New Banco Popular ads feature successful business stories
SAN JUAN – Referencing the island’s dimensions, about 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, Banco Popular ads that start airing Wednesday night intend to remind Puerto Ricans they can achieve whatever they set out to do despite dire economic times, and invites them to see their island with fresh eyes and new possibilities.
The “100 by whatever we want” ads will run in traditional and digital formats. The new campaign will also have ads in social media and Banco Popular’s website featuring stories of local entrepreneurs who fulfilled their dream of creating a business despite adversity.
The campaign tells Puerto Ricans to continue to work, study or reinvent themselves; even if they think each day there are fewer people on the island or that “the 100-mile long by 35-mile island” is too small.
“We invite you to think differently… To see our country with fresh eyes,” the ad says, adding that if Puerto Ricans change their mentality, they will realize that the island’s size is just a number and not a way of thinking.
Banco Popular’s chief executive officer, Richard Carrión, said he has always believed Puerto Ricans can achieve successful things and, for that reason, he wanted the campaign to feature individuals who are making a difference despite a stagnant local economy.
“The [ads’] stars have identified new opportunities to do things and to turn their passion and dreams into reality,” he said.
The campaign features the testimony of the owners of El Churry, Bozzanova Boutique, Café Oro, CDI Laboratories, Chango Nutre, Danosa, Gramaslindas, Graphic Printing, Señor Paleta, Toledo & Co., Toro Verde, Vieques Air Link and the success stories of farmer Marilyn Rosa Tirado and musician William Cepeda.
Most of the entrepreneurs featured in the campaign began their businesses before the start of the economic recession in 2006. About three began their businesses more recently. Caribbean Business asked of Carrión advice for people who want to start a business in the current economic climate of fiscal constraints.
“There are no guarantees of success. My advice to people is to not give up. While some of them started their business before the recession, they have survived and can tell you how hard it has been. And the challenges they had to overcome… The important thing is to have the will to do it and not give up,” Carrión said.
Rosa Tirado, who grows strawberries and grapes in a farm in Las Piedras, said she was told by numerous experts that strawberries could never grow in Puerto Rico. She believed otherwise because she was able to grow a strawberry plant in her home. She now has plans to grow 20,000 strawberry plants and 266 grape plants. “I have to close my eyes to the negative things,” she said.
Waleska Rivera, general manager of Danosa, a product used to seal roof leaks, said that when the company burned down in 1994 and the owners decided to sell it, she and other individuals decided to buy the company because she believes in the product. At the time, Danosa had only two products in the market. It now has 32.
Jorge Toledo, who quit his job more than 10 years ago after his bosses decided not give him a raise, decided to open up a lock business with the little savings he had. He made his first sale five months later when the owner of a hardware store who was his friend decided to make space for his product. Nowadays, he sells to several Latin American countries and to the U.S. mainland.
While he began his business in the middle of the recession, he noted that “whoever thinks that someone like Waleska had it easier because her business is over 20 years old, is wrong.”
He said the current fiscal crisis will force people, like snakes, to shed their skin. “Puerto Rico is changing with pain and with suffering because shedding hurts. But for the first time, we are seeing ourselves. My advice is not think that we are only 100 by 35, but also to export because the more we do, the more we help others,” he said.