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Kappie Kopp

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Katie Newman

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San Jose

‘Illegal Market Catalog,’ ‘Happy News’ Revive Safety and Smiles of Costa Rica

Leo Burnett San Jose’s work for the Ministry of Finance and Amcham, Coca-Cola receive 7+ on the GPC scale

Ministry of Finance and Amcham’s “Illegal Market Catalog,” GPC Rating: 8

In 2014, the cause of death and intoxication due to the consumption of illegal products increased 30%. Besides obvious harm to human health, the import of these knockoff, pirated black-market goods also threatened the economy and security of Costa Rica. To end this, the Ministry of Finance and Amcham teamed up with Leo Burnett San Jose to place the "Illegal Market Catalog” into the hands of Costa Ricans.

The “Illegal Market Catalog,” a magazine updated weekly, featured products that should never be purchased, altered, smuggled or pirated in Costa Rica along with photos, descriptions and possible harmful effects.

Alongside the catalog, an app was developed for the people to play a role in reporting these black-market products to the authorities. The app allowed people to anonymously send in photos, locations and characteristics of any suspicious products.

The catalog was distributed in the dense urban areas and was featured in mainstream newspapers, broadcast reports and numerous publications. More than 13 million illegal products were confiscated within the first two weeks. “Illegal Market Catalog” became a powerful tool that provided Costa Rica with a blanket of security.

Coca-Cola’s “Happy News,” GPC Rating: 7.2

According to surveys from 2009, Costa Rica was named the happiest place to live in the world. But in a few short years, the country experienced devastating and drastic changes. In 2013, Costa Rica lost its “Happiest Country” title due to social and economic problems. To recover the smiles of Costa Ricans, Coca-Cola teamed up with the agency to create a one-day plan of attack called “Happy News.”

On International Day of Happiness, Coca-Cola worked with “La Extra,” the country’s best-selling sensationalist newspaper, to change its content. Instead of negative news, journalists filled the publication with positive-angled sensationalistic articles and headlines.

After the newspapers were distributed first thing in the morning, “Happy News” turned into real-time, countrywide news, placing smiles on Costa Ricans’ faces.

About the GPC Scale: Every quarter, the Leo Burnett Global Product Committee, comprising our top creative leaders from around the globe, gathers to evaluate the work from the global network. Over the course of a week, the GPC views, discusses and rates the work using our 10-point HumanKind Scale. Work that receives a 7-point rating is considered to be the benchmark for excellence in craft. To learn more about the GPC and the HumanKind Scale, watch this video.