The Virtual Nation — Chapter 6
I arrived in San Juan in early May. I occupied a comfortable apartment in front of the Condado Lagoon. Did not take too long to find an ideal space for the new offices of Hadas Advertising Group Puerto Rico in the middle of Ashford Avenue. My first clients: Chanel and Total gasolines. All the creativity was canned and I did not need to do anything but the media buying. Suitable to focus on the plan.
I hired Rodrigo, a Chilean creative who impressed me with his irreverent opinions about Puerto Rico and its politicians, and for his barrage of concepts per minute. He brought over Ricardo, an arrogant graphic artist who had an impressive portfolio, little hair and totally bored of his work in a promotions agency. I offered them a juicy salary that was difficult to refuse and we set to work.
I opened a bottle of Barolo, and placed Manchego cheese and white grapes on the conference table.
- “This is the task”, I started. “The brief is to convince Puerto Ricans to vote for independence in the upcoming elections.
- “That’s impossible,” Rodrigo answered suddenly.
- “I’m pro USA,” Ricardo snapped.
- “The USA Congress wants it that way”, I affirmed.
- “Don’t fuck with me?” Ricardo reacted while gulping a grape.
- “You mean the client here is the U.S. Congress?”
- “Exactly. You have signed a confidentiality agreement and it is strictly forbidden to disclose such information under penalty of disappearance of the country “if you know what I mean”.
- “Okay. But to make a campaign of this magnitude we need a candidate, a Party platform, a Party.
I threw each a folder titled PNNP: Partido Nueva Nación Puertorriquena (Spanish for New Puerto Rican Nation Party).
Rodrigo could not contain his cynical laughter of disbelief.
- “PNP?! But there is already a PNP party and it is pro-Yankee. How the hell is going now to be for independence.”
- “Precisely. Being Pro-Yankee is to be pro-independence. The great American nation, defending the democratic values of the world and the right to self-determination of peoples, finally cedes or rather gives up its territorial plenipotentiary powers over Puerto Rico and grants independence to its colony in the Caribbean. And who better than the PNNP to convince the country that this is what is most convenient.
- “Fucking mind-blower,” Rodrigo said.
- “Are you serious?” reacted a totally stunned Ricardo.
- “Gentlemen… drink your wine and prepare yourself to make possible the creation of the first Virtual Nation.”
- “Virtual? The nation is virtual? It means that it will not really be independent.”
- “Wou! How is that possible? The USA gives us our independence, but we really are not going to be independent or we will still be a US territory?”
- “Not quite. We are already are a Chinese territory.”
It took a couple of bottles of wine and a succulent a paella for them digest the matter. It was not easy. Difficult to process for them meant that it would be difficult for the target audience. But there was no going back. We had to sell the idea and that’s what advertising is for.