Entitled 'Growth Hurts', the campaign aims to highlight the capabilities and campaigns from Wunderman Thompson LATAM and "invite brands to take risks, overcome obstacles, and lose fear of the unknown" in a bid to inspire potential partners to indulge in more innovative communications.
A two-minute central film describes how both people and companies face challenges growing up but, in the end, it’s worth it to create something inspirational. Uncertainty may be there, but it’s a beautiful thing to have courage and take chances to achieve the unexpected.
Growth Hurts launched off the back of a historic year for Wunderman Thompson LATAM in 2021, who won over 245 creative awards collectively including 14 Grands Prix, such as the first Argentinian Innovation Grand Prix for its ‘Degree Inclusive’ project for Unilever, the world’s first inclusive deodorant built in partnership with the disability community.
LBB's Addison Capper chatted with Wunderman Thompson LATAM CEO Juan Pablo Jurado to find out how the campaign is shaping the work his agency does and how it is influencing the way he leads it.
LBB> Wunderman Thompson LATAM launched its own campaign earlier this year - why was this something that you decided to do as a region?
Juan Pablo> Strangely enough, advertising agencies and communication companies don’t tend to have their own high-quality campaigns. You often just see reels that quickly show a range of work with a catchy tune in the background. Rather than making agencies stand out, this makes them all look the same. Because of this, at Wunderman Thompson LATAM, we decided to keep innovating and we acknowledge the need to tell our clients about everything we do in our company in a unique and emotional way. That’s why we developed a comprehensive campaign around the concept of ‘Growth Hurts’, produced with award-winning director Martín Donozo and the production company Ladoble.
LBB> Tell me about the 'Growth Hurts' message of that campaign. What inspired that?
Juan Pablo> Our inspiration was born from our global motto: “We inspire growth for ambitious brands”. At Wunderman Thompson, we have always partnered with our clients to grow their businesses; however, something we’ve learnt more recently is that it doesn’t matter what stage a company is in or where it wants to innovate (strategy, technology, business, talent, creativity, etc.), growth always hurts. We have also learnt that growth is far less painful when you’re in good company and that, in the end, it’s always worth it.
LBB> How is this campaign and that message driving the way that you're running Wunderman Thompson LATAM?
Juan Pablo> One of the key pillars at Wunderman Thompson LATAM is culture. We encourage a ‘One Team’ culture in our entire region, from Miami to Chile. And when we say ‘One Team’, we’re not just talking about the internal employees but about our clients, suppliers, and external partners too. That’s why ‘Growth Hurts’ was such a well-received concept; it speaks to everyone with honesty and emotion from a positive and empowering stance.
LBB> More generally, how are you evolving the way that you're leading Wunderman Thompson LATAM and why?
Juan Pablo> The way you manage a company changes and evolves over time. In our company, we are constantly adding new capabilities to our offering, so we always have new ways to facilitate growth for our clients. Any new talent must embrace the breadth of what we offer, so handling and retaining talent is another great challenge.
LBB> How are you using the campaign with current clients and to help win new ones?
Juan Pablo> This campaign’s concept addresses any stage a company is in. Growing and getting out of your comfort zone brings risks, uncertainty, and chances of failure. It sounds cliché but it’s also a very real feeling. That’s why ‘Growth Hurts’ has opened up conversations with both new and existing clients. It has helped us understand where challenges and fears lie, and discover how we can go through them together in the best possible way.
LBB> 2021 was a really positive year for Wunderman Thompson LATAM. As a leader, how do you navigate the year after a successful year? Is it about stabilising the ship or driving on for more? Or a healthy balance of both?
Juan Pablo> 2021 was a very good year for us but only because it was the result of five years of hard work in all the offices in the region. The time, passion, and energy we invested as a team has paid off in an exceptional way. Spectacular results only happen in a short period of time if we’re consistent. Our aim going forwards is to be consistent. Being proud of our work, feeling represented by it and having it display our values with its own signature. After such a great year, it would be easy to slow down but we are not going to do it. We know that we have to keep going and aim for more. We have great expectations for 2023.
LBB> How is 2022 shaping up now that we're coming into the latter stages of it?
Juan Pablo> All the work we’ve been doing from 2021 and early 2022 is shaping up for a great end to the year, and we’re expecting much of it to come out in 2023. No great work can get done in two months, it’s part of a process. Work can be a success in just a few months, but truly great work requires two or three years behind it to have spotless execution and great results. That’s what we’re aiming for.
LBB> Which markets within the region are particularly interesting or exciting for you and Wunderman Thompson at the moment and why?
Juan Pablo> We can say that it’s a very good moment for the whole region. Every office has something good to say. We have some important wins we are looking forward to being able to announce, as well as some ideas from LATAM for global brands executed in the United States. That’s the power of being a network with a ‘One Team’ mindset. We’re all united in thinking what’s best for our region and our clients. When that happens, your work becomes easier.
LBB> Which recent pieces of work from the region are you particularly proud of and why?
Juan Pablo> ‘Pirate Match’ from Mirum Brazil for DirecTV GO is a piece that I’d like to mention for its innovation and understanding of the media. It’s already picked up a few awards, including two Bronze in Entertainment for Sport and Brand Experience & Activation at Cannes Lions!
Our team in Argentina has also just launched an idea for Degree’s e-commerce in New York. We transformed any armpit into an Instagram shopper opportunity, using the armpits of celebrities, well-known sportspeople, and even the Statue of Liberty.
Another amazing idea is Wunderman Thompson Brazil’s campaign for Johnson & Johnson; one of the most important clients in our office. We created a music video with a famous local artist tackling menstrual poverty. That’s how we introduced this topic into Brazil’s popular culture, and we turned a campaign into a study and education case.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
Juan Pablo> We’re part of an incredible industry. Changes continue to be larger and more impactful. This makes the dynamic of keeping an active, different and competitive company a real challenge, but it is one that I love.