August 19, 2002

Both Viva Partnership and client Verizon Wireless have something to shout about. The "El Gran Grito Contest" conceived and implemented by Viva in key Texas markets was so popular and attracted so much media attention that Verizon Wireless is considering making the contest an annual event.

Despite last minute decisions about staging the event, less than eight working days to implement and media competition from a threatening hurricane, the Viva team delivered a successful program supporting the new "Call Mexico" plan from Verizon Wireless, an option for Verizon Wireless customers in Texas making it possible to call family and friends in Mexico for just 20 cents a minute any time.

This was another Viva "milagro" according to Linda Lane Gonzalez, founder and president of Viva. "Viva's signature is the performance of lo imposible. When Verizon Wireless gave us the go ahead for this project, we had eight days to organize promotions the event, prepare promotional materials and arrange media coverage for five events in four cities. A talented team and our passion for what we do every day helped us deliver results."

El Gran Grito celebrates el 16 de septiembre - Mexican Independence Day. The "Grito" or "Cry" is a celebratory shout commemorating the heroes of Mexico's fight to loosen the grips of three centuries of Spanish rule.

"El Grito is as eloquent an expression of the love of freedom as our own Declaration of Independence. It's as emotional as any Fourth of July Fireworks display and speaks to the heart of what Texas and the US Hispanic values most - Independence," adds Gonzalez.

The "Call Mexico, El Gran Grito" promotional event also tied in with Hispanic Heritage Week celebrated nationwide from September 15 to October 15.

The search for the loudest "Grito" was conducted in Texas cities with the highest concentration of US Hispanics: San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Mcallen. An official "Grito Meter" registered decibels "This was a search for the loudest grito," adds Gonzalez. "Contestants were challenged to emit their loudest shout."

Making lots of noise, along with "buzz" and "splash" is the goal of Viva's newly established US Hispanic PR department, headed by media veteran, Gustavo Pena.

"After a banner year in US Hispanic advertising, we are ideally positioned to offer our clients expanded marketing services, including US Hispanic Public Relations," says Gonzalez.

"We have a great track record of public relation campaign successes within the Latin America, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Now, we're leveraging our in-depth knowledge of US Hispanic markets to develop exciting, highly targeted, finely nuanced public relations and media programs for US Hispanic markets. Kicking off with such a fun, festive and successful campaign for a client the stature of Verizon Wireless gives us important momentum," says Gonzalez, "It demonstrates what we can do in a very short time, with limited resources. Our teams have a passion for US Hispanic that I think is unparalleled in this industry."

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