The Challenge

The De la Riva agency, was tasked with creating a fresh narrative for Mexico in the wake of the election of a new President Nieto. Mexico had fallen behind countries such as Brazil and Colombia in the region in term of soft power. The brief was to identify emergent associations with Mexico across the world. This was to be used as intelligence for a syndicate of groups seeking to attract investment and tourism.

Semiotic Role

The role for semiotics was to co-ordinate a network of cultural experts across 10 key markets. These experts were given prototypical Mexican images to analyse and were asked to supplement these with pop culture references to Mexico in the local context. Creative Semiotics then consolidated these reports into a global story with common themes.


De La Riva received a detailed report which sets out the core cultural associations with Mexico globally and sketched out a menu of 8 future Mexico narratives which all had potential to work as nation branding and soft power strategies. The final report turned out to be one of the sources of inspiration for Norman Foster architects’ ‘X' shaped design for the new Mexico City airport.