Posts by Argelia Martinez - Mexico City

In Mexico, Starbucks scores during the World Cup

Comment bien partir la journée!We’ve written about two brands (Heineken and the sports channel Eurosport France) that have created campaigns based around the anxiety felt by soccer fans when they miss important games. With the 2010 World Cup, anxiety in this part of the world centered on the fact that the games were scheduled during working hours: 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time. Starbucks saw an opportunity, presenting itself as a solution that would allow people to watch the match and work at the same time. No guilt or stress over hiding from the boss. The other idea: to position a coffee drink as a beer alternative for watching these workday games.

Starbucks gave the World Cup a business breakfast touch. It installed 71 big flat-screen TVs in select branches and boosted its Wi-Fi so that the added online traffic wouldn’t cause problems. People would be able to work as fast as in their offices, but with a richer experience. There were also some World Cup breakfast specials and socially focused promotions (e.g., buy two, get one free). The stores seemed to be buzzing with people, and, more important, many customers (mostly male) started seeing Starbucks differently, as a new place to meet up with friends.

Photo Credit: BMeunier

Pepsi gets egg on its face with Mexican promotion

A Pepsi promotion in Mexico that seemed designed to address consumer anxiety ended up causing some angst instead. The major causes of anxiety in Mexico, a country beaten down by regular economic crises, are uncertainty about future income, job loss and rising food prices. (For more on anxiety in Mexico, click here to download our AnxietyIndex Mexico report.) In the states of Puebla and Veracruz—where poverty rates are high and families regularly struggle to buy the basics—Pepsi distributors launched a promotion in which people could redeem two specially marked bottle caps at small corner stores for an egg (yes, a fresh egg).

The “Now Pepsi is worth an egg” campaign, which ran during April and part of May, was supported with TV, press and, of course, posters outside the corner stores. Problems began to surface when shopkeepers would not redeem the Pepsi caps, even those that displayed the promotional materials outside. Consumers started blaming Pepsi, though the point-of-sale materials stated that Pepsi was not responsible for the availability of eggs.

The idea of demonstrating the brand’s empathy and solidarity with struggling consumers, and helping them in a real way, was a good one. But Pepsi distributors failed to fully consider the logistics behind the idea. Once a brand launches a promotion, it has to deliver an immaculate implementation, strengthen it, ensure the participation of partners, put monitoring and control programs in place, provide a call center for consumers and so on. In this case, something that could have been historical became hysterical.

Photo Credit: dos tapas un huevo? by ~brickarms on deviantART

Mexican soccer club teams with Reebok, local retailer to combat fear of violence

juega-sin-miedoIncreasing violence in Mexico has made people afraid of going out to public spaces and events like soccer matches, spaces claimed by delinquents. In response, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (a soccer club commonly known as Chivas) teamed up with local sports retailer Martí and Reebok for the  Juega sin miedo (Play without fear) campaign. “Juego sin miedo” has a double meaning, both a boastful “No fear of defeat” for the playing field and a call to action for people afraid to report crimes (because of police corruption). Martí owner Alejandro Martí, who lost his 14-year-old son in a violent kidnapping in 2008, was motivated to promote a culture of not giving up, of together reviving our public spaces and our country.

Launched last September, the campaign revolved around a limited-edition soccer jersey for Chivas that was sold at Martí stores; part of the proceeds went to the SOS Foundation, which helps crime victims. There was event marketing at soccer matches and Martí stores and a huge PR push with key soccer players and media personalities wearing the jersey. The jerseys sold out, and the estimated endorsement of the personalities wearing them was worth millions of pesos.

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