In the last few months,Argentina's largest holding companies asked for debts over $100,000 to be converted to pesos at 1.2 pesos to each dollar. Banks won't pay the conversion but Argentina will,at a cost to their citizens that could reach up to $20 billion.
During the last week of January,lines of people waiting to buy the American currency were enormous,and that only helps to increase the chaotic atmosphere. Demonstrations are appearing in different regions of the South American country,with many protests that place the world's eyes on that nation.
It does not seem as if anything positive surrounds this situation,but there's a beer company,Quilmes,which is set on giving a “Think Positive” message to the Argentinean people. Their advertising campaign,which appeared on Argentinean TV last fall. was named “Aliento,” a word that could be translated as “cheer up!”
“The idea came from the hard situation that our country was experiencing. We wanted to recognize the Argentinean people's daily effort to improve their quality of life,” explains Martin Ticinese,product manager of the beer company Quilmes,based in Buenos Aires.
For those who didn't have the opportunity to see the TV spots,Ticinese says: “We show different views of Argentinean people: waking up early for work,working in the rain,etc. The background music is the typical song that fans sing in the stadium to support the national soccer team… “Go Argentina,” Ticinese sang. At the end of the spot,the soccer team appears,singing to support their people,” he says.
The ad campaign lasted two months because “we didn't want to overuse that resource,we have already given the message,and we did not think it was appropriate to take advantage of the economic crisis,” emphasizes the product manager.
Ticenese says the results were unexpected: “We received hundreds of phone calls from people saying they appreciated our campaign,and that it was very sensitive They felt supported.”
Claudio Cabilla,an entrepeneur from Buenos Aires,agrees.“It was really original,because the spot captured the people giving a great message of patriotism. And meanwhile they were giving another message: in crisis time we have to support the national companies such as Quilmes. It was pretty intelligent.”
This experience is not new to Latin America. The private sector in Chile conducted a successful “Piensa Positivo” (think positive) campaign of its own to counter opposition political forces who were trying to lower the economic confidence of the country,according to some Chileans.
According to Addimark,a statistics company,the Chilean campaign was successful: an 84 percent of polled people expressed that “think positive” is an excellent initiative,and an 71.8 percent said that the ad campaign will have “positive” results.
Some Chileans say pessimism created an unstable atmosphere in the country. Certainly,everyone in Chile recognizes the ad campaign,and laughs when a person sings the jingle. Many companies have joined to promote the positive thinking in the nation,including the campaign logo in their own advertisements.
Martin Ticinese emphasizes what he thinks is a really important element in a crisis: “Our campaign wasn't into politics and government. The private sector has a responsibility to their consumers and their lives. In this moment we have to be strongly together.”