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“Dreaming Two Steps Above Reality” with Wunderman Thompson’s New Global ECDs


LATAM CCOs Dany Minaker and Patán Tarazaga discuss their creative partnership and becoming global ECDs at Wunderman Thompson, writes LBB’s Ben Conway

“Dreaming Two Steps Above Reality” with Wunderman Thompson’s New Global ECDs

Just before summer, Wunderman Thompson announced the promotion of its LATAM CCOs ‘Dany’ Minaker and Sebastian ‘Patán’ Tarazaga to the position of global ECDs. As well as continuing their creative leadership role in the LATAM region, the pair - who won 14 Grand Prix awards across all major industry festivals throughout 2021 - have new duties in a global capacity, including creative leadership on the Coca-Cola account for Wunderman Thompson, as part of the bespoke WPP OpenX unit.

Following a few months of settling in, after moving to Miami to facilitate their new roles, LBB’s Ben Conway decided it was time to catch up with the duo and discuss how this exciting new chapter is going so far, their philosophy as creative partners - and what their plans are for the future.

Dany says, “Miami is a place with an impressive Latin culture and ambitious technological and artistic growth. It’s very well connected to other major cities around the world and the time zone allows us to easily work with teams in LATAM, Europe, and the West Coast. It was a big challenge for us and our families so it will take time to adjust, but we’re really happy with our decision.”

Whilst still remaining involved with “one of Wunderman Thompson’s most creative regions” in their Latin American CCO duties, Patán explains that their new global roles mean that the majority of their time will be spent “leading creative for the Coca-Cola account for Wunderman Thompson,” where the pair will be working across a number of exciting projects and brands. Taking inspiration from the soft drink giant’s legendary influence in shaping the modern depiction of Santa Claus - a personal favourite marketing moment for the creative - he says, “The global projects are always challenging, but we see it as a great opportunity to learn. Working on such an iconic brand is a huge honour and one that will (hopefully) mean our work has longevity.” 

Ensuring that their LATAM roots and continuing responsibilities in that region are not forgotten, Dany adds, “Latin America has a great creative history and presence on advertising’s world stage, and a lot of that comes down to how many people from Latin America work in creative departments around the world. In our global role, we hope we can bring our Latin spirit to the work and help to elevate that higher in the industry to keep this momentum going and attract global creative and business opportunities to the region.”

The duo first made their presence known on the international scene with Wunderman Thompson Argentina’s success at Cannes Lions 2020/2021. With the ‘Degree Inclusive’ campaign, the world's first adaptive deodorant built with a diverse disability community, Dany and Patán’s team impressed the world by winning the Innovation Grand Prix – the first Innovation Grand Prix in Argentina’s history, and the first ever for Wunderman Thompson. 

“It has become one of the most awarded campaigns in the brand’s history,” says Patán. “It was incredible to be part of the team that moved an idea like this one forward, and we learnt a lot by working with different partners across the world throughout the process. The campaign had an enormous impact, both on the people it was designed for and in wider culture, and we truly believe it helped inspire the brand and other businesses to consider the importance of designing in a more inclusive way.”

Interestingly, the creative partners’ story began some years prior with a different antiperspirant project. Their first collaboration together was a football-related campaign for Unilever’s Rexona Deodorant, which allowed them to combine their talents for a “satisfying” film that gave them plenty of opportunities to work alongside each other and many stories to tell… but those are tales for another time.     

As global ECDs, they are now in “constant contact” with Wunderman Thompson’s global CCOs Bas Korsten and Daniel Bonner, who themselves provide inspiration for the Argentinians, and are one of the reasons that motivated them to take on the global positions in the first place. “We hope that, in our global role, we’ll be able to contribute to their mission of fostering a culture of creative bravery across the network, to take our creative to the next level,” says Dany. “In turn, this will help grow the business and WPP’s relationship with key global clients.” 

Contributing to the global CCOs’ creative bravery, Patán says he and Dany bring “passion, energy, and a career-long philosophy” to the table. This mantra, he reveals, is: “It’s hard to beat a team that never gives up.” Used to working in a region that they believe has more obstacles than most, the new global ECD says that they apply this teaching to everything - “to our day-to-day, to the projects that we face, to our goals and, above all, to our dreams.” Dany adds, “If we were able to do a good job in LATAM, we know we can do it anywhere.”    

As well as this philosophy of perseverance, a piece of advice that the creatives use as a north star is to “keep it simple.” From communicating ideas to proposing solutions or writing scripts, both Dany and Patán believe “everything is better and easier” if you say it simply. “Particularly now, when people are exposed to so many different stimuli, we try to apply this to everything we do. For example, asking our teams to tell us their ideas in a Tweet. It’s a great exercise that sounds simple, but it’s a lot harder than you think - and not everyone can do it,”Danny adds. 

As creatives, there’s nothing that makes the duo happier than seeing an idea come to life - something that’s become even more exciting now they’re able to do it on a global level. “It’s one thing seeing this happen (and be awarded) on a regional level,” says Patán, “but now we can play on the world stage and the world will know about our ideas. That’s very exciting for us.” On the flip side, frustration can arise from great ideas that, for whatever reason, never get to see the light of day - but according to them, this shouldn’t prevent people in the industry from breaking out of repetitive and safe formulas for success. “It’s difficult to keep innovating with the same brand. That said, it’s our job to take clients out of their comfort zone to help them do spectacular things that still achieve their goals.” 

Dany adds, “A hallmark of the LATAM region is being able to do great things with very little. That’s a virtue, and something other regions could definitely learn from.” 

When they’re not busy working across both of their international roles, Patán likes to slow cook and use his smoker, relaxing with some good food and a vinyl after his kids have gone to bed. Whereas Dany keeps his creative brain engaged, going to the cinema, painting and giving creativity or mentorship classes, as well as staying active with different sports. Looking ahead to their upcoming professional projects, however, the pair say that they want to “fill people’s souls with joy,” - constantly thinking about where their ideas could go and never accepting ‘can’t’ as an answer.

“We will never stop dreaming and striving to do things in the best possible way. We think dreaming two steps above reality is the way to go because, even if reality takes you back, you will always stay ahead.” 

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Wunderman Thompson Buenos Aires, Tue, 13 Sep 2022 16:26:00 GMT