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‘Saving Words’ to Win Awards

The bedrock of LOLA’s Agency of the Year award at El Sol festival was its ‘Saving Words’ campaign for Scrabble. One of only four Gran Premios awarded by the judges, ‘Saving Words’ also won gold in the Outdoor and Promo categories as well as a silver in Media. An unprecedented success for a LOLA campaign at El Sol.

As the creative team went up on stage to collect the awards, most noticeable was their relative youth in comparison to the other award winners on the night. They were Marta Exposito, Sandra Cano and Aida Pozuelo, all trainees at LOLA in their early-to-mid 20s, and Pancho Cassis, their Creative Director. That’s right; three trainees were behind the most successful campaign to come out of Spain this year at the biggest advertising festival in Ibero-America.

A week later, and once the excitement had died down a little, we sat down with the team so they could take us through how it all happened:

Congratulations on the success everyone. Firstly though, please explain to us the idea behind it.

SANDRA: What we wanted to do was to recover all of the lost letters in Madrid…

PANCHO: The girls had made a brilliant observation, which is that many shops and businesses were missing letters on their signs. With the economic crisis here in Spain many places are closing down or people can’t afford to repair their signs.

AIDA: And this felt perfect for the challenge we had on the table, which was putting Scrabble back into people’s minds. So we produced the missing letters in the form of large Scrabble tiles and offered them to the businesses to help ‘save’ their words.

How did you find out you’d won the prestigious Gran Premio award?

AIDA: I was actually with the jury in Bilbao when they were deliberating whether or not our campaign would win! I had won the “Silent Chair” (Silla Silenciosa) competition run by Clear Channel, which offers a young creative the chance to sit in on the jury’s decision-making process for the awards, but without saying a word.
They ended up deciding unanimously to give us the Gran Premio so whilst on the inside I was like “Oh my God I want to get out of here and tell everyone!” instead I had to sit there in silence while they decided the fate of a few more prizes!

And what was the reaction here in Madrid?

SANDRA: Marta and I were sitting by the stairs in the agency working on something when we suddenly heard a load of cheering and applause. Pancho then appeared at the bottom of the stairs with his arm’s wide open and he told us the news.

MARTA: And then he called Aida again ten times to check that it was really true and the judges hadn’t changed their minds! As for what was going through my head at the time… Absolutely nothing… all I remember was an avalanche of hugs and congratulations! It only sunk in around ten minutes later.

Honestly, did you expect the campaign to win big like this?

AIDA: No, no… I mean, you hope that all your hard work behind an idea will be rewarded in some way, but not like this!

SANDRA: We said to ourselves, even if we make the shortlist it would be great! And look where it ended up!

MARTA: We’re really proud of it, not just for the awards, because it’s something that we did together, as a small team, with the invaluable help of A Productions too.

You girls are some of the youngest winners of a Gran Premio in history…

AIDA: We’re not that young! Though it’s true that normally you start working at an agency and you don’t really matter to anyone. You don’t have much work or experience behind you so nobody really trusts in you. But I hope we’ve shown that people should look at young people more, because they often have really worthwhile things to say.

SANDRA: We were happy to go up on the stage to collect our prizes and show to everyone that even young people can think up good ideas and execute them. We were really grateful that Pancho supported our idea in this respect, and trusted us. Maybe he was testing us to see how far we could go with it!

PANCHO: It’s a fantastic result for the girls in their first year working in advertising. LOLA is an even playing field where everyone can participate, and if you’re good, you’ll play, because the client briefings will arrive, from SEAT to Mattel. That’s the philosophy we have had with Chacho & Miguel since our early days and look what’s happened.

And what next for the campaign?

PANCHO: We would like to invite people to take photos of signs that are missing letters and post them on social networks with the hashtag #savingwords. Once a week we’ll reward the most viewed signs with their missing letter. The campaign won’t just stay in Madrid but will spread to the rest of Spain and Europe, because it’s an idea that many people have really connected with.



Miguel S.

CEO MullenLowe Group W. Europe