Last week, Saatchi & Saatchi announced the elevation of Pablo Del Campo to worldwide creative director.
It is a position that had been vacant for five years after Bob Isherwood stepped down.
Del Campo certainly has a strong pedigree. His 14-year-old Buenos Aires-based agency, Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi, is a respected creative hotshop, handling work for Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Sony PlayStation and Cadbury. It has been the most-awarded Argentine agency for the past five years, according to The Gunn Report. He tried to export its winning formula to Spain in 2012, opening a Del Campo-branded office in Madrid.
Starting his career as a copywriter in 1989, Del Campo later became the creative director at Casares Grey. He then worked for Lautrec Saatchi & Saatchi and Young & Rubicam.
Del Campo is a big tennis fan. Appropriately, one of his most high-profile ideas pitted Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal against each other in the first match to be played on a half-grass, half-clay court. It was watched by more than 200 million people globally.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s UK and US offices have not been among the top-five most-awarded agencies in their markets in the past two years, according to The Gunn Report. It will be interesting to see if Del Campo can bring some of the famous Latin creative panache to the wider network.
What are your priorities in the new role?
First of all, to seek the best talent hand-in-hand with the people in charge of the creative departments in every office, while at the same time staying on the lookout for those pieces that make the difference, and seeing how we can make them develop further. I would say it’s what all creative directors do, but on a larger scale.
What is your plan for Saatchi & Saatchi’s global creative output?
Ideas bigger than ads. Ideas that make the news. Ideas that turn into showbiz and connect brands and people in a deeper sense. Lovemarks.
The worldwide creative director position has been vacant for five years. Why is that, and why has the agency decided to fill it now?
Bob was unique: he served 12 years as the worldwide creative director, and there is no tree that you can simply go to and pluck a replacement. We knew that when we did make an appointment, it would be a Saatchi & Saatchi person – someone of our culture and immersed in our beliefs, language, clients, work and people. We had an effective system of creative co-ordination in the meantime, and now I am fully ready to take on this role. Patience is a rare thing in our business – we have been patient and now we will accelerate.
Which parts of Saatchi & Saatchi are the strongest? And which are the weakest? What are you planning to do about this?
Again – Lovemarks. Lovemarks is tattooed on to the Saatchi & Saatchi culture. And it organises us quite well. Saatchi & Saatchi’s brand heritage and reputation are well-known far and wide. The reliability that offices such as Argentina and Brazil provide the network with is priceless. In both cases, it is connected to the edginess and approval of the agencies in each of their markets since they are targeted at very tolerant and open-minded consumers. If we could make that catch on in the other offices, we would be making huge progress. If Saatchi & Saatchi’s work helped people fall in love with advertising, that would be our greatest achievement.
How will you know if you have been successful?
I feel completely satisfied with what we have achieved in Argentina in almost 15 years of the agency. We wanted to make things happen. We focused on working hard and making our work excel. Having renowned pieces is a must. It would be amazing if we could get each office to come up with at least one hit. I honestly don’t think success is something you can define exclusively by rankings. You can be in the top three based on several shortlists or get some runners-up awards, but none of those things makes the difference. I love tennis: glory to me is a Grand Slam.
The reliability that the Argentina and Brazil offices provide is priceless. If we could make tht catch on, we would be making huge progress
Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi has been named the most-awarded agency in Argentina for the past five years in The Gunn Report. What is the secret to this success?
Consistency, in pretty much everything. I don’t really believe in those agencies that hit the jackpot one year and then disappear. I think what got the Argentine agency in the privileged place it is today was the ability to make successful pieces for important brands every year. The fact that Argentina came up with creative results for PlayStation, Coca-Cola, InBev, Cadbury, Pampers, Ariel or even the local brand BGH is exactly what makes the difference. We are hired by brands and they’re the ones that help our companies develop and grow.
Why do you think Argentina has a reputation as one of the world’s leading creative advertising markets?
Heritage – lots of years of good advertising. And, basically, Argentinians love advertising and talk about it with as much passion as they speak about football, the movie of the week or the sitcom of the year.
Which other markets are the most creative?
The UK – no doubt about it. That’s where it all started and there’s nothing more powerful than heritage. The British love advertising. That same love grew naturally on to Australians, South Africans, and Americans during the Super Bowl. That’s a great day for us too. The Super Bowl’s audience challenges clients to stand out. It’s the perfect chance for agencies seeking to be innovative.