Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of senior citizens of any country in South America and the Caribbean. In more than 50% of homes, the person in charge of making purchasing decisions is over 50; this gives seniors a bigger role in marketing. Since Liberty Telecommunications is a brand that is constantly innovating, it had a mission: to increase internet users in the elder sector. The challenge was to create relevance and increase usage of the internet amongst people over 50, overcoming their possible resistance due to a lack of knowledge of computers.
The elderly have a need to be enriched socially. Since many of them are either widowed or alone, it was down to Liberty to motivate them to join the social media world. It wanted to create elderly engagement on the internet and explore this overlooked demographic in the hopes of exposing them to the far-reaching power of the web. Liberty has the tools to achieve this and that’s why it created a new service offer.
To get the message across, Initiative created a character called Chuíto, a senior citizen learning to use the internet for the first time in an effort to find a girlfriend. In no time, Chuíto had formed a strong presence throughout social media platforms. Overnight, he turned into an internet personality.
Initiative was responsible for designing a multi-faceted campaign around Chuíto on his search for a girlfriend:
Research shows that senior citizens spend most of their time during the day watching television and that the most watched programmes by seniors are soap operas and daytime radio talk shows. The agency organised appearances for Chuíto on the highest rated shows on local networks, had him as a guest on the most popular radio shows, and created attention-grabbing print ads with his likeness. These efforts were carried out in an attempt to reach the demographic on their own turf, where they feel most comfortable.
The campaign also spread across a variety of other media including Facebook engagement, live events, and original songs – sung by Chuíto himself – were played on the radio in the form of 60 and 30-second spots.
Meetings were arranged through Facebook for the seniors to get together in different commercial centres. Many of them benefited from internet-use crash courses, and some even gained to sign up for their first email account.
On Chuíto’s Facebook timeline followers shared humorous memes, joyful moments, sad news, the page was used to buy and sell goods, and they even nominated him for governor. Chuíto himself used his newfound fame to spread his knowledge through tutorial videos posted on YouTube with the purpose of instructing others on how to properly use Pandora, Tumblr and Pinterest.
What started out as a campaign turned into the development of a character, who engaged people through social media while trying to find a girlfriend. This resulted in his new group of online friends becoming interested in Liberty’s offer, which translated into sales. Through personal appearances and Facebook engagement, Chuíto achieved the empathy of seniors, who recognised that the internet could be easy for them. The connection was so amicable that it also spread to other age groups. In terms of sales, the campaign exceeded expectations with a 70% increase in Liberty internet users; 50% of which were 65 or older. Chuíto’s fame became so widespread, in fact, that he was even parodied on a late night comedy show resulting in thousands of dollars in free media.
Chuíto’s Facebook presence has kept growing and he currently has over 13,000 followers. More than 70,000 users were reached organically on a daily basis during the campaign’s run.
The campaign was such a success that it is now entering its second year. And now that Chuíto is a public figure, he has become the spokesperson for Liberty after charming his way into the hearts of the entire senior population.
And the best thing of all: Chuíto found a girlfriend.