Pablo Del Campo on Why Colombian Advertising is Unique and Inspiring
Pablo Del Campo left his post as Saatchi & Saatchi’s Global Chief Creative Officer back in April, and in those seven months he has written a book (yet to be released), produced plays and been involved in the development of a digital platform for artists.
But he is far from done with adland - “I’m going to continue with advertising because it is what I really love,” he told LBB’s Addison Capper at ElDorado Festival in Bogotá, Colombia, last week. Pablo was chairing the jury of the festival’s fifth edition - one way of him keeping in touch with his beloved advertising industry while he waits for a non-compete period to come to an end next year (when his book ‘Blank Page Drama’ will also be released).
He was enthused by the level of work that he and the jury (which was made up of international talent from Malagueta Brazil, J. Walter Thompson Puerto Rico, Saatchi & Saatchi New York, 72andSunny Amsterdam and Y&R Chile) saw. “What I saw was very inspirational and insightful work which has the capability of becoming something very famous. This is something that’s very unique here in Colombia,” he says. “Here you can find ideas that could become a trending topic, the front page of a newspaper or on the radio on the day they’re launched. That’s something that you don’t necessarily find in other countries. The ideas that I found most inspiring and that won in the festival are those kinds of ideas.”
An obvious reason for this permeation into popular culture is the current political landscape in Colombia. A second peace treaty is just around the corner that’s expected to go through (the initial treaty was shunned by an extremely close public referendum), bringing more than 50 years of war between the government and FARC guerrilla forces to an end, and peace to the country. Pablo believes that, if you dig a little deeper and think a little broader, these problems are more universal - and the ideas of the Colombian industry can cross borders because of that.
“There is the war with the FARC but ultimately this is a matter of peace against war. This is global. I really feel that the creatives here have the skills to solve the kind of social problems that you have in Colombia but also globally.”
But that doesn’t mean to say there isn’t room for improvement. “Colombia is very strong at crafting ideas that become famous and perform well from a PR perspective,” he says. “Just look at ‘Balígrafo’ [Bulletpen, which won the festival Grand Prix and Titanium awards] - that idea could be in a museum. But I feel the storytelling could be improved upon. When you look at the traditional 30- or 60-second films, they could really be developed.”
When asked of his favourite campaigns from the show, Pablo reeled off, in addition to ‘Balígrafo’, Coca-Cola’s ‘Say Coke’ (Leo Burnett, Colombia), Casa Luker’s ‘Lifesaver Backpack’ (J. Walter Thompson, Colombia) and Listerine’s ‘Santa Cruz del Islote F.C.’ (Proximity Colombia). But it was a film by telecommunications company ETB that really made him jealous as a creative, thanks to his love of a certain series of wizarding novels and films.
“I love Harry Potter. These guys played Quidditch in real life by jumping out of a plane! They turned something fantastical into something true. Amazing."
Genre: PR , People , Strategy/Insight