Behind The Work

DRIVE-TIME HORROR STORIES

Communications Project Manager
Havas Costa Rica picked up a bumper 22 trophies at the recent Festival Volcán 2021, including Agency of the Year, Best Idea of the Festival, three Grand Prix and six golds.

Here, Havas Costa Rica’s creative team, tells Dare! about the agency’s gold-prize winning work ‘The Wake Up Ads’ for insurance company BlueCross BlueShield Costa Rica, a road safety campaign which involved the creation of horror stories around a collection of natural “wake-up” sounds with the aim of preventing people falling asleep at the wheel.

Tell us a little bit about the background to this campaign.

In Costa Rica, one of the main causes of car accidents at night is people falling asleep while driving. A British neuromarketing research firm called Mindlab, showed how specific sounds affect brain activity in men and women to keep them awake. That’s why we created The Wake Up Ads, radio spots that kept people awake with horror stories that had these sounds in them. They were aired between 11pm and 4am, the hours when most night-time accidents in Costa Rica take place, so people hear those horror stories before they become one.

What role did the study by British neuromarketing research firm, Mindlab play?

That study is the backbone of it all. A scientific base that gives credibility to an idea that goes to the very essence of human beings: their instincts. It’s the planning we didn’t know we needed to craft these radio spots. We could have created horror stories without the study, and they would probably be very good. But when you add that layer of “there are specific sounds that keep you awake because that’s how everyone’s wired”, they become something else.

Tell us about the media campaign and what was unique about it?

Well, the radio spots aired between 11pm and 4am. That’s unique! Most ads run during the day because that’s when everyone is going to see them or, in this case, hear them. There’s a big “but”, though… these radio spots were not meant for everyone. They aired late at night because those were the hours in which most car accidents happen. So, we created this idea to prevent that. And of course, placing the spots in the right media at the right time, was as important as the idea itself.

The campaign recently won 5 awards – 1 Gold, 3 Silvers and 1 Bronze – at the Festival Volcán 2021. Why do you think it connected so well with the jury?

It’s all about the craft. I think there were like 4 copywriters involved, including our Creative Director. And what did that give us? Perspective. We all wrote different stories and selected the ones that we thought would have the most impact for our client. Even when we had chosen the two stories we were going to produce, we made significant improvements throughout the process. Also, it didn’t finish when they aired, because we knew that a case was to be made to fully understand the campaign and we didn’t want to leave questions unanswered. That’s when the art director and the designer came in to add even more to what we already had.

So, when work as synergistic as this is produced, it catches the eye of the jury… Yes, the eye. And we are talking about a radio campaign. That is why it connected so well with the jury.

How does it feel to be a part of such successful work?

The entire team is very proud! I remember when we were watching the award show and they called the first award for the campaign… It was madness! We all hugged and screamed. And when I say “we all” I mean the entire agency. Havas Costa Rica is very united, it’s like we’ve known each other for years and now we are friends that work together. So, being part of something like that feels amazing!

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