Cannes Lions

Unlucky Sponsor

PARADAIS DDB, Guayaquil / CRIS-SAL / 2023

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

For the first time in 60 years, Cris-Sal faced an important challenge, a significant decrease in their sales (-0.6% volume). The brand needed to gain relevance, and strategically connect with millennials during the most saturated time of the year: World Cup Qualifiers, which was key to it's target.

While some brands had the sponsorship of the national team, or big budgets to promote their products, Cris-Sal was unlucky with a low budget and being rejected by the Ecuadorian Football Federation, due to the belief that salt gives bad luck.

In Ecuador, people's attention was on Ecuador's World Cup journey. Therefore, it was crucial for us to connect with our audience and be part of the conversation, even if we had a quarter of the other brand’s budget.

The brand needed to make a powerful and unconventional strategy for the food category, to increase its sales, brand power and free press.

Idea

Cris-Sal became the unofficial sponsor of Ecuador's rivals, in order to bring bad luck to them, and support Ecuadorians the national team.

To bring 'Unlucky Sponsor' to life, we placed messages of good luck for Ecuador's rivals. We did this before and during matches, across different media and cities where the national team played, inside and near the stadiums.

The product and brand were always present to showcase the insight. We aimed to give the message more traction through Cris-Sal's social media and sports influencers, inviting Ecuadorians to share and comment on the campaign. We chose the most relevant matches during the World Cup qualifiers: those where we typically believe it's impossible to achieve a positive result. Once we had chosen our rivals, all that was left was to go and 'jinx' them.

We escaped from typical food strategies, to use a cultural insight unexpected for a salt brand.

Description

• Background & Context

In Ecuador, the salt category is a commodity. By 2020, the category was rapidly diversifying, and brand switching was increasing*. In 2021, Cris-Sal sales had dropped to their lowest point historically (-0.60%). But, the biggest challenge the brand had to face was that, by this time, Cris-Sal needed to promote itself while the World Cup qualifiers were heating up, one of the most saturated times for advertising. All brands, regardless of the category, wanted to communicate and take advantage of the context because the national team' sponsors had the biggest exposure. But, in Ecuador, the national sponsorship was monopolized by three major brands: Banco de Guayaquil (a national bank), Pilsener (the #1 beer) and a CNT (government owned telecommunications company).

• Creative Challenge

Due to the challenges it was facing, the brand has been strategically working on connecting with millennials (20 to 40 years old), and the qualifiers were an opportunity to reach this target. That’s why, in a moment that everyone was watching the World Cup, Cris-Sal needed to defend its relevance/difference even though it was a highly competitive context through a territory they were never part of: soccer.

But, we were unlucky. When we wanted to become the newest sponsor of the Ecuadorian Football Team, the National Football Federation rejected Cris-Sal. Why? Because of the belief that salt brings bad luck. According to their letter, if they got associated with Cris-Sal, “La Tri” (the national team) could have bad luck, lose their matches, or not qualify for the World Cup.

Cris-Sal, because of the nature of the product, was the only one that could use this insight and turn this problem into an opportunity.

• Solution

That’s why Cris-Sal became the unofficial sponsor of Ecuador's rivals, in order to bring bad luck to them, and support Ecuadorians the national team. To bring 'Unlucky Sponsor' to life, we placed messages supporting Ecuador's rivals, in order to send them "luck".

• Execution

We did this before and during matches, across different media and cities where the national team played. The product and brand were always present to showcase the insight. We aimed to give the message more traction through Cris-Sal's social media and sports influencers, inviting Ecuadorians to share and comment on the campaign. We chose the most relevant matches during the World Cup qualifiers: those where we typically believe it's impossible to achieve a positive result. Once we had chosen our rivals, all that was left was to go and 'jinx' them.

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