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Camilla Facin and Nestor Garcia on Creativity in Madrid and Barcelona

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LBB spoke to Camilla Facin, head of strategic planning at LOLA MullenLowe Madrid and Nestor Garcia, executive creative director at LOLA MullenLowe Barcelona about working together, brand awareness in Spain, purpose versus localism, and much more

Camilla Facin and Nestor Garcia on Creativity in Madrid and Barcelona

Nouri Films, the Barcelona-based production and service company, has partnered with Little Black Book to sponsor the site’s Spanish Edition. As part of that, over the upcoming months we will be spending time with some of the most exciting creative talent the country has to offer.

Camilla Facin has been a senior brand strategist for more than 14 years within the advertising industry in Brazil and all over Europe, starting her career as a creative copywriter and moving up to head of strategic planning at LOLA MullenLowe Madrid. Nestor, on the other hand, began as an art director at Saatchi & Saatchi, later moved to Publicis where he spent seven years of his career and for the past 11 years he has been at LOLA MullenLowe Barcelona, where he moved from a creative director to an executive creative director, which is his current role. LBB caught up with Nestor and Camilla to find out more about each of their creative journeys, comparisons between the industry in their respective cities and the overall state of the industry in Spain. 



LBB> Tell us a little bit about your career journeys. How did you each get into the industry?


Nestor> My first answer won't be my bio because it is dull. Still, the most remarkable thing is that my trip has not been the traditional one for a creative. My first job was with a client; I worked in the advertising department of a multinational, and at that time I was very attracted to creativity. Still, I hardly understood anything about the business. Then, a few months after being there, I got into a meeting so that the agency (I could swear it was J Walter Thompson) could present their Christmas campaign. That meeting changed me. Seeing how ideas were told, the importance they gave, and the impact they generated, I felt that my place was on that side of the profession. So the next day, I began to prepare for the change, and a few months later, I started working at Saatchi&Saatchi; from there, I went to Publicis and finally to LOLA.

Many things have changed in these years, but something remains unchanged since that meeting - the love I feel for thought and ideas.

Camilla> I started at McCann in São Paulo, Brazil as a creative copywriter. I worked as a visionary for the first four years of my career. At McCann, I got in touch with the planning department and fell in love with communication and brand strategy. Since then, I have worked in the planning departments of different agencies in Brazil and Spain, such as DAVID, Publicis, and Lola MullenLowe. In total, it has been a fantastic journey of almost 15 years.


LBB> You started working together when Camilla joined LOLA MullenLowe. What were your first impressions of each other?  


Nestor> When she was introduced to me, the only thing I knew about her was the references that had come to me from other colleagues; everyone spoke very highly of her, but they were comments that you could more or less expect, but when we got to work I was surprised at how serious and rigorous she was, she is capable of not losing her concentration for a second, she is constantly focused and has great intelligence that allows her to reach places that other people do not and everything with naturalness and closeness that makes working with her enjoyable in every way.

Camilla> "Wow, he's tall!" I promised Nestor I wouldn't answer this, but it's impossible not to. He’s probably the tallest guy in advertising. Also, one of the most strategic, brightest, and kindest that I have ever worked with. Another thing that got my attention when I first met him was his calm demeanour. Agencies are usually loud and intense and it amazed me how Nestor would break a fierce discussion by calmly asking: “May I say one thing?” Then, we would come up with a fantastic point of view that none of us had thought of before, and that was the sharpest solution to the problem. Maybe that's why he's tall, so all his talent and generosity can fit in.


LBB> You are in different cities. Can you each describe the creative atmosphere in Madrid and Barcelona?


Nestor> We have worked in both agencies. I started in Madrid, and after three years, I came to Barcelona to open LOLA here. From the first day, we have tried to maintain our DNA and culture, but inevitably our atmosphere is generated. In our case, we define this atmosphere as a feeling of family, where talent is as essential as a human quality.

