This week in our ad chat we meet up with Manuel Bordé, most recently at DDB Latina Puerto Rico but right now Manuel is really busy packing, as he is heading to Dubai this week, where he'll be senior creative (copy) at BBDO. He took some time out between folding shirts and matching up socks to reply to these questions...
Who is your favorite mentor and why?
I've come across pretty good mentors in my short career, but I keep 2 very much in mind. First one is John Raul Forero current Creative VP for Ogilvy Colombia who gave me my first shot at the business back when i was a trainee, I admire his work and leadership very much and hear his advice from time to time, and also Mauricio Rocha, current VP from Y&R Colombia, I had him as a boss in DDB Colombia and he is a very passionate person for the business, he lives and breathes advertising and somehow manages to make you feel the same about it.
You sound like you've travelled a bit, where have you worked and studied before?
Yeah, my father, R.I.P, was a pilot so we used to travel a lot.. I was born in Miami, I lived as a toddler in Brazil and Venezuela, and then ended up doing my studies in Colombia. I guess that's why I Love the idea of working at different places and markets, up until now I have worked in Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico and.... well Asia is the next step, let's hope not the last.
I find this rather interesting, many creatives in advertising are like you (and me) travelers, do you think it helps to be a nomadic person when working in advertising, and if so how?
I believe it does, yet some people see it as a sign of instability. I think it is important for us creatives to know other markets, other cultures, other types of budgets, clients, problems, etc… Creatives should tend to think advertising at a global level, a good concept and storytelling should work here and anywhere else, though there are some local exceptions, the vast majority of it should accomplish this. Sometimes we get comfortable at a place.. and this I believe is terrible for a creative, I believe uncomfortness brings the highest creative peak in advertisers, whether this uncomfortness means arriving to a strange unfamiliar land, a new place, having a new creative VP to convince, or learning how to deal with new culture and clients.
What work are you most proud of?
The Axe morning after pillow gave us our first Lion, so its a matter of pride and heart, but the Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo - Puerto Rico Youth at Risk - got shortlisted in film… which after you see what was competing and won.. feels like a prize as well because there was lots of fantastic material this year.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
For a start I wish someone had told me not to enroll at a traditional Advertising Curriculum in Colombia.. but rather a creative school like Miami Ad school or La escuelita in Argentina and so on.
Portfolio schools are better?
Yeah way better.. and shorter in time than colombian universities. I would say what they already must know.. Work your ass off with passion and enjoy what you do in order to do it better… I believe once you start having fun is when it's most likely to create great things.
But something really important that young ad students or trainees forget is that.. Talent is good, but don't forget your own PR. The first brand you come across to work with is you yourself. You could have a lot of talent but if you don't know how to make people know you have it, well chances are nobody will call you tomorrow.
Same happens the other way… you could know how to show yourself but lack of talent will only build a house of cards that well, eventually will crumble.
So, focus on your talent and making it better each day but never forget how to sell it.. and how to make of yourself an interesting brand in the advertising world.
Tell us something we don't know about you....
"This might bite me in the ass, but I never learned how to ride a bike... So I'm not likely to work in the advertising hotspots China or Amsterdam..."
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Dena Walker, Digital Strategist at Irish International in Dublin, Ireland
Bernie Watt, copywriter at Make, in Sydney, Australia
Ron Smrczek, Executive Creative Director of TAXI Europe
Vincent Vella, Creative Director - Grey Paris, Euro RSCG and Publicis.
Gideon Amichay, Creative Chairman of Shalmor Avnon Amichay Y&R Tel Aviv
Richard Tseng, Freelance Copywriter at CP+B
Claudiu Florea, Managing Partner - Wunderkid, Romania
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Laura Jordan Bambach, Executive Creative Director LBi
Simon White Creative Lead from Rapp, London
Richard Gorodecky Executive Creative Director at Amsterdam Worldwide
Ray Page Creative Director at Tribal DDB
Adam Pierno of Off Madison Ave.
Edward Boches of Mullen
Dirk Singer of Rabbit, UK
Gareth Kay of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners
Tim Brunelle of Hello Viking
Rob Schwartz of TBWA\Chiat\Day