EconomyThe truth behind Julio Regalado: how the advertising campaign...

The truth behind Julio Regalado: how the advertising campaign came about 40 years ago

Julio Regalado has managed to make a place for himself on Mexican television. For more than 40 years, the character has announced the summer discount season in Grupo Soriana stores, which acquired Comercial Mexicana -and all its formats- in 2015.

Until now, Julio Regalado is the character who has been on the air the most with this campaign, one of the longest in the history of advertising in Mexico, and which over the years has had the participation of four actors , including comedian Sergio Corona.

Iván García, associate creative director at Rojo Colectivo, shares that the success of the campaign is the play on words, phrases or sayings with which the character announces the promotions that the retailer prepares thanks to alliances with its suppliers. “The concept comes from a popular phrase that says: ‘gifted to the kicks and nobody beats Julio Regalado’. Although different campaigns followed, this one positioned itself in the top of mind of Mexicans,” says García.

When did it start?

The story of Julio Regalado began in 1980 and soon the campaigns became a season long awaited by Mexican families, who made a ‘little store’ to take advantage of the almost two months it lasted to buy products for the summer vacations, school supplies or for make a small inventory of groceries, since the campaign offers promotions that encourage the purchase of several units, under the 3×2 or 4×3 concept in various products.

Markel Lehman, Marketing specialist and academic at La Salle University, adds that the deployment of these offers focuses their success on the fact that they last for practically the entire summer. “(During this season) consumption increases due to the people who are going to go on a trip and also because the time that people are at home increases.”

The offers start in June and extend until the first week of August, in some cases, which allows the company to boost sales in the second and third quarters of the year. And now, with the growth of electronic commerce that occurred during the pandemic, the offers have gone from physical stores to the chain’s e-commerce.

For example, during the third quarter of last year, Soriana reported a growth in its revenues of 2.3% to 38,550 million pesos, amid the effects of the closure of some stores. La Comer reported sales of 7,339 million, an increase of 6.6% compared to the same period in 2020.

“We continued during the quarter with our Orange Season promotional campaign, based on offering customers promotions on products from various departments and rotating them throughout the promotional season,” La Comer said in its financial report.

The first July Gift

Over the decades, several actors have put on the skin of Julio Regalado. The first, one of the most remembered, the actor Sergio Corona, who played the character until 1988, is said to give way to his professional development on Mexican television.

Corona gave the character a more serious and formal touch than what we can see today, as he wore a black suit and an orange bow tie, a color that has remained in the brand’s image to this day.

From there they have incorporated several talents. In 1989 it was the actor Nando Estevane who gave life to Julio Regalado, who added a tour of the stores to the commercials to give a boost to the offers. The actor, then 34 years old, was younger than Corona, he was Julio Regalado for 14 years, until 2003.

During 2003 and 2004, the Comercial Mexicana campaign did not have an ambassador, it was in 2005 when the character appeared again in advertising spots, as a false Julio Regalado, played by Alejandro Herrera, an actor who used a prosthetic nose and false bald head, in a campaign that invited housewives to verify if the character was the real Julio Regalado.

A year later, in 2006, Miguel Hoffmann donned the suit of Julio Regalado and since then he has been at the forefront of the campaign, surviving the chain’s change of ownership, a transaction that included the rights to this successful campaign.

“Julio Regalado is a marketing phenomenon, whose success is due to the fact that it is an advertising campaign that was created for a concept to improve the perception of cost benefit with buyers, without focusing on a specific actor,” says Lehman. “Actually, it is a character that announces the offers, not a particular person. What is relevant about the character is that his name announces the timing of the discounts,” adds García.

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