will be, as always, enjoying getting back to my roots. And supporting my brethren in PR by spending some of my hard earned cash on the Island of Enchantment ; where it counts the most. After all isn’t that what the song is really all about?

  • I too have benefited from a great education. My father came here to establish a home for my mom (who was pregnant with me). Dad worked his way up from bottle washer to Chef. My sisters and I, all attended college and have families of our own. They live in PR with their families. Unfortunately for the younger generation there,there are very view jobs. They are willing to work, but the jobs aren’t there. No one wants welfare, but jobs need to be created or the younger generation will continue to migrate off the island.

  • Walter Fernández Giuliani

    La primera canción estimula a los vagos, buscadores de cheques que muchas veces tienen ingresos pero cogen ayuda del gobierno en todas sus oficinas.
    La segunda canción es la correcta. Estimula las ganas de hechar pa’lante, progresar y vivir decentemente. Esta es la correcta para poder ayudar a esta Isla a progresar. Nosotros tenemos muchos atributos excelentes pero los vagos y los que roban al gobierno la dañan. La verdad es que estan robando nuestro dinero. Los que pagamos contribuciones somos nosotros.
    Aprovecho la ocasión para informarles que he visto muchísima gente retirando dinero de las ATH con más de 10 tarjetas de ayuda gubernamental y un papelito donde creo tienen anotados los números de acceso. Le digo al gobierno que esto debe de investigarse porque molesta al que esta haciendo fila para usar la ATH y otros estan cogiendo dinero que no le pertenece.

  • Norberto Concepcion

    I am a Puerto Rican born, but have lived in the states most of my life, I am not going to cry over spilled milk, I am going to plan ahead and go forward, by working hard and taking care of my FAMILY. To all my Boricua Brothers, Wake up and work, plan for a better future.

  • Hola, Let’s look at this from a point of that as citizens of this great nation who has given us much, yet lacks in so much. Puerto Rico is a nation of people who have had much hardships, due in part to the stance by politicians who are corrupt to the bone. Our island is one of the most beautiful to behold, yet we are the least talked about. We have the capacity intellectually and educationally to stand on our own, if just given a helping hand, not a destructive hand. We can be the banking capital of Latin America, in this way we would not have lost over 250,000 professionals because of lack of jobs. If we were to become a state (which in my opinion will never happen)the first thing that would happen would be the return of the customs house which is what supports the island, the government of the United States does not give as much as they say they do. Imagine 4 Senators, 19 Representatives, that would change the whole of the hold on the island, and the ramifications it would stir for the Congress of the United States. We are 5th or 6th in imports,we have an epidemic of alcoholism, an epidemic of drugs, an epidemic of aids… We are a generous people, everybody is welcomed on the island. We have helped all other islanders to secure some form of liberty which they would not have had in their respected land. Paz y Gracias

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