The Village Where Nothing Ever Happens

Shackleton in Spain in 2008 demonstrated the power advertising on Pay TV channels with a campaign promoting tourism in Miravete, the village where nothing ever happens (El pueblo en el que nunca pasa nada). The campaign was developed for El Consejo Especialista en Canales Temáticos, CONECT (Specialised Council of Thematic Channels).


To test the efficiency of Pay TV the agency had to choose a product that was unknown and had never been advertised on television. The campaign would need to be launched only on Pay TV, with a clear call to action related to the product and its web site. They needed to set up variables that could be measured before, during and after the campaign: knowledge, awareness, site traffic and sales. At the end of the project Pay TV would be accredited for the experiement’s success in a public way.

Shackleton chose to invite people to do nothing in Miravete, a tiny village with 12 residents in the province of Teruel, Spain. Four television commercials starring Miravete’s twelve inhabitants were broadcast exclusively on Pay TV channels, inviting the viewers to the village and its web site. “Here nothing ever happens. How long has it been since nothing happened to you? Come to Miravete, at

Miravete Accommodation

The site included a 3D virtual tour through the the village led by its eldest inhabitant Cristobal. An online reservation office allowed visitors to book a room in the “Priest’s House” or in the rural hostel. Participants were invited to take part in the village’s most common activity, goat milking. Replicas of the 12 inhabitants were made available for sale, along with free ringtones, screensavers and campaign materials. A donations facility allowed donations to buy tiles to restore the church’s roof.

Miravete Inhabitants

During the experiment the thematic channels increased their advertising market share by 5.05 percent in value, maintaining their volume against a decline of 7.5 % in general television stations. The site received 517,000 web visits. The two village bed and breakfast businesses found themselves booked solid for four months. The campaign received 650 online links and references at sites like YouTube (see the Miravete channel) and Facebook.

Miravete Accessories

The campaign won seven Lions at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2009: 2 Direct Gold (Use of Media Direct Response Broadcast: TV, Radio & Infomercials, Product & Service Publications & Media), 2 Direct Silver (Use of Media Direct Response Digital: e-commerce, online advertising & brand awareness, and Best Integrated Campaign Led by Direct Marketing), 2 Promo Silver (Best Integrated Campaign led by Sales Promotion, Publications and Media) and 1 Promo Bronze (Best use of TV in a Promotional Program).

Un Paseo por Miravete (A Walk Through Miravete)

86 year old Cristobel Sanguesa provides the narrative. “There are no cars or traffic lights here, the only work is going to buy bread, check the kitchen garden and the hens”. Click on the image below to play the video.

12 Inhabitants

We’re introduced to the 12 inhabitants one by one. In reality there are usually 47 people staying in the village over the winter, with many more arriving in the summer. Click on the image below to play the video.


A game of cards and a coffee in the local tavern. Click on the image below to play the video.

Guijarro (Pebble)

Two men in the village retrieve a rock from the local stream. Click on the image below to play the video.


The Village campaign was developed at Shackleton by general creative director/copywriter Juan Nonzioli, executive creative director/copywriter Juan Silva, copywriters Carlos Janini and Carlos Alvarez, audiovisual production manager Manuela Zamora, producer Cristina Cortizas, account managers Luz Gonzalez and Lucia Angulo, account supervisor Eva Galán, PR account manager Elvis Santos, PR copywriter Lara Garcia, interactive executive creative director Enric Nel-Lo, digital copywriter Xavi De La Cruz, digital art director Jaume Leis, digital production manager Carlos Wassmann, digital programmers Daniel Rocasalbas and Carlos Jimenez, digital account manager Joaquin Garcia Morato, account executive Marta Selles, art director Pablo Gonzalez De La Pena, copywriter Irene Vidal, digital art director Jordi Ramon.

Filed under: Interactive