Camilla> You feel the creative atmosphere in Barcelona by simply walking on the streets. Besides nature's work, all the fantastic legacy from Gaudi, Domènech I Montaner, and Miró make Barcelona one of the most inspiring places for creative minds in all fields. Now the city is also experiencing a boom of innovative startups, pushing creativity forward towards technology. Still, I think there is more cross-cultural thinking about Barcelona due to the vast number of foreign people living there.

In Madrid, I feel the creative atmosphere is more inside buildings. For example, you walk in Lavapies and find one art gallery next to the other, with stunning work. Then you go to El Rastro and discover this old porn cinema converted into a bar. Not to mention all the legacy of the Movida Madrileña that you feel in every corner of Malasaña. In Madrid, there are also more agencies, studios, production houses, and galleries, attracting more creative minds. And as in Madrid, you have more people from different parts of Spain; I perceive creativity is more rooted in the Spanish culture.


LBB> Where do you situate the creative offering of LOLA MullenLowe amongst the various Spanish ad agencies? And ad agencies around the world?


Nestor> There are two paths to answer this question. 

The first easy and unreliable one, from my point of view, is to look at the creative festival rankings and look at the position you occupy to find out the answer. It has always gone well for us, but this implies seeing advertising as a constant competition, as if we were soccer teams. Honestly, I think it does not respond to the reality of this profession. However, even in football today, it is not unreliable; for some, the best are the ones who win; for others, the ones who play well, and this leads us to the second way of answering the question of when is an agency good creatively? 

Our point of view is that those who make it suitable are not only the juries of the festivals but also the people on the street; they are the ones who say if your creativity interests them or not, if it mobilises them or not, if it becomes culture or goes unnoticed and in that sense, LOLA succeeds.

Camilla> LOLA MullenLowe is a small, big agency. We are small enough to be brave and create disruptive work and big enough to have a global reach. We also have this combination of creativity and efficacy. We develop awarded campaigns that drive serious business results. We are in the middle, trying to combine the Latin spirit with the talent and ability to establish a first-class global work.


LBB> Looking across the advertising landscape in Spain today, how would you best describe it? What kind of campaigns are resonating with Spanish audiences?


Nestor> In Spain, as in other countries, brands have become aware of the world in which they live, and therefore, campaigns increasingly speak about their purpose on the planet and not so much about their product. It is somewhat simplistic, but it explains the change of tone and the communication. The elaborate and fictitious advertising language tends to disappear for less detailed speeches but is very anchored to the reality of people. For example, tomato brands used to talk to you about tomatoes and beer about beer. Now they clean the seas and save seals. As I said before, it is a very simplistic way of explaining a much more complex reality, but I am sure you understand.

Camilla> Here, there is an appreciation for the narrative. Spaniards love a good story. I feel that Spanish audiences engage more with emotional campaigns based on local insights. Like the work being developed by Cruzcampo, Loteria de Navidad, Ruavieja. For me, this was a struggle at the beginning. As a foreigner, it was hard to get local insights that felt authentic. Also, in terms of media, TV has an incredible reach here. It's even more significant than digital media, which is quite surprising nowadays.


LBB> How does this differ to consumer appetites in other countries?


Nestor> The truth is that it differs little, the conversation is increasingly global, and the purposes, except for some localisms, are shared. It is not uncommon to see similar product ideas and very different categories. Topics such as sustainability, ecology, and equality, among others, are part of a global conversation in which brands from all countries participate. 

Camilla> In our globalised world, I see fewer regional nuances each time. We are all consuming the same kind of content on streaming TV, social and audio platforms. But as I said in the previous answer, people still have a great appetite for a local flavour. And maybe this happens because local TV is still huge here. So, it's essential to arrive at local insights and use local ambassadors and expressions that are very different from Brazil, for example, where people usually see things that come from abroad as a signal of quality.

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Nouri Films, Thu, 21 Jul 2022 15:20:10 GMT