Alerta: 12-12-12

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The challenge was to communicate to the Mexican audience complex and often difficult prevention messages. Creating an emotional and also rational connection with AXA products would be key to its success, showing the audience that protection is the best and most effective way to safeguard what is most important: families, homes and valued possessions. 

The insight was born from a year-long content strategy that Discovery was producing around the apocalyptic end of the Mayan calendar and to many the culmination of ancient prophesies about the end of the world. Documenting everything associated with this event, all narrated by experts and Mayan representatives, the multi-part series promised to make 2012 Epic in Mayan content and the disasters that were to accompany this climactic event. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, active volcanoes, which affects Mexico were particularly relevant to generate awareness and engagement with AXA. 

In collaboration with Discovery Channel an opportunity to leverage the message was found creating branded content to engage, inform and attract the interest of the audience. All the media were talking about the end of the world, so the challenge was to get the audiences’ attention, aligning the Maya Prophesies and natural disaster across Discovery channel with an AXA prevention message.

AXA launched its ‘12-12-12’ campaign in order to talk about the end of the world and to communicate a prevention message under the slogan: “Are you prepared to survive?”


Consumer insight: Luck and faith protects people. Insurance is not viewed as a wise way to spend money as unfortunate events might not happen. However, Mayan prophecies predicted apocalyptic disasters, scientists kept reasserting that atmospheric and climatic conditions were changing and Mexico is increasingly a prime target for natural disasters. People were really worried and open to listening…

In 2012, people and media were talking about the end of the world. The amount of information provided by the media become overwhelming for audiences and the need for a credible source to inform them was essential. Discovery Channel was the network to take on the task to create and broadcast content related to the Mayna Apocalypse with factual and real information; the perfect window for AXA to deliver its prevention message and integrate brand information into the content.

The communication strategy was to create buzz during the whole year following relevant dates in the Mayan Calendar (Spring and autumn Equinox and Summer Solstice) and to culminate the campaign with an “end of the world stunt” through a 30” episode calledAlerta, fully-integrated with AXA information.


Three apocalyptic week stunts on key dates of the Mayan Calendar were created to activate AXA’s prevention campaign in the lead-up to the expected Mayan Calendar’s last day (21/12/12).

The stunts included a deliberate selection of shows about natural disasters that affect the region and aired during important astrological dates of solstice and equinoxes.

Aside from having local experts explain the geological reasons why Mexico is so vulnerable to natural disasters,Alerta’s mission was to inform and empower viewers by giving them professional advice on what to do in emergency situations. Advice was given in part by AXA disaster specialists, allowing Discovery Communications to create highly relevant and engaging brand participation for AXA.

In order to reach a larger audience, prevention messages, additional information and videos became a part of both Discovery and AXA’s online platforms including their web pages and social networks. An Apocalypse Mayan Blog was created just for AXA.


Between Q2 and Q4 ratings increased until the final episode was aired, crushing victory over the competition (+150%). Discovery’s December ratings overflowed 100% compared to the previous four weeks. The Apocalypse blog was the most successful digital element with a CTR of 20.78%.

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