La Comunidad co-founder Jose Molla originally made a name for himself as a creative director on Nike, out of Wieden + Kennedy Portland and Amsterdam. Then more than a decade ago, the Argentine native and his brother Joaquin opened their own shop in Miami and Buenos Aires. La Comunidad has become a force of its own in both the general and multicultural markets, landing on Ad Age's Agency A-List this year and turning out work known for its cultural savvy--including a Volvo app that allowed users to get an x-ray view of the car, an MTV campaign that became a series on the network and a Converse campaign that brought beauty to rundown areas of Latin America.
And while it may be industry knowledge that Mr. Molla has survived a shark attack, that tidbit is just a small anecdote from this creative leader's action-packed life. Here's this week's installment of Six Things, our ongoing series uncovering little-known facts about adland's creative leaders.
1. His grandfather opened an ad agency. Luis J. Molla launched Argentine shop Exitus, in 1925. His father Rodolfo opened another ad agency, called Molla y Molla. You could say it runs in the family.
2. He became a writer by following fire trucks. In his late teens he used to hang out with his stoned friends in front of a fire station, waiting for a fire truck to storm out with the sirens blasting. That's when the best reality show ever would begin. Riding their motorcycles, they would follow the truck to witness the fiery scene at the heart pumping journey's end. Filled with adrenaline, Jose would then write stories inspired by each of the dramas.
3. A Pyschic saw his future. A long, long time ago a fortune-teller described to Jose a meeting with a grey-haired and bearded mystery man who was going to propel Jose's international career. Eight years later, Jose was in the middle of the interview with Dan Wieden when he realized what the heck she was talking about. However, she failed to be specific about one thing: Jose was convinced that he was going to Portland, Maine, not Oregon.
4. La Comunidad was created on a boat. His first daughter too. Given Jose's love for the water, it should not come as a surprise that there is a direct correlation between wind strength picking up, and his meetings being postponed. He is an avid kite surfer and the agency is a few blocks away from the ocean.
5. He's hated Santa Claus since he was a child. He always thought he was a creepy old guy. Actually, he still believes that no kid should be made to sit on "that guy's" lap.
6. He doesn't think with an accent. He promises.