Carnival Parade “Battle of Brands”

By: Agencia Pópuli - 22/03/2023

After several years without the Battle of Flowers, this carnival I left with my finger on the shutter ready to shoot my camera and capture the tradition. What a disappointment!

Not even jumping from Marimonda did I manage to get a clean shot, there was no framing that was saved from a billboard with brands that instead of embellishing, are going to scream.

This leads me to a reflection with which I humbly want to give my opinion.

I am a marketer by profession, but when it comes to designing a sponsorship for a traditional party, there is a line that as a professional should not be crossed. Brands should support, but not dirty.

This control exercise is urgent to regulate in our carnival. I am a friend of the house, I understand and I have experienced the despair to achieve a commercial sale to support the folkloric groups, the artists of the floats, the managers who with so much effort keep the carnival alive.

Because it’s true, carnival is expensive, I know. And the support of the brands is crucial for the party to continue.

But to what extent are we willing to turn an artistic exhibition into a kind of advertising lampoon?

Although there are many carnival events, let’s not tell lies, the Battle of Flowers is the jewel in the crown, the parade in which all brands want to be. And it is those prints of this parade that travel the entire world, those that are published by all the media and that reach millions of social media accounts. It is this parade that we must take care of the most, because if in those images what is appreciated instead of a cultural heritage is a carnival, but of brands, we will lose our essence and we will cannibalize our own product.

This leads me to the next opinion…

In the first place, brands and advertising agencies must make a pact to respect tradition. Participating in a carnival parade is not a transactional strategy, but a positioning one. In other words, one does not participate in a fashion show with the intention of selling, but rather to show the brand in a way that is appropriate to the moment, with respect, but above all, with good taste.

And secondly, I propose declaring Via 40 free of billboards. Without borders and without public posts. That the brand sponsorships are mobile cars that function as separators of parade blocks. Those with more budget make their trailers and under supervision make the brand noise they want, but for the viewer it is a passing enjoyment (or a grotesque).

The brand exposure in the boxes that is inwards, to control even more the merchandising that is distributed, to ensure that they are elements that do not fly and that do not dirty the road. In addition, to market the entrances to the streets as experience zones in the best style of the “fan fest” of the soccer World Cups.

If we manage to make a pact and help the organizers to implement new rules of participation in the Battle of Flowers, we will visually clear the parade and we can have prints to remember the Battle of Flowers as what it should be, an artistic exhibition and not advertising.

Written by Eduardo Ortega del Rio

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