The 2014 Amauta Awards | The Best of Latin America

Mary Teahan. President, Qendar

Issue 34 | March 2015

It was the 15th annual edition of the AMAUTA Awards, the maximum distinction for direct and digital marketing in all of Latin America. It would be impossible to include all the awards in the 18 categories judged, so 10 of the most remarkable are covered in this article.

Four involve integration of direct and digital with traditional media, while another three concentrate on Facebook, one on Twitter, one on good old telemarketing and the last on database. They are all quite creative – each in its own way – and, as behooves a direct and digital competition, the results are stunning!

For the first time in the history of the AMAUTAs, a traditional advertising agency – McCann Lima – made a major sweep of the top awards, carrying away 6 Gold AMAUTAs, as well as the Grand Prix and the special Gold and Silver Awards for Outstanding Creative. They were followed by Rapp Argentina with 3 Golds, 3 Silvers, 3 Bronzes and the Bronze Award for Outstanding Creative.

Integration is the Name of the Game

And so goes it in Latin America, as it does elsewhere in the world, that the general ad agencies integrate into direct and digital and the direct and digital agencies integrate into traditional advertising. And, of course, this is as it should be. It came as no surprise that McCann Lima's "Happy ID" campaign for Coca-Cola Peru won the AMAUTA Grand Prix, having picked up the Media Grand Prix and two golds at Cannes. Quite probably the best work coming out of Latam this past year, the team from McCann found a way of relating Coke's global Happiness theme to the essence of Peruvian nationality, taking Customer Engagement to a new level. Peruvians were urged to smile for their national ID pictures and were provided incentives to do so: free ID pictures at photo kiosks close to the offices that issue the credentials, free Coke products at nearby photo studios if you smiled for your ID picture, and the coup de gra^ce was turning a smiling ID into a benefits card to get discounts and freebies at stores throughout the nation! Billboards, vending machines, radio, TV, social media, online display and – of course – lots of press coverage for free publicity, formed the winning formula in this exceptional integrated marketing communications campaign.

The case study, in English, is at:

Customer Engagement for a regional brand

Rapp was looking for customer engagement in a Facebook strategy for the most popular local beer brand of the Province of Tucuma´n in northwestern Argentina. The insight that led to the Big Idea was locals' pride in their regional identity. There is a local provincial slang that those East Coast big city guys from Buenos Aires don't understand... Rapp hired a local insight hunter who reported and photographed local happenings and instructed Rapp how to communicate in the local jargon on Facebook. Fans of the brand were encouraged to participate. Engagement indices were extremely high. In a Province with only 1.0 million inhabitants of drinking age, the brand has 230.000 likes and more than 1000 interactions per post. And all this from an agency based in Buenos Aires...!

The case study, in Spanish:

Back to the Basics

Sometimes we marketers forget about the fundamental causes of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction with products and to what extent we can actually do something about them. A 2014 AMAUTA winner was Whirlpool Corporation for the results it obtained from changing the tactics at its inbound telemarketing contact center (run by Atento for much of Spanish-speaking Latam). As it turns out, 15-17% of requests for service on new appliances are not owing to actual product defects, but rather to the consumer's lack of understanding of how to operate them. Realizing this, Whirlpool and Atento created a special team of telemarketers and trained them in coaching new appliance users on how to use their products correctly. The results were a savings for Whirlpool (not having to send service technicians on expensive home visits) that was equal to 32% of the annual cost of the whole call center... and the increased satisfaction of thousands of customers who didn't have to wait to enjoy their new appliances!

