Creating a buzz with a llama: a trend?

The llama, an animal native to the mountains of Latin America, seems to be catching the attention of marketers. Everyone remembers the famous scene from Hergé’s Tintin comic book “The Temple of the Sun,” where a llama spits in Captain Haddock’s face. This image of the llama holds various connotations.

Llamas have been prominently featured by fashion brands and manufacturers of merchandise in France for the past three years. It is associated with a trend for travel, exotic products, and a sense of adventure. What’s surprising is that this animal, not native to our culture, has become a symbol for capturing the attention of internet users and winning them over. Especially during times of confinement and pandemic-related barriers, llamas may serve as a symbol for travel and seizing opportunities for adventure.

Here are a few examples:

UNICEF uses llamas for children’s rights: UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) also capitalizes on the llama’s image. Their tweet posted on November 4 draws a parallel between the excitement surrounding the animal and the attention that should be given to children’s rights for World Children’s Day on November 20.

According to Laura Huyghe, UNICEF-France’s web communication manager: “The campaign does not seek to comment on the initial buzz (the llama) but to question the place a certain subject can have on social networks, in the media, and what place children’s rights should have in these same spheres.”

The Gers region and Gascon humor: The Gers tourism committee, led by Mr. Pereira, has launched an advertisement in the press: “Buzz is very fleeting: if you want to take advantage of it, you have to be hyper-reactive.” They have been actively engaging on social media for four years, using llamas against the backdrop of the Gers landscape, with captions like “Why didn’t they take me to Gers!” This approach allows for a “campaign that is less costly, with a multiplied impact.”

Girondins de Bordeaux football club adopts the llama as its mascot: The Girondins de Bordeaux football club doesn’t hesitate to feature llamas as guests at their matches.

Brands and fashion are embracing the llama: The enthusiasm for llamas shows no signs of fading. Llamas are continuously celebrated, appearing in everything from head to toe fashion to beauty advertisements—llamas are everywhere.

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