He led an important and innovative campaign so that his agency was one of the most awarded in the most recent Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. He won a Grand Prix for the best piece presented at the event.
How was the MullenLowe SSP3 agency born?
In 1995, when I was manager of McCann Colombia, I proposed to Humberto Polar, then creative director of the same agency, and to José Miguel Sokoloff, creative director of Leo Burnett, to found an agency in which creativity was truly the determining factor. The agency model in the country at that time was the American multinationals, very large and solid, but not necessarily highlighted by their creative product. We wanted to have an agency that modelled the iconic English or Brazilian agencies, in which creativity was the priority.
How did MullenLowe SSP3 consolidate itself as an advertising reference in the world?
The only way we could have done it: consecrating our efforts to do consistently creative work, without ever losing focus. And here I make a clarification: the reason why we believe in creativity is the deep conviction that this is the most efficient way to invest in advertising.
What were the fundamental factors that made MullenLowe SSP3 the most awarded Colombian agency at Cannes?
I was part of the team that won the first Lion in the history of Colombia: a bronze in 1993, that the whole industry celebrated, as it should. Today, our agency has obtained 27 Cannes Lions in its 22 years of existence. That is only possible, as I said before, with consistency. And for that there are vital aspects, such as generating and sustaining the “culture” of a company. Our culture is based on believing in creativity and using creativity to solve communication problems.
What do you think your agency, unlike many others, contributes to the country’s innovation?
First you have to understand that innovation does not necessarily mean something technological or futuristic. We understand innovation as a novel way of solving a problem, and in that we are experts. Our philosophy is that for each brand we work with, we must also work on a social project, and in that sense we know that we are different. We do not think and create only for brands; we do it for society.
From your point of view and your experience, what is the legacy of both publicists in their role, and advertising as a field of study?
We are convinced that there is nothing more powerful than a good idea and, as I said, creativity is the center of the business. But also in each new project we seek to ensure our work also services the community. In addition to generating innovative ideas, we are managing to direct our creative potential to generate real solutions that improve people’s lives and that makes us proud.
How does advertising influence the development of the country?
Colombia is a country full of social problems. If we manage to generate a sense of responsibility in all the brands, if we convince them not only to sell a product, but that each one can make strong contributions to seek a better society, we will surely improve it. People are asking today what brands are doing for society: why should they buy them? What is your commitment to a better world? Today brands have to do before they say.
Do you think that the recognition obtained at Cannes Lions 2018 positively influences the image of the country abroad?
Undoubtedly. Cannes Lions is the most prestigious festival of publicity in the entire world, and in which more than 40,000 works compete. This year, for the first time in history, Colombia was the second most awarded Latin American country, after Brazil and surpassing Argentina, which is a power. Out of the total number of prizes won by the country, we contributed more than half: a Grand Prix, three golds, five silvers, a bronze and four finalist ideas in the categories of Innovation, Mobile, Direct Marketing, Brand Experience, Print and Publishing, Outdoor, Media and Public Relations.