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Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014: from a marketing and communications perspective

Written by: Jerom

A public event as massive as Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014 with the participation of more than 1,800,000 people, is an event with multiple wins in logistics, communications and public relations. Assuming that was organized exclusively through internet with the help of hundreds of volunteers, it is worth seeing it with critic eyes from a marketing and communications perspective, so let´s get started...

Key elements for a successful event

Events are PR tools with many advantages but very tricky at the same time because we are completely exposed, and EVERYTHING in them communicates. The wide range of details involved is what makes them complex: a) a good host; b) attendance; c) adequate location; d) concept and clear objective that justifies it.

If you think about it, even though it´s a political event the Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014 from a point of view of public relations and event management has fully complied with the main requirements for a successful event:

  • High number of participants: the event had 1,800,000 people not only from the region of Catalunya but other regions like the Basque Country, Valencia and Alicante, and even the South of France.
  • Clear objective: gather the maximum number of participants to create a “V” with the colors of the catalan flag at a specific hour and minutes.
  • Punctual and participative attendees: the Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014 required a high level of commitment and participation from the attendees. The key point of the event was to ensure that everyone was at 5:14pm at the place assigned to them via web on the specific section and row, and also with the corresponding color shirt. The objectives were met and as a result they all made the "V" with the Catalan flag along Barcelona´s two main avenues. Event organizers were at high risk by doing this kind of effort, if the expected results were not satisfied the failure would have been very noticeable and criticized. If you think about it it´s hard sometimes to arrive on time to a flight! But somehow all that people got together on time...impressive.
  • A well thought out logistics: the only option for registration was the event's web, which assigned to each user a section, row and color shirt to wear. Everyone got the information and followed it accordingly. Good ideas, good results; no doubt about it.
  • A location with easy access: the big “V” took place on the main avenues of Barcelona: Gran Via and Diagonal. Both with easy access through public transportation or by walking; also a bus service for attendees from other localities was organized. Wish the same would happen for concerts or futbol matches...
  • Safety at all times: a vast network of police was covering every corner, the event took place without any incident. All happened in a civic and peaceful way despite the high number of participants and the sensitive political content.


La Diada 2014

Behind a great event there is a strong communication campaign

For an event to be successful it´s not enough to just invite people, have a nice place with good music and good food. It is essential to know how to communicate it. In order to do so, you need a strong communication campaign and launch it early enough to ensure a high participation rate, and to reinforce the event´s key message.

In the case of Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014, the campaign "Ara es l'hora" which aired through online and offline communication channels, was created as the centerpiece of the event that led to a successful user registration, good logistics, high media coverage, Trending Topic creation on Twitter, and others. Let's look at the key points of the Diada 2014 from the point of view of communication and marketing:

  • "Ara es l'hora" a clear and simple slogan: it was used as the slogan of the campaign and had a high level of acceptance. It´s a clear message that reinforces the call to action of the Diada 2014 (create the “V”), but at the same time the phrase plays with the words and highlights the importance of demanding the catalan´s right to vote on November. This phrase has the ingredients for a successful slogan: very creative, short, highly emotional, wordplay and easy to remember.
  • "V" easy to capture graphical element: a picture is worth a thousand words, and the simpler the better. The "V" used in the Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014 was a smart move. It is a very graphic element that connects emotionally with the receptor (right to vote 9N) and can easily be created by the participants on the streets with the colors of the flag. Also, the “V” is an easy sign to do with your hands.
  • A well designed web: designed because and for the users. Easy to read, user friendly and fast. It automatically classified all registered users , assigned a location in one of the two avenues, and a color shirt to wear. (Wish my Facebook was this good).
  • Promotional material that is useful: for the event yellow and red shirts were designed with the campaign slogan. These shirts had three objectives: 1) promote the event; 2) be used by participants to create the flag; 3) raise funds from the sales destined to the organization in charge of the event.
  • Creating a Trending Topic: #CatalansVote9N, the hashtag created for the campaign "Ara es l'hora" became a global trending topic on Twitter in very little time. The hastag  was released around 8:14pm on the Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014 and had over 90,000 tweets in a few hours, according to Topsy.
  • Extensive media coverage: in order to make sure the press was informed at the day of the event a press conference with 40 national and international journalists took place. The news of Diada 2014 had wide coverage nationally and internationally,  and appeared in major newspapers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian, among others.


An event however large or small will always have its challenges, especially when it is a public event. The Catalonia´s National Day Diada 2014 has a high merit level when it comes to communication and marketing. It gathered 1,800,000 people in the two main avenues of the city of Barcelona. But it wasn't only that, each attendee must be in a precise place with a certain color shirt before 05:14pm, the decisive moment when finally the "V" would be formed and the celebrations would be made. Organizing a big concert in a large stadium with the support and sponsorship of major brands requires a lot, but imagine the effort behind an event like the Diada 2014 with the only support of hundreds of volunteers and donations. The good mix of all these key elements created the opportunity to have some fun on that day and why not? Maybe even make history.

By Nathaly Hermida y Jerom Tomás
Picture @araeslhora y @jerom021

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