The marvellous Chilean film called “No” tells the true story of how an advertising campaign helped topple Pinochet’s dictatorship.
Pinochet held a referendum in 1988 asking for several more years’ rule by voting “yes.” Heavily out-resourced the opposition had to convince the population to make a leap from a comfort zone (albeit with considerable impositions on freedom) to democracy.
While many Chileans had experienced torture and lost relatives and had wanted to paint the regime in the black colours it deserved, the advertising campaign took a different tack.
It painted a vision of how things could be.
This was highly controversial amongst the “No” camp and counter intuitive.
However it worked with its slogan replete with singing, happy Chileans: “Chile, happiness is coming.”
So instead of negative campaigning, its light touch (the films makes references to Cola commercials as an inspiration) delivered the result despite little air time.
“No” is based on a true story and is well worth seeing if you get a chance, and not only for the marketing theme.