São Paulo, Brazil
Don’t worry, this is not gonna be about #MsUniverse.
Backtrack to 2007, São Paulo surprised the world when it stripped outdoor advertisements in the entire city. The first non-communist city to ban this, the biggest South American metropolis brought down every billboard, vehicular ad, and every poster that is seen outdoors enticing the public to buy corporate products.
The reason is practical. The ban is part of the government’s act to eradicate pollution in the metro. Termed as visual pollutants by no less than São Paulo mayor Gilberto Kassab, outdoor advertisements were perceived as contributor to the city’s unattractive side.
The change in policy obviously hit marketing and advertising companies most. Representatives of these industries protested against the law’s passing, saying allegedly that it hinders freedom of speech. But more than protecting their right, these sectors recognize the policy to potentially grievously damage a multimillion dollar industry. As much gravity the effect gives, the law was passed.
The Economist reported that São Paulo will “reintroduce advertising”. That was in 2007. Fast-forward to 2011, the city remains unscathed and the industry has never been stronger. We might as well say that The Economist accurately prophesized what’s happening today. Now, we see 2 positive effects of the law to advertising:
1. Extensive need to get attention creatively
2. Maximizing digital media
Need for Creative Advertising
It was always a need to grab attention creatively but with the Clean City Law, advertisers were challenged to be more creative. Nizan Guaneaz, head of Brazil’s largest advertising group (Grupo ABC), even said that it is a good law. Furthermore he claimed, “It was a challenge for us because, of course, it’s easier to simply throw garbage advertising all over your own city.”
The Digital Media
Creative advertising was stretched from elevator ads from bathroom ads, but the real champion is the #digitalmedia. What digital media can offer is a further stretch of people to talk to. Therefore, if done correctly, its effectiveness will be amplified. As Anna Freitag, marketing manager of Hewlett Packard Brazil said, “…as people [on the road] are involved into so many things…it makes it difficult to execute the call to action.” With the right use of digital media, not only the call to action will be relayed easier, it will also spread to a bigger audience.
It has become an interesting synthesis for advertisers and marketers in São Paulo when they realized the challenge that was offered to them by their city. What’s interesting in their situation is how they utilized this challenge and created an opportunity with it. Going back here in the Philippines, I wonder what challenges local advertisers are facing. #