It’s not ever day you see an advertising campaign that both hits the big time in terms of viral success, and makes it into the popular culture of its target country. One of the only campaigns we can think of that has done this (off the top of our heads) is the Old Spice advertisements, which, hilarious though they may be, are definitely not guerrilla marketing.
But Everlasts latest guerrilla marketing campaign The Big Punch has ticked all those boxes. Not only was it a massive viral hit in Peru, terms in the campaign were adopted into pop culture, it was regularly featured in the press, the star of the campaign become celebrity of the year, and the Peruvian president commented on it in an official speech. And the best part? It’s all for a great cause.
The Big Punch revolves around the fact that in Peru female drivers are much more likely to be the target of abuse from male drivers on the busy Peruvian roads. This is usually not because of any fault the the female drivers (leave your stereotypes at home people), but because the men are generally chauvinists. So Everlast decided to run a campaign to Defend Your World, the central part of which was El Guantazo, or The Big Punch.
In the campaign they outfitted a car to look like an Everlast boxing glove, put the famous (but occasionally temperamental) Natalia Málaga behind the wheel, and sent her out on the street to deliver the men their just rewards. Women who had experienced abuse from a driver could tweet their plates and location along with the hastag #guantazo, and Natalia Málaga and her punching car would sort them out.
Culturally Specific Advertising
What is really interesting about this campaign, and one of the reasons we think it works so well, is that it’s very culturally specific. Everlast have looking at their Peruvian audience and, in considering ways to raise brand awareness, they have tapped into an issue that is very particular to Peru. In many western countries the outwardly sexist behavior that Peruvian women are subjected to just for being at the wheel of the car would be highly unlikely to occur. This accounts for the success of The Big Punch because not only has it targeted Peru specifically, it’s also taken an issue that nobody wants to deal with and brought it into the limelight.
A bonus for the brand is that the concept of defending your world, and fighting back against sexism is easily linked to Everlast’s boxing equipment range, which was undoubtably their goal.
Considering The Realities
Although the campaign was most definitely a success, we were left asking some questions about just how Everlast made this campaign work. Two things had us confused:
1. Tracking Them Down: It was a great idea to have women tweet at the campaign, and have Natalia Málaga come and avenge their rights, but how exactly did she find those guys amidst the chaotic Peruvian traffic? We think that its more likely, considering how widespread the campaign makes out road rage sexism to be, that she might have just driven around and targeted them right there on the street.
2. The Legalities: Now, we’re not really familiar with the traffic laws in Peru, but how exactly did Everlast get around the fact that running into somebody else’s car is a bit of a safety risk, and also must be against the law (especially if you’re doing it on purpose)? We hope that the fact that her car was a big, squishy boxing glove might have negated this, but if it didn’t and the situations were actually staged to get around this, then it starts to become a campaign that isn’t quite guerrilla marketing after all.
Still, we have to admit despite it’s flaws this is a great campaign that effectively targets its audience and spreads an important message at the same time as influencing brand engagement and loyalty. Also, check out the original campaign here, even though it’s in Spanish it’s a great way to get your feminist fix.
Title: The Big Punch
Client: Everlast Perú
Agency: Independencia, Perú
General Creative Director: Marco Caballero / Germán Garrido
Head of Art: Renzo Sanguinetti
Copywriter: Germán Garrido/ Marco Caballero/ Jose Canónico/ Gustavo Flores
Art Director: Giuliano Sosa/Fernando Valladares
Planner: José Canónico/Renzo Vallejo/Carlos Más
Account Director: Rossana Velasco
Production Director: Winston Wolf
Agency Production: Eliana Vigil
Film Direction: Locomotor
Film Director: Rómulo Franco/Fernando Villarán /Lucho Soldevilla
Executive Producer: Locomotor
Field Production: Camello Producciones
Edition and Post Production: Locomotor
Audio: Mario Rivas
Music Director: Mario Soto
Industrial Design: Carl Lindemann
Consultant: ALL AWARDS
Client: Mónica Bedoya