The gin, the city, the song and the search for the special colour of Seville

PS21 Madrid, the creative transformation company set up by founder of creative agency dommo Agustín Vivancos, was in its first year when the team began work on Searching for the Special Colour of Seville. It was a piece of work that would not only go on to win the agency’s first major award, Bronze in Creative Data at Eurobest in 2018, but would also become part of Seville’s cultural heritage. We hear how the idea came to life from Strategy Director, Sergio Garcia and Executive Creative Director, Victor Blanco.
Wednesday 23 Sep 2020
PS21 Madrid's Eurobest trophy among the many awards received for the work
The brief

When client Diageo briefed PS21 Madrid, the product, a gin based on an original Charles Tanqueray recipe, was still under development. In Spain's competitive market, Tanqueray's penetration had been in decline for some years and it wanted to create an innovative spirit to appeal to new consumers.

The team knew that the brand needed an idea that would resonate locally. It’s common knowledge in Spain that the city of Seville has a special colour. In fact, in 1992, musicians Los del Río (who also wrote 'La Macarena') had recorded a song, 'Seville has a Special Colour’ but the song didn’t reveal what that colour was.

For Victor Blanco, Executive Creative Director, it was obvious what they needed to do. “In Spain, everybody knows that Seville has a special colour. But nobody had identified what the actual colour was. To have a gin inspired by the city and to find the colour and use it was perfect. We knew it right away. We had it. It couldn't be any other idea.”

It’s an idea made possible by data, but born from intuition
Executive Creative Director, Victor Blanco

PS21 chose to use an existing cultural insight, connecting the dots between the brand and the city to find a story that people would care about. “What I like the most about this idea, is that it’s an idea made possible by data, but born from intuition.” says Victor.

The solution

Their first challenge was to convince the client’s global team to run with such specific local insight. Diageo Spain was instrumental in convincing the business of the value of this kind of culturally specific idea. As Victor tells us: “It wasn't a universal insight, but one very specific to Seville. We were lucky that in this case, a global brand had the intelligence to play local.” 

Then: how to identify the colour of Seville in an authentic and credible way? A tool was developed to work with Google Street Maps, using an algorithm to extract and analyse data  from over 10,000 images from more than 1,000 streets of Seville. The goal was to distill the essence of the city in colour. 

PS21 Madrid SPAIN
Identifying the colour of Seville
PS21’s creative approach was pushed even further by a strictly limited media budget, along with restrictions on alcohol advertising in Spain. The campaign had to harness word of mouth and earned media to create as much buzz and social activity as possible. So, the team decided to launch during the city’s biggest annual cultural event, the Festival of Seville. A high risk strategy if people didn’t embrace the idea. 

“You could feel a special vibe around the brand, both agency and client-side there was a special feeling and intuition that this would work” says Sergio Garcia, Strategy Director. 

The success

The results were way beyond expectation, earning PR value through national and international coverage in excess of €2 million, including coverage by CNN, Huffington Post, Lonely Planet, and many others. It drove a 25% spontaneous awareness level on a new product with very limited media budget  and built incremental penetration for the Tanqueray trademark, achieving an increase of 1.5pp and reversing a negative trend for the brand. 

Not only was the campaign a success in terms of sales and brand uplift but it became part of Seville’s cultural heritage. The colour described as “friendly and optimistic with a touch of zest” was certified by Pantone as Orange FFAB60, making Seville the first country in the world with its own Pantone colour identity.

PS21 Madrid SPAIN
Seville became the first country in the world with its own Pantone colour
The awards

Following the success, they entered the work into Eurobest 2018. As an independent agency, PS21 Madrid are selective in the awards they choose to enter and the Culture & Context category was key for PS21 when entering Eurobest. They also consider Eurobest to be not only an award recognised by creatives but also one that local and international clients look to to find the best work and see what brands all across Europe are doing. For them, it is essential that awards recognise both creativity and effectiveness, “A magic idea is one that resonates with culture and is one which people embrace. It also drives the results of the business.” says Sergio.

Los del Río wrote 'Seville has a Special Colour' in 1992 and recorded a new version for the launch

 He adds, “I work in an independent agency where constraint is part of our DNA. Creativity and strategy are super-connected; our way of understanding strategy is very creative. Creativity must have an impact on the bottom line.”

Winning at Eurobest has helped the then newly-formed company build trust with clients. “Our win also built confidence in the idea that local insights can be relevant and understood universally when they ring true, even if the audience doesn’t don’t share the same culture,” says Sergio.

In their first year, the win set a new standard for PS21. The piece of work has gone on to win many more awards, including Silver at Cannes Lions 2019 and Gold in Effective Innovation Gold at WARC.

Sergio’s advice to people who are entering Eurobest this year is, “Don’t hesitate to present campaigns that are based on hyper-local or very specific cultural insights. Present local cultural work in a way that anyone in the world can understand, it’s like one language.”