Mexico: Live It to Believe It - TOURIST PROMOTION COUNCIL

Ante la ola de inseguridad que empezó a sufrir el país tras la implementación de la llamada “Guerra contra el Narco”, se generó una percepción internacional negativa y comunicados de muchos países advirtiendo de riesgos para quienes querían viajar a México, lo que afectó el turismo y una importante fuente de derrama económica.  

Young & Rubicam, the Mexico Tourism Promotion Council and LEXIA Insights & Solutions faced the strategic challenge of evaluating the perception, brakes and motivations of the North American market with respect to Mexico as a tourist destination, in order to generate a communication campaign that would reverse the negative effect of insecurity and successfully attract American tourists back to Mexico. 

What method do we follow? 

Group sessions were held in the cities of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to understand how American tourists perceived Mexico as a tourist destination, their expectations and the main barriers, as well as a comparison with other tourist sites. Likewise, communication concepts and advertising pieces were evaluated to understand how they connected with the public and their areas of improvement. 

What's insights do we discover? 

  • The American tourist is looking for an adventure experience, but wants it to be controlled and feel safe at all times. 
  • Look for a new place that you don't know, that is authentic and that allows you to find yourself. 
  • Mexico's beaches have created a highly acclaimed image of Mexico as a tourist destination, although there remains a sense that the country has much more to offer - yet they don't know it. There is a desire to know it, but they are uncertain whether the right conditions exist to discover it.  

What solution we co-create? 

Strategic guidelines were generated to strengthen CPTM's communication campaign and improve Y&R's creative executions, such as:  

  • Maintaining high production values, modern narrative and important scenarios manage to position destinations as current and contemporary. 
  • Promote that the campaign is perceived by the public as aimed at a "high class" sector, focused on a premium type of tourism, which makes it aspirational. 
  • The campaign must show that Mexico has much more to offer than beaches and spring break, however, it must take care of balance, not focus too much on the unknown, the little known, downplaying the iconic Mexico that is already attractive. 
  • It is necessary to create new icons of Mexico: Islas Marietas, cenotes, Ángel de la Independencia and Chichen Itza. They were included in different creative executions. 
  • It is important to include people, Mexicans, a key factor in communicating the warmth of people and the interactions of tourists with culture, which is valued by the public. 
  • Finally, don't ignore or completely deny the country's natural chaos, as it takes credibility away from the campaign.  

Based on these strategic communication guidelines, a powerful and attractive communication campaign was produced, which was well received by the American public: LIVE IT TO BELIEVE IT. 


From the launch of the campaign and a solid strategy of dissemination in U.S. media, it was achieved:

  • The arrival of international tourists in 2014 registered an annual increase of 21.5%, surpassing the 29.3 million tourists and reaching a new historic high.  
  • In 2014, hotel occupancy in the grouping of 70 resorts was 1.52 percentage points higher than in 2013, reaching 57.16%. 
  • During 2014 the arrival of passengers on domestic flights exceeded 32.8 million people, a level that represented an increase of 8.3% compared to 2013. 
  • In 2014, a total of 5.6 million passengers were received, equivalent to an annual increase of 7.8%. 


Secretariat of Tourism. Statistical Compendium of Tourism in Mexico 2014. Retrieved from:




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