Spanish advertising has achieved recognition for its short, simple,
punchy ads, known as ’Spanish style’.This has now died out of boredom
and necessity and we are trying instead to find formulas that combine
small formats, reduced budgets and great ideas.
Here are three attempts to find my three favourite Spanish ads: To
understand the brilliance of the first, a campaign by Tiempo BBDO in
Madrid, we have to go back in history. Around 25 years ago, when Spain
had only one TV channel, a short feature film was made that deeply moved
the nation. A man entered a telephone box to make a call and became
Nobody helped him. Finally, a truck carried him off - still inside the
phone box - to a depot where he joined others suffering the same
This Kafkaesque fable was etched on the subconscious of Spaniards with
an intensity that was only realised 25 years later when the same man
appeared on TV, older and still trapped inside the telephone box in the
middle of a lunar landscape. Luckily, the anguish is short-lived. The
door opens and we can breathe again.
It was the perfect metaphor to announce the arrival of Retevision, the
country’s second telephone company, and the end of the state
Its endline,’Finally there’s someone at the other end’, culminates one
of Spain’s commercials of the year.
Second attempt: A Scalectrix track. Two cars are running along the same
track in eternal pursuit. This is one of ten imaginative commercials
BDDP Mancebo Kaye created for +Musica, a channel that wants to compete
with MTV. The lack of budget has generated fresh, cheeky, original work.
A egg being fried until it burns, for example, signals that if you hate
90 per cent of the programming, the channel will be happy. A baseball
bat destroying a television, a housewife on a rooftop hanging out
laundry bearing graffiti ... simple and hard-hitting. Today’s version of
Third attempt: Years ago, Remo Asatsu created a brilliant concept for
the 4x4 Mitsubishi off-roader: ’Where a Montero goes, nobody has gone
before.’ After dozens of executions, there’s now a new angle: ’Where a
Montero goes, you won’t be seen by anybody.’ The highest praise I can
give this campaign is that it doesn’t seem Spanish, starting with Xavier
Guardan’s excellent photography.
And that’s it. Luckily Campaign requested only three examples.
It would have been hard to find a fourth.