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Why Wunderman Thompson Mexico Wants to Build a Reputation in 2023

Advertising Agency
Mexico City, Mexico
The agency’s CCO, Omar Fabián, and ECD, Jonathan McVinish, discuss “a year of firsts” and game-changing plans for 2023, writes LBB’s Ben Conway

Omar Fabián is the chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson Mexico, and after a year of ‘firsts’ - navigating the remote working landscape with a 60-strong team and taking his first steps in the automotive ad sphere with VW - he’s excited to lead the agency’s creative in 2023. However, he’s not doing this alone. Alongside Omar is ECD, Jonathan McVinish - a man who shares a similar, digital-first professional background with the CCO, as well as a joint desire to utilise their creative freedom effectively, which Jonathan says aligns with the agency’s vision.

Looking back on their first year as a creative partnership, and as leaders within the company, Omar says, “The most enjoyable moments for me have been sharing the creative direction of the agency with [Jonathan] McVinish. It’s been such a good match in terms of vision and digital background. It must have something to do with the fact that he also started his career on a digital basis and his connections to culture, but it may also just be his great taste in music!”

Jonathan explains that the main goals of their first 12 months were “the transformation, integration, and consolidation of the creative team to develop fresher creativity that’s connected to the culture, and supported by technology in a more competitive way.” Still needing to unify the mix of talent that was brought together through JWT and Wunderman’s 2018 merger, the pair set about to establish a ‘North Star’ and develop a core identity for the personnel to rally around. 

“A key goal has been the development of a digital creative culture throughout the agency with a fresh point of view,” says Omar. “Wunderman Thompson is not your typical creative agency; we’re also a part-consultancy and part-technology company. So, building a unique creative vision has been important to unify our non-conventional product.”

Adjusting to life in a large global network after working in smaller independents can be a challenge. Although he says that the hunger for challenging ideas, love for the creative process and pride in the results are universal, regardless of a company’s size, Omar adds that there was a “huge difference” between his experiences at previous organisations, like the agency Only IF. Fortunately, this difference was exactly what he was looking for. 

“I moved to be part of a community that would allow me to exchange ideas with people from other countries, come up with ideas for brands from a global perspective, and lead a bigger team.” 

Up until this point, Omar’s career path has been somewhat unconventional - starting out as an illustrator and web designer before a “series of coincidences” led him to stop simply making microsites and banners for clients, and to start developing creative marketing ideas. “Since that moment I’ve been learning, questioning and discovering how I could contribute to the industry, complementing my skills by focusing on digital and real-life experiences, entertainment and how non-linear storytelling could help brands connect best with the right audience,” he says. “The truth is that I’ll never stop learning and having a good time in the process, always looking for digital-first ideas.”

In parallel with his creative partner, Jonathan also began his journey as a web designer, before using his skills in digital experiences to transition into agency life, eventually helping consolidate the creative operations of KTBO Mexico and draftLine Mexico. “Starting in the digital realm was very fortunate because it gave me a broader and fresher perspective of the industry from the beginning,” says the ECD. “Now my challenge is to keep developing my career by producing great things at Wunderman Thompson Mexico.”

Some of these “great things” included a variety of big projects for household names in 2022, from a launch campaign for season four of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ to campaigns for Samsung, The North Face, HSBC and Coca-Cola. Internally, the agency also created a specialised hub for digital content creation and integrated new digitally-inclined talent to continue the development of this offering into 2023. 

It seems that the new year brings with it much change and excitement for the Wunderman Thompson Mexico team, who will soon be operating from a freshly-built office as part of the new WPP campus in Mexico. “It will be a big game changer for us,” says Omar, who is looking forward to the new space and the ever-increasing acceptance and enthusiasm his clients and the wider industry show for digital-first avenues. 

From a regional perspective, Omar believes that this digital embrace has been influenced by the economic context in which the Mexican industry finds itself today. In a nation, like many others, still suffering from the lasting effects of a global pandemic and hyperinflation, Mexican businesses continue to feel the financial pain and remain cautious about where and how much they invest.

“Many clients have become more digital because of how accurate you can be… and to be more strategic without letting go of great ideas,” he says. “The international context has greatly affected some industries - the increase in the price of raw materials and the lack of microchips have changed the products or services of several companies, and therefore their needs. I believe that the opportunity lies in how we can accompany our clients in these changes, adding value to them through creativity.”

Despite the ongoing economic hardship in the country, and for many around the world, Omar looks optimistically toward the 12 months ahead for Wunderman Thompson Mexico.

“The name of the game for this year is to build a reputation for the agency. We’re developing a couple of ideas that we really like and have ranked well in our agency creative councils and the clients have loved them too. We are going to make them happen while looking for more projects that will generate a good reputation for us.”

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