DNA Discounts: Ogilvy LATAM for Aeromexico

I really believe that this is the starting point of other brave campaigns that will dare to challenge the status quo.


John Raúl Forero
CCO Ogilvy Latam

Tell us about your role in the creation of this work. 

I am the Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Latin America and also VP Creative of Ogilvy Colombia with Juan Pablo Alvarez. As a regional creative leader, I decided to share the most inspiring briefs throughout the region to generate more teamwork and break the barriers that prevent us from generating great ideas beyond our borders. 

Last year, Ogilvy Colombia won the Grand Prix in Product Design as a team with Ogilvy Guatemala under this practice, and this year we worked on this project as well. We worked with the brief and the client of Ogivly Mexico, Aeromexico, and we created with the team of Colombia along with Juan Pablo, Mauricio Guerrero, Hugo García and Alejandra Rozo, among others, the campaign that was worked in its strategic part with the teams from Mexico and Colombia. The campaign was produced by the Colombian office and sold to the client by the account team of Mexico led by Cesar Agots Carreño. In the work they were also involved in a transcendental way, the team of the Social Listening Center of Mexico and the global team of PR and Communications led from New York by Jennifer Rissi. It was a great example of regional and global teamwork.

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about? Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask? Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?

 The first destination of flights from Mexico is to the United States. But the first destination of the United States is not Mexico. That was the challenge. How can we increase US flights  to Mexico and at the same time, establish the brand's statement that is "There are no borders between us?", something that the brand has been saying for some years now.

The first thing we did, as we always do before developing a communication and business strategy, was to start researching. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Mexican immigration reaches the 1800s in the south, which means that a large percentage of Mexican descent in the United States does not even know it yet.

Therefore, the idea of offering discounts according to the percentage of Mexican DNA the person has is relevant and makes sense in both forms. 

The first, as an idea of business solution and the second, as a trigger for the statement of the brand.

Another thing that we take into account is the fact that there is a trend for people to travel to the place where they have their roots according to their own DNA test. That made us see that we had two great findings and a great tension.

Last year we launched DNA tests in the southern United States to see if the idea worked well and if it had acceptance. We recorded the promotional video with real people from Wharton, Texas. We did the first DNA tests and a month later, we revealed the results and discounts. We made the promotional video and upload it on You Tube without any additional budget.

We had two key messages. Invite Americans to travel to Mexico with an entertaining promotion according to their Mexican DNA, and another that was the brand statement that showed us with facts that we resemble much more than we think and that there should be no borders between us.

That is why the video was made with the intention of generating a positive image towards the brand, since the central message "There are no borders within us" is inclusive and conciliatory.

According to the analyzes that have been made on social networks carried out through Crimson Hexagon, we are recovering tons of good results, however, one of them is that this campaign has reached more than 1,6 billion of impressions and counting and hundreds of millions of dollars in earned media. But is just the beginning. ¨Visit to Mexico¨searches in USA, increases 322% and Aeromexico sales tickets from USA to Mexico increases 33,7%. Amazing results.

There is no doubt that the current political situation that the two countries are going through at this time caused the video to go viral. In advertising, as in many other areas, you can not say "I'm going to make a viral video". For that to happen, many circumstances are required, such as the quality and impact of the content, relevance and timing. 

I think all those circumstances came together so that the message had the impact it has had. Surely all this and the fact that 'Travel to México¨ is, thanks to the campaign, in the conversions of millions of Americans, will be the fuel that is required to increase their flights and sales, but that is something we will see soon.

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during developed?

I think the main risk we always face was that the campaign was taken off the air, taking into account that Aeromexico invests hundreds of millions of dollars in the North American market and goes out to say "There are no borders between us" in the middle of a political moment where the tensions on the wall are at their highest point, it could have had implications. However, Aeromexico has been building on this brand message for 3 years and if there is anyone here who deserves all the recognition for being a brave brand, it is the same Aeromexico. All the applause is for them.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign thriugh? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

What I enjoyed most of this campaign is to see that we achieved a controversial piece, raise the brand's statement and generate a great agagement towards it. That only 4% of all the billions of comments on social networks have been negative, shows that the message generated great receptivity and empathy among the people.

And this is not a minor fact, much less in the category of airlines where rejection is generally negative and negative comments are the norm.

And from the lessons I have left, you should never give up and there is nothing more valuable than a brave and intelligent client who takes risks with you when they firmly believe in something. That's why people love honest brands and with character.

Where do you see this campaign going in the future?

I really believe that this is the starting point of other brave campaigns that will dare to challenge the status quo. Not only Aeromexico, but many other clients around the world. It's the kind of campaign that I imagine many clients telling their agencies, "I want a campaign like Aeromexico." And when you manage to inspire many people, you make it all worthwhile.