Cannes Lions

Plaza de Papel

PUBLICIS ITALY, Milan / NETFLIX / 2020

Awards:

2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

La Casa de Papel tells the stories of modern-era Robin Hoods specialized in taking over symbols of financial power. The series has grown huge in the whole world, to the point that the iconic Dalì masks and jumpsuits worn by its protagonists have become a symbol of resistance and rebellion, popping up among protestors in almost every organized rally.

Especially in Italy, where a loyal fan base grew up to the point that each installment of the series was the most watched (and binge-watched) show in the whole country.

So, to launch the third season in Italy, Netflix had to fulfill the expectations of a fan base that was always thirsty for experiencing once more the rebellious, iconoclast spirit of the show. That’s why making the news and polarizing the opinions in the loudest way possible - just as the protagonists of La Casa de Papel would do - became

Idea

We decided to communicate such a powerful iconography by creating a symbol that could bring the spirit, the message and the attitude of the series into real life in the most spectacular, talkable and controversial way.

We did so by taking over an already existing icon of rebellion and challenge to the establishment: Maurizio Cattelan’s Middle Finger, Italy’s most controversial work of art, placed right in front of the Stock Exchange in Piazza Affari, Milan. The gigantic statue is a symbol of challenge to authority, facing the seat of Italian financial power, that raised its fair amount of criticism and buzz. It became so famous that, despite being a temporary installation, the City of Milan decided to keep it there.

We built the bust of a masked, red hooded thief right around the statue, turning a subversive work of art (and its infamous message) into an icon for the series.

Strategy

Given that the audience of La Casa de Papel ranges from millennials to Gen Z, we had to make sure that whatever experience we came up with, it had to be both memorable and instagrammable.

We also decided to leverage on the revolutionary and iconoclast attitude towards authority of the protagonists of the show, to announce the most awaited comeback in the history of Netflix for the Italian market by making the news.

That’s why we chose a loud, in-your-face, colorful approach, taking over a controversial work of art (which already is a worldwide renown point of interest in the city of Milan) with an even more controversial makeover.

Execution

Two days before the official launch Milan woke up to discover that the bust of a 15mt high, red-hooded thief had taken over Piazza Affari: the seat of Italian financial power. It did so by turning the giant middle finger created by visionary artist Maurizio Cattelan, placed right in front of the Italian stock exchange, into its own hand.

The giant thief loomed over the Italian Stock Exchange for five days, and the night before the launch, the takeover of Piazza Affari was completed with a public premiere screening of the first two episodes of the third season, surprising more than 5000 enthusiastic fans gathered in front of the statue. And then, as planned, the installation visibility scaled all around the world thanks to buzz and word of mouth generated by an incredible number of pictures shared by passer-bys and fans on Social Media.

Outcome

The installation attracted 34000 visitors in five days, becoming a tourist waypoint. The night before the launch of season three, the takeover of Piazza Affari was completed with a public premiere screening of the first two episodes, surprising more than 5000 enthusiastic fans gathered in front of the statue.

Passer-bys shared a picture of the statue every seven seconds, totaling 190 million impressions around the world for an operation that was meant for Italian launch only, the equivalent of 4.4 million dollars in earned media.

The statue also won the heart of one member of the authority: Beppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, who publicly tweeted his spontaneous endorsement. But more importantly, our takeover contributed to the worldwide total of 34.5 million households watching the third season of La Casa de Papel in the first week of its release: the highest first-week audience ever for a non-english Netflix show.

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