From Americans to Americans: Mexico Taxi Project

Published 08 November 11 10:51 AM



Written by Luis Dominguez
07 November 2011

Mexico's security issues have taken a toll on its image as a paradise-like destination. Mexico's Tourism Board is trying to change that negative perception with a creative campaign where the message of a safe Mexico came from Americans themselves.


The campaign is called Mexico Taxi Project and it will feature tourists returning from Mexico chatting about their trips with the taxi drivers who are taking them home.


According to The New York Times the campaign has an estimated budget of more than USD$30 million, and is seeking to change perceptions about conditions that visitors find in Mexico.


Mexico Taxi Project is inspired in the popular HBO series "Taxicab Confesions", and is based in this simple premise: "A message from Americans to Americans". The idea behind the campaign is that real tourists, who have just been in Mexico, will have more credibility with the American audience.


In one of the spots, the driver asks his passengers if they felt safe while in Cabo, and one of them replied saying "Oh yeah." A second man says: "Totally safe", and then a woman says: "I would definitely recommend it. Everything you hear on the news is not what you experience down there." A screenwriter couldn't write it any better.


The tourists have just arrived from their trips to Mexico, and they are being driven to their homes on town cars equipped with hidden cameras that filmed the rides from airports in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. At the end of the trip, as in the candid camera show, they are told about the cameras and the whole campaign, and they have the option to authorize or reject the use of their testimonials. So far none of the tourists asked to sign a waiver have declined, according to Gerardo Llanes, chief marketing officer at the Mexico Tourism Board.


According to the Mexico Tourism Board, between 95% and 97% of American tourists, will come back to the country, which says a lot about their level of satisfaction. With this data in mind, was that the Mexico Taxi Project was created, trying to maximize the positive feedback that was already there, and which the project is only using to make an impact on Mexico's image. "We know we are taking a chance..., but the chance of negatives are so small" said Mr. Llanes.


The campaign also includes online and print advertising and there will also be versions of the commercials for Canada.


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