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The Magic of Metro Advertising: Meet Marina Prieto
The Magic of Metro Advertising: Meet Marina Prieto

The Magic of Metro Advertising: Meet Marina Prieto

In the bustling heart of Madrid, a unique advertising campaign recently took the city by storm, captivating thousands of daily commuters and proving that even the most unexpected personalities can become social media sensations. This campaign, masterminded by JCDecaux and DAVID Madrid, centered around Marina Prieto, a 100-year-old woman whose life and personality shone brightly across the Metro’s advertising spaces: Meet Marina Prieto

The Birth of a Campaign

Every day, millions of people use the Madrid Metro, creating a vibrant and diverse audience perfect for impactful advertising. JCDecaux, a leading outdoor advertising company, teamed up with the creative minds at DAVID Madrid to launch a campaign that would not only catch the eye but also touch the heart.

The concept was simple yet powerful: showcase Marina Prieto, an endearing centenarian with a zest for life, in various everyday scenarios. From celebrating her 100th birthday to enjoying a leisurely nap, Marina’s genuine moments were displayed on posters throughout the Metro stations. These posters featured her Instagram handle (@marinaprieto1923), inviting the public to follow her journey.

The Enigma of Marina

When the posters first appeared, they sparked curiosity and intrigue. Who was this charming older woman, and what was her story? Commuters began to notice Marina’s cheerful face at stations like Rubén Darío, Lucero, Argüelles, Manuel Becerra, and Nuevos Ministerios. The campaign cleverly withheld immediate explanations, allowing the mystery to build organically as people discussed and speculated both offline and online.

This intrigue was a strategic move by JCDecaux and DAVID Madrid to demonstrate the effectiveness of Metro advertising. By creating a buzz, they highlighted how well-placed ads in high-traffic areas could penetrate public consciousness and generate significant word-of-mouth.

From 28 Followers to Social Media Stardom

Before the campaign, Marina Prieto’s Instagram account had a modest following of 28 people. However, as commuters began to interact with her story, her follower count skyrocketed to over 5,000. The campaign’s success in driving online engagement underscored a critical point: Metro advertising can seamlessly bridge the gap between offline and online worlds, turning passive observers into active participants.

A Day in the Life of Marina

The content on Marina’s Instagram showcased her daily life, from blowing out candles on her birthday cake to strolling through the park. Each post exuded warmth and authenticity, inviting followers to connect with Marina on a personal level. This authentic storytelling approach resonated deeply, as it deviated from the often impersonal nature of traditional advertising.

The Grand Reveal

On October 20th, 2023, Marina visited Madrid for the first time in her life. Seeing her face on the advertising spaces at Francos Rodríguez station was a surreal experience for her. She expressed her joy and wonder, capturing the hearts of onlookers and further amplifying the campaign’s reach. Her grandson, Ángel Vigo Prieto, who had originally started the Instagram account to share her life with family, accompanied her and shared their experiences with the public.

Behind the Scenes: The Strategy

The brains behind this campaign, JCDecaux and DAVID Madrid, aimed to showcase the power of outdoor advertising in an innovative way. They selected a real-life influencer, someone relatable and endearing, to carry their message. Ricardo Valcárcel, the marketing director of JCDecaux, explained that the campaign was designed to prove that the Metro is a barrier-free communication medium capable of generating conversations that extend beyond physical spaces into social media, press, and everyday chatter.

The Impact of Outdoor Advertising

This campaign’s success is a testament to the potential of well-executed outdoor advertising. It demonstrated that with creativity and a touch of human warmth, advertisements can transcend their traditional roles and become powerful tools for social connection and engagement.

Marina’s story resonated with people from all walks of life, proving that effective advertising isn’t about pushing products but about telling stories that people can relate to and be inspired by. The Metro, with its constant flow of diverse commuters, provided the perfect canvas for this narrative, showing that sometimes, the most compelling messages come from the most unexpected sources.

Lessons Learned

  1. Authenticity Matters: People are drawn to genuine stories. By focusing on Marina’s real-life experiences, the campaign fostered a deep emotional connection with the audience.
  2. Engagement Beyond Boundaries: The campaign “Meet Marina Prieto” seamlessly integrated offline and online elements, showing that traditional advertising mediums can effectively drive digital engagement.
  3. Curiosity as a Tool: By initially withholding information and allowing the public to speculate, the campaign generated organic interest and discussion.
  4. Humanizing Brands: In a world saturated with commercial messaging, human stories stand out. This campaign reminded brands that connecting with audiences on a personal level can be incredibly impactful.


The story of Marina Prieto and her rise to Instagram fame through the Madrid Metro is more than just an advertising success; it’s a heartwarming reminder of the power of storytelling. JCDecaux and DAVID Madrid have shown that with creativity, authenticity, and strategic placement, advertising can do more than sell—it can inspire, connect, and move people.

As we look to the future of advertising, let Marina’s story serve as a beacon, guiding brands to embrace the human element in their campaigns. After all, in the crowded world of advertising, it’s the genuine, heartfelt messages that truly make a lasting impact.