For the last 16 years, Santiago has worked with a wide variety of local and global clients at independent creative agencies in Buenos Aires, Miami, and New York.
Along the way, he developed strong conceptual and strategic thinking skills and a knack for bringing simple solutions to complicated briefs.
He has been lucky enough to work with clients like Burger King, Volvo, Pepsi, Corona, Heineken, Apple, Optimum, Rolling Stone. He has been recognized by all major advertising awards, winning over 200 accolades, including 11 Cannes Lions, a D&AD White Pencil, a One Show Green Pencil, winner of the first-ever World Changing Ideas by Fast Company, and 12 Grand Prix among others.
His work has helped We Believers to become #6 Innovation Agency & #10 independent Agency of the year in 2016 according to the Cannes Global Report. They were also named Best Independent Agency at El Ojo de Iberoamérica four times.
In his spare time, he created the interactive experiment “The Image Language”, featured in Gizmodo, USA Today, Social Times and in 164 countries. He has written almost 200 stories on paper napkins and is writing his first children's book.
1. What was your very first job?
My first job was buying and selling all kinds of stuff in a shop called Cash Converters. It was the best training camp for advertising.
2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
As an Executive Creative Director and copywriter, I work hands-on with a small group of talented people to try to come up with solutions with our clients.
3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Was there a train of events that brought you where you are today?
I knew I wanted to join the creative world on May 25th, 2001, when I walked into an advertising agency for the first time. I was meeting a friend of a friend, Archie Campos, at Bozell Vazquez, an agency in Buenos Aires. I'll never forget the people running with foam dart guns, the script to review, and the vibe. I was blown away.
4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
I believe you have to be up to speed with everything in the ad industry to know what's already been done, but at the same time keep a distance so you do something totally different. A beautiful paradox. So, I move like waves. I go and take a look at what's new and then go and read the biography of tennis player Andre Agassi. Again, deep into the latest winners and back again to a web about memes. Best of Show, then building a block fortress with my kids. Back and forth, with eyes and ears as open as I can.
5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation rather than its recognition or industry "success," what would it be?
All of them. And each of them for different reasons. From our latest, Burger King's “Cows’ Menu”, to the first one I had published in a Sunday newspaper, a lower third black and white ad for Suzuki. But if I have to pick one, it would be “The Image Language”. It was a personal project back in 2012 that translated words into the first image of Google images. It was fun and we learned so much by doing it.
6. Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? Which of these disciplines are you most interested in seeing at CONNECTIONS? (ie photo, film, production, social, experiential, vr, cgi, animation etc)
It’s not about the format, it’s all about the idea. If you can connect with people in a way that resonates with them, offering an experience that they can’t wait to share, you are in a good direction. Whether it's social, experiential, direct, AI, it’s all about connecting in a relevant way