Pablo Del Campo is the new worldwide creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, after 14 years of running the agency he founded in his native Argentina, Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi.
Mr. Del Campo, who will continue to be based in Buenos Aires, has also been running a Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi agency he started in Spain two years ago. He'll remain chairman of both those shops, but now will also spend a week every month in either New York or London.
In Argentina, his agency has always been deeply involved in international projects, one of the reasons Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi was named Ad Age's International Agency of the Year in 2011. Mr. Del Campo has also been Saatchi's regional creative director for the last seven years, and his agency is in charge of creative, planning and account service for Latin America for Procter & Gamble brands Head & Shoulders, Ariel (Tide) and Pampers. For Pampers, that work is often global.
Saatchi's global chief creative position has been vacant since Bob Isherwood left in 2008 after 22 years at Saatchi.
Mr. Del Campo is part of the rise of Latin creatives in global roles. The first, fellow Argentine Fernando Vega Olmos and one of Mr. Del Campo's mentors, headed global creative at JWT until the end of 2012. Alexandre Gama, founding partner of Neogama BBH in Brazil, took over John Hegarty's role as worldwide chief creative officer in July 2012. A year earlier, Jose Miguel Sokoloff, co-chairman and chief creative officer of Lowe SSP3 in Colombia, became president of the Lowe Global Creative Council.
Worldwide creative directors used to be disproportionately from far-flung English-speaking countries like Australia (including Mr. Isherwood) and New Zealand. Now they are just as likely to be from South America.
"When you're from a peripheral market and not from a central place, like North America or Europe, you must have a global mind to grow," he said. "You need creativity, and fresh ideas."
Argentina also encourages a global mind-set because the local market is so tumultuous. The badly-managed economy is in terrible shape, beset by inflation and a shortage of dollars.
$43.6B U.S. agency revenue
"Every 10 years we have a big crisis," Mr. Del Campo said philosophically. "When I started my career in 1989, it was hyperinflation. Then when I started my agency it was the corralito [when bank accounts were frozen in 2001]. Things change very fast and drastically. This is part of being Argentine."
Mr. Del Campo's new role is likely to mean more international duties for his two executive creative directors, Maxi Itzkoff and Mariano Serkin, who currently are creative leaders in both the Buenos Aires and Madrid agencies.
"We're identifying the top talent in the network," he said. "For Maxi and Mariano, I want them to have more responsibility around the world."
Under Mr. Del Campo, the agency has won creative prizes for everything from TV commercials, like the "Dads in Briefs" spot featuring sweaty dads lounging around the house in their underwear to sell BGH air conditioners, to big, nontraditional ideas. The agency sent a Coca-Cola truck around Argentina to collect soccer fans' cheers to fill a soccer stadium with a million virtual fans. For Mondelez' Beldent (Trident gum), the agency did a museum installation of identical twins, and proved that 73% of 481 people surveyed found the gum-chewing twin likely to have more friends and a better sex life.
"I still believe in traditional media, combined with interactive, and ideas bigger than traditional advertising," he said. "There's room for absolutely everything."
He vows not to be the kind of worldwide creative director whose main preoccupation is winning award shows. "Helping each office do its best work ever, that's the challenge."