Chile’s football team is one of the qualifying teams in the FIFA World Cup being held in South Africa in June and July 2010. That may in part be due to the “Light a Candle” campaign developed by Grey Chile, online at www.prendeleunavela.cl. In ten days the campaign encouraged Chileans to light more than 70 thousand virtual candles for the Chilean football team coach, Marcelo Bielsa. The online digital sanctuary, where users can deposit their faith lighting a virtual candle to “San Marcelino” and leave their support messages, received visits from 75 countries worldwide, and a worldwide media exposure well over a million dollars. The goal was to reach 50,000 lit candles, continuing with a request for canonization from the Vatican after three great miracles by “San (Saint) Marcelino”. The first miracle, beating Colombia 4:2 to qualify for the World Cup, gives hope for two more, playing a second round match and winning the World Cup.
“The idea came up with the objective of mobilizing people and grouping them under the same cause through their passion for football and to take advantage of the great moment the Chilean Team is having”, states Santiago Puiggari, President and CEO of Grey Argentina and Chile. And he goes on to say: “With no media budget, the action had to be able to grow on its own, winning the media. For that purpose we used the social networks as the main media, which triggered unprecedented press coverage for this kind of initiative in Chile”.
The action was front-page of “Las Últimas Noticias”, one of Chile’s most popular newspapers, and was dealt with in the main open TV channels in Chile (Channel 13, TVN, Mega and Chilevisión), covered by international channels such as ESPN, TyC Sports, CNN Chile and TN Argentina; as well as the main news agencies worldwide. This media coverage triggered an increase in visitors to the site; lit candles, and results reached an unexpected number in the initial planning.
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