How can a company embark on an branding campaign without prominently displaying its logo? What seems to be the opposite thinking of the advertising school became the winning campaign of Banco Hipotecario, a financial services business based in Argentina.
After becoming the sponsor of Racing Club de Avellaneda, a big soccer team in Argentina, they decided to do something audacious, maybe even heretic in the minds of conservative brand strategists: they decided to NOT put the bank’s logo on the soccer jerseys. Crazy as it seems the whole strategy leveraged the ongoing “Creator of Owners” message Banco Hipotecario was already running (the message focused on showing how the bank was helping people become house owners through their mortgage lending business) and created the slogan “Racing: Duenos de su camistea” (Racing: Owners of their jersey), to show that the bank really cared for the sport and the team they were sponsoring. After being picked up by local media and sports commentators, fans raved about the new jersey.
Banco Hipotecario’s facebook page has over 14,000 fans and was the centerpiece of their second phase of the campaign. They asked fans to vote on a phrase to be printed on the shirt that would evoke how the fans feel about their beloved team. The winning phrase, “Duenos de una passion” (Owners of a passion) received 2,398 votes.
Although it was reported that some fans were against the printing of the phrase (and the choice of phrases themselves) on the shirt, it’s undeniable the level of participation the branding effort generated and how quickly they were able to engage the fans.
Sometimes going against established “best practices” may pay off.
Sources for more info on this story are:
Creativity Online article, F*ck Smaller. Make the Logo Disappear.
Marca del Gol post, Second Phase of Invisible Advertising (in spanish).
Communicate Good blog post, Invisible Branding.
Marketing News article, Marketing Across the Americas (requires login).