June 26, 2018

Latin America and soccer: a fanaticada!

Countries and regions

The hinchada, the afición, the fanaticada, the torcida, ... soccer in Latin America, the same passion that unites very different cultures.

Latin America and soccer: a fanaticada!

Latin America has a date with soccer. A very topical intercultural look!

... and the big day has finally arrived! Already the first matches of the soccer World Cup have started. Here, in Europe, on the "Old Continent", we are going to watch the World Cup, we are going to live the World Cup, we are going to attend the matches... over there, on the other side of the Atlantic, in Latin America, we are going to "thrill" the "Mundial".

Soccer - and in particular this historical event which comes back every 4 years but of which we do not get tired! - Soccer is inscribed in everyone, whether they are Colombians, Mexicans, Argentinians, Peruvians, Brazilians..., it is a second heart that beats for a month in unison in each of these countries. A heart that inspires, a heart that makes people forget their internal quarrels, a heart that brings back patriotism and history, a heart that awakens the pride of individuals for their country and even often the bickering with their neighbors...

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City's manager, has described this event as "the biggest magic show on the planet": "whole cities disappear", "millions of people are hypnotized"... This may seem a bit exaggerated - many of us don't even know when France will play! - but on the other side of the "puddle", as the Argentines like to call it, the reality is different: the giant screens are already ready in the nurseries, schools, offices, public places...

Soccer and Advertising in Latin America

To decipher this magic, to try to understand this passion, we decided to take things from an advertising point of view: the World Cup has inspired many commercials that convey all these values, this intensity, that give us goosebumps just by watching them... It's worth a look ;-)

But before that, let's go back to the origins: are there any "fans" in Latin America?... No !! There is a hinchada in some countries, an afición in others, a fanaticada, a torcida. So many intense words full of meaning that show that we do not "support" soccer, we live it. The "hincha" was the man who blew up the soccer balls before the games and who shouted so loudly when the players arrived that his cry, "la hinchada", has remained to describe the fans. The "afición", which can be translated as "love" and "determination", says a lot about the relationship of Colombian or Costa Rican fans with the players. The "fanaticada": one is not a supporter, one is a fan in Venezuela. The Brazilian "torcida": in the past, when these ladies attended the games, they lived them so intensely that they "twisted" their gloves, taken by stress and emotion...

Commercials and Latin American values

But let's get back to our advertising sports!

  • A first notable thing is the soundtrack. Each with his own style but the soundtrack is never left to chance: some opt for traditional folk music, others for the national anthem, others for music of suspense and emotion ... We are never in neutrality: even before the image, the sound makes you enter the magic of this dream.
  • The Union...: all internal quarrels and wars are momentarily erased, everyone vibrates in the same way. The World Cup is intergenerational, it affects all social classes - from the prisoner to the lecturer in Argentina, both men and women are concerned and affected... "It's Brazil against the rest of the world", "it's beautiful to see the world". It's Brazil against the rest of the world", "how beautiful soccer is, how good it makes us feel, it makes us become better Argentines every 4 years", "it's the only thing we all agree on" (Colombia)...
  • ... makes the Force: despite our weaknesses, we "believe" that all together behind the players, we can succeed. We believe, we want to believe - even if it would be the first time! We suddenly feel better than the others and proud of our country: "proud of the product of our soil" (Argentina), "together no one can stop us" (Argentina), "our country is only missing one cup" (Colombia), "we don't say they lost, we say we won" (Mexico), "we will continue to make history" (Uruguay), "all the best players in the world once dreamed of playing in our team" (Brazil), "Russia will make us heroes" (Mexico)...
  • Another omnipresent notion in the commercials is that of the family. We see young people, old people, pregnant women, children, babies... Soccer is shared in family, the passion is transmitted from father/mother to son/daughter. The Uruguayan grandmothers watch and comment on the games with as much enthusiasm as this young Argentinean couple still in the maternity ward... and as the group of Mexican aficionados who have never missed a game in the stadium!
  • History: for some countries, it works in their favor (they already have one or more famous stars on their jersey); for others, it is the opposite, it is a matter of turning history on its head, of surpassing oneself, of doing better. But in both cases, one feels the strength of History, of the culture that built the country: "the cielito lindo continues to be our war cry" - allusion to the songs of the mariachis in Mexico, "we are a people who fought against the crisis before the world knew the meaning of it" - Peru, allusion to a Russian "colony" village in Uruguay etc. A true patriotism is awakened, the anthem is sung, the national flag is brandished and kissed, the colors of the country are vibrated...

Soccer and culture

Finally, this event is so important that it concentrates a large part of the advertising effort in each of these countries for one month; advertisements that, in various tones, allow us to find the fundamental cultural values of the countries: from the frivolity of a Mexican telenovela to the drama of Peru, which tells how the country has never been spared from adversity, through the intense emotion of the Argentinean national anthem taken up in heart by an entire population or the Carioca party.

It includes key Latin American values such as family, cultural heritage, tradition, human warmth and relationships...

A passion that is so much one with each of these peoples that finally, it is enough in itself to describe them and begin to pierce the mysteries of their cultures... very different cultures but united by the same passion!


To put sound and image on these few words, here are some gems that we have selected for you:

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