Maria’s abuelita could have predicted that she would end up in advertising. As a toddler she would only interrupt her imaginative play to watch the commercials that punctuated the novelas that served as the overly-dramatic soundtrack to their home.
Her road to Group Director at Zubi is ripe with interesting detours that inform her strategic perspective. Focusing on the evolution of U.S. Hispanic identity during her studies at Yale, Maria has spent over 15 years analyzing and engaging this consumer group. Initially taking a more creative approach to connecting with this audience, Maria worked as a copywriter and journalist, writing for leading publications including Latina, The Miami Herald, Teen People, MSN.com and CitySearch.com, and producing a bilingual PM magazine show called Generation ñ for USA Networks.
Wanting to dial up the engagement of her left-brain talents, Maria shifted her focus back to strategy, developing and managing Hispanic marketing campaigns for consumer packaged goods leaders including Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, R.C. Bigelow, and Nestlé Waters NA, working on Bigelow Tea, Bounty, Dentyne, Juicy Juice, Lysol, Nescafé, Nesquik, Pampers and more. Leading program development and activation for Nestlé USA’s Hispanic multi-brand co-marketing initiatives, Maria worked on site for almost 2 years, working with the Brand, Multicultural and Customer Teams to develop culturally-relevant, integrated shopper solutions that drove incremental volume and successfully engaged Hispanic consumers at top customers.
Returning to Zubi in 2011, Maria puts that shopper expertise to work as the lead on the agency’s CPG and Retail businesses. With the help of her morning cup of Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut Coffee and 2-3 carefully timed shots of Café Bustelo, she currently manages account teams that support Dunkin’ Donuts, Disney and Johnson & Johnson, having previously managed Walgreens, S.C. Johnson, The J.M. Smucker Company and SunnyD for Zubi.