The case study in Spanish is at:

Moving Towards Big Data

AMAUTA is one of the few awards worldwide that celebrates database marketing prowess. Magazine Luiza, with over 50 years of activity, is a major retailer in Brazil, having more than 700 stores, telesales and an eCommerce presence in the country. Their intention was to offer customers the products they wanted to buy next at the right time, beating the competition, increasing customer satisfaction and – of course – producing great earnings for the chain. The trick was to determine what to offer next. Luiza had a state-of-the-art CRM database on existing customers' previous purchase behavior. In-store sales personnel were trained to inquire about desired future purchases and incorporate this information from their data terminals into the overall CRM. Special promotions were offered to high-value customers who were asked to answer regarding their "dream products". These unstructured data were matched with the structured data from the CRM by their database agency Marketdata, and "ideal" offers were derived. These personalized promos were sent out by direct mail (yes, postal!). The overall ROMI – Return on Marketing Investment – was 3,438%, with some segments reaching 6,906%. This isn't Big Data yet, but it is moving towards the concept, and the results were exceptional!

And now...the not for Profit Sector

Six of the ten campaigns showcased in this article about AMAUTA are from the not-for-profit sector. This is a definite trend in Latin America, where the NGOs are coming of age and starting to embrace marketing. Only two of these campaigns competed in the Not for Profit class; the others won over regular for-profit entries in the general categories. Several of the winners are sort of "old school", where creative and media spaces are donated pro bono.

But others are actually pay-per-go, and the tendency in Latam is slightly in favor of the latter.

Wunderman Argentina, working for Missing Children, decided that popular magazines – often purchased by owners of commercial locales – would be a good place to publish Missing Children posters to be cut out and pasted on windows and cash registers. Cool!

McCann Lima created the first Facebook post in Braille for the National Union of Blind People of Peru and obtained considerable free publicity for the NGO.

The case study in English is at:

Caritas (the Catholic Charities) in Argentina with their agency diPaola had the creative idea of asking major brands that have huge Facebook followings to convert their fanpages to Caritas pages on Solidarity Day, August 26. Individuals and major brands converted their cover photos to an image that said, "I donated my Facebook page. Today on Solidarity Day you can help too. Donate your networks." And on that day Caritas had more than 6.7 million fans, the biggest fanpage in the country!

The case study, in Spanish, is at:

As part of the international campaign to Save the Arctic in which Greenpeace was urging the public to pressure LEGO to break its marketing alliance with Shell in protest of oil exploration in the Arctic, the NGO launched an international campaign to create an "oil spill" on Twitter. People were asked to donate a Tweet through SpreadShout; the message (which had black bars instead of text, simulating the oil spill) spread the "petroleum" throughout the world. More then 17,000 tweets were sent in 14 languages.

The full story, in Spanish:

Donations – or at least the predisposition to donate – was what AEDROS, the Association of Fundraisers, and Rapp Argentina were after in their campaign aimed at convincing people to make monetary contributions to NGOs. Research had shown that Argentines are more inclined to donate in specie – used clothes, blankets, foodstuffs, etc. – because of trust issues. This prize winning campaign showed a homeless man with the message "Sometimes another mattress is not enough", a student in a ramshackle schoolroom "Sometimes another notebook is not enough"; and a mother with an empty larder "Sometimes more clothes is not enough". AEDROS attributes to these compelling messages a 5-12% conversion of sporadic donations to regular monthly contributions of money.

For the case study, go to:

Promoting Consumer Advocacy was the objective of PromoPeru and McCann Lima in their campaign designed to get regular Peruvians to become "ambassadors" of the country brand.

With online videos, a website and lots of activity on social networks, people were invited to tell what national attraction – from food, to art, music, landscapes, customs, etc. – they wanted to promote. The authors of the entries that received the most votes were featured in the continued online advertising campaign that had a 98% reach, according to Comcast.

The case history, in Spanish, can be viewed at:

Mary Teahan is President of a marketing agency Qendar, dedicated to assisting NGO's, other non-profits, and the Corporate Social Responsibility areas of companies. The idea is to apply the best marketing techniques in order to improve the world we live in. Formerly Chair of the Global DMA, President of ALMADI the Latin American Federation of DMAs, and President of AMDIA the Argentine DMA. In her former agency, CP Comunicacio´n, she and her team won more than 150 local, regional and international awards for creative and direct and digital marketing excellence, including Cannes Lions, Caples, ECHOs, AMAUTAs and others.

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