global latin American

Every once in awhile you come across some magazine advertising that makes you actually stop and look (rare … I know). It isn’t annoying, smelly (those damn cosmetic ads), condescending, impossible to figure out what they were trying to say (or why they did it) or have some random half naked model in it.

I saw one. In the Economist. This is about Itaú, a Brazilian global bank, and its advertising campaign.

I would imagine that most North Americans have no idea who Itau is. In 2010 it was listed as Latin America’s largest bank and was, for the second year in a row, ranked as one of the world’s 10 largest financial institutions. The bank operates 5,000 branches and nearly 30,000 ATMs, with 108,000 employees throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe.

It is one of the region’s most international banks, with Itaú-Unibanco branches in New York, Tokyo and Grand Cayman; Banco Itaú Europa branches in Lisbon, Madeira and London; and Itaú BBA offices in Shanghai and Nassau. It also offers retail banking in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.


The advertising campaign.

It is a wonderful strategic decision to leverage its roots, its current customers, its growth focus and its global feel. All in one ad campaign.

“I am a Global Latin American” is a brilliant use of what Latin American professionals are doing outside the region.

And I love the tagline … “The Global Latin American Bank” (mostly because I sense the majority of people don’t necessarily think of Latin American as global … in any sense of a definition).

And it’s a pretty cool print campaign (well art directed and written).

The full-page ads feature some leading Latins declaring why they consider themselves a “Global Latin American”:

Argentine Polo star and Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras.

Brazilian actress Alice Braga (Alice is best known in US for her role in “I Am Legend”).

Brazilian Artist Vik Muniz (full name … Vicente José de Oliveira Muniz … makes me wish I had been born in Brazil or Spain ).

Argentine ballerina Paloma Herrera (one of the premier ballet dancers in the world – named as one of the 30 artists most likely to change the world of culture).

The copy is personal and, while humble, certainly ends with a sense of accomplishment. It is one of the best use of celebrities I have seen in awhile.

And the ads were created by one of the world’s hottest ad agencies – Africa (they do some nice stuff).

I also like the campaign because despite the fact Itaú has been listed as one of the 100 most valuable brands in the world (ranking first among Brazilian banks ) by Millward Brown BrandZ rankings, it is a nice natural evolution of a thoughtful multi-year brand management effort.  This stage in the effort seems to focus on increasing the type of awareness they desire (strong local but strong global). It is nicer stuff than simply saying “I have a shitload of deposits and ATMs.”

I sometimes believe larger institutions waste advertising dollars talking about themselves and it all blends together.

This ad campaign certainly looks & feels different.

And it makes them look different.

Well done Itau (and africa).

Written by Bruce