Up until the end of the 90s, Peruvian advertising was unexceptional. Just a few bursts of creativity here and there interrupted the general inertia, enhanced sales results for clients and made consumers in the street talk about products. As a result, we needed to raise the creative bar.
The defining moment came in 1997, when Leo Burnett opened an operation in Lima. From that moment on, creativity changed radically. The agency won a bronze Lion at Cannes in its first year, the first success at the advertising festival for our country.
More importantly, though, the agency became a hotbed for creative people who, years later, emigrated to other agencies, taking with them the need to seek new ways of doing things.
Since then, a lot of seemingly unrelated events have occurred here, which together have allowed a new kind of Peruvian advertising to develop. Not only is it more strategic, integral, creative and honest, but it has also been aided by globalisation. This has exposed our ad people to the wider world and opened the way for 360-degree campaigns that allow us to reach consumers from different angles.
And, despite its cons, the former government of President Alberto Fujimori achieved important economic growth and attracted international investors who believed in Peru and came to stay.
As the companies allocated more money to advertising, Peruvians embraced credit, enhancing their lifestyles, but also increasing their debts. Meanwhile, Peruvians were making names for themselves internationally and in diverse ways.
All of them served as a reminder to us that nothing was impossible if you worked hard enough. A surfer girl was crowned world champion, a Peruvian singer wrote songs for well-known Latin-American artists, while another was even hailed as the successor to Pavarotti.
Something similar was happening in advertising. An agency called Quorum won a bronze award at Cannes in 2004, while Leo Burnett captured another Lion the following year. But this time it was a gold one.
Not to be outdone, Quorum came back from Cannes with three Lions last year, while Ogilvy & Mather took its first Lion for radio. We followed that a few months later by winning the radio Grand Prix in the Ojo de Iberoamerica.
The creative revolution in Peru has started with a new generation of ad people emerging. They're young, rebellious non-conformists with a desire to take the world by storm. And they are spread across agencies at all levels, from interns to executive creative directors.
Every time an agency breaks the mould, Peruvian advertising is changed for the better.
- Aldo Canchaya is the general creative director of Momentum Ogilvy & Mather in Lima.