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In the last five years, Argentina lived a complicated economic scenario. This situation affects dollar transactions and remittance market. Western Union came to charge commissions around 60% when the world average was 3%.

As a result, unregulated companies focused on the most relevant communities for the business emerged (Spain, Bolivia, Italy, Paraguay and Peru that are the main remittances destinations) offering black market rates.

But in 2016, the restrictions on the dollar changed and Western Union was again competitive (4% commission). However, being a foreign company and having no communication in media during the last period, it needed to reconnect with immigrants, almost 2.1 million people, who transfer around $3,422m per year.

It was not an easy task. Their relevant communities Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay, representing more than 56% of the remittances market, perceived them as a "Yankee" company, without a clear proposal and disconnected from their reality.

The majority of immigrants are low-class, informal workers with basic education levels. They leave their countries looking for better conditions in Argentina and have to leave their families behind: Wives, children in care of grandparents, relatives and friends. Being a population for whom remittances are vital, sadly they often fall in the hands of shady companies.

Thus, coming from different countries research showed that music was a cultural connector, a way to stay connected with their countries, thousands of miles away, cheer difficult situations and preserve their roots in a foreign country.

Music would be the trigger, its language to engage them.


With this finding, the agency had to understand each community deeply, discover the best way to conquer them with music and earn their trust.

It found that music does not come alone, and met with different bands that were true idols, incredible influencers with the strength enough to be partners in this challenge: Chila Jatun (Bolivia), Kchiporros (Paraguay) and Hnos. Yaipen (Peru). They would be responsible for approaching each community with a unique rhythm.

Although the music was the excuse, UM had to connect it with their media journey. The audience being mostly low-class workers, they spend a lot of time away from home. It could consider them kings of the commuting because of their work activities, but outside their working hours the movements are concentrated in specific zones (usually they live close to one another). This is how each community is located in particular zones in the city and are characterised by their own activities: vegetable market weekends, cultural centres, etc. It decided to own those spaces and gain visibility in their environment.

With all these elements in mind, Western Union launched "Celebrities", the first campaign which micro-segmented the city to add a special flavour to each media asset. UM would combine touch points, geographical areas, content and patriotic symbols to change their perception about the brand and increase remittances.


The “Celebrities” campaign had two stages: the invitation to participate in a meet & greet with their idols and the post-event video capsule.

Stage one was a three-asset line campaign, one for each music band. This required a big segmentation process:

Digital: The agency worked with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and programmatic. These platforms allowed it to apply the required segmentation, combining geo-location with the user’s main interests and nationality.

Traditional media: It had developed sort of a crafted programmatic tactic using customised circuit in the city, suburbs and the inside country. These circuits were based on the habits of each community, where they live, work, spend their free time and pursue hobbies.

Radio was the highest budget that guaranteed a successful reach within the target in Buenos Aires and other cities in the country. To maximise the reach, UM decided to use ethnic radios that had a strong relationship with their specific communities.

OOH wasn´t an exception, the tactic was to follow the users in their daily journey, with small posters on key streets and presence in the most relevant subway stations. The key element were the trailers with big posters that travelled around their neighbourhood and job area, even during weekends. 

To fire it up a little bit more, UM had non-traditional advertisement on TV, during a popular music show and on preliminary games for the 2018 Football Soccer World Cup were Bolivia, Perú and Paraguay played.

The campaign had more than 40 touch points; it delivered a relevant message everywhere.


The objective was to contact two million immigrants in Argentina but the campaign achieved +80% reach.

Radio achievements of reach and coverage were almost 600,000 users.

The trailers provided lots of coverage in locations where the target was settled, generating engagement with those people, where they even took pictures with the ad.

With the presence in the FIFA World Cup Eliminatory Matches and “Saturday passion – music show” it was able to reach almost 1.5 million people.

The online promo videos achieved +40% VTR vs benchmark and Ad Recall +20% vs benchmark

In social media platforms, the campaign managed to reach more than 1.8 million users.

It achieved more than one million organic interactions.

For the meet & greet experiences, 20 winners from each community won the chance to meet their idols. Testimonial videos were shared in social media. Three experiences step-by-step, showing winners emotions, the time shared with celebrities and WU’s promise fulfilled.

Given these amazing media results, it also obtained outstanding business numbers: Transactions grew +145% during Nov-Dec 2016 vs last year. And the amount of money Send Principals also grew +357% vs Last Year. 

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Western Union
November 2016 - January 2017
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