Mexico has long conjured images of exotic beauty, Mayan civilization and cities rich in culture. But a bloody drug war, stemming from the government’s determination to end the illegal narcotics trade, changed Mexico’s image overnight. Media coverage sensationalized the violence, portraying Mexico as unsafe to work, live and even visit.
A company in crisis calls for a sophisticated and interconnected strategy to repair its reputation. But a whole country in crisis calls for another order of magnitude. At stake—Mexico’s reputation and its entire economy−from foreign direct investment to tourism.
The multi-country campaign sought not only to correct distortions about the drug war chaos but also create a compellingly positive story about the inspirational new Mexico. The strategy: awaken media and key influencers to the fact that Mexico had been taken hostage by a singled-minded storyline and introduce a thriving, young, high-tech, multifaceted powerhouse.
Favorable shifts in perception resulted from the integrated campaign with a ten-fold increase in the number of positive articles and one billion online impressions. A tourism revival and investment resurgence have bolstered Mexico’s economy, despite a global recession, and increased consumer and business confidence, even bringing cruise ships back to Mexican ports since leaving in 2010.