NEW YORK (AdAge.com) –- Oswald Mendez, one of the U.S. Hispanic market's best-known and most innovative media executives, is leaving the Vidal Partnership after seven years to set up his own business, to be called Collective Transformation.
Mr. Mendez, currently Vidal's managing partner, director of integrated communications, has been planning to start his own company since late last year, and will stay at the U.S. Hispanic agency until May to help with the transition at Vidal.
At Collective Transformation, which won't focus specifically on the Hispanic market, Mr. Mendez wants to help companies and brands find their way, especially those that need a catalyst for innovation.
"We want to transform everything we touch by connecting great ideas and like-minded entities, leveraging their collective wisdom to improve people's lives and creating prosperity for everyone in the process," he said. "We are unifiers; facilitators and incubators. I've been looking at what social networks do for the digital space. What if that took place in the real world?"
At Vidal, Mr. Mendez has been best known in recent years for pioneering branded entertainment in the U.S. Hispanic market. For car maker Nissan, he created "The Nissan Re-Match," a reality series in which former World Cup teams from the U.S. and Mexico reunited to train for a showdown soccer match. He also developed a music-based reality show for Sprint, and a prime-time TV special for JC Penney timed to target Black Friday shoppers.
"Content is a big passion of mine," he said.
Vidal Partnership CEO Manny Vidal said Mr. Mendez won't be replaced as a managing partner. The media department, one of the areas Mr. Mendez oversaw, is run by media director Lucilla Iturralde, he said.
"Now content development is second nature to the agency and it's everyone's responsibility," Mr. Vidal said. "We'll always support Oswald, and if we can be one of his first clients, we'd love to. There are ideas we're working on together that we'll continue when he's at his new company."
Mr. Mendez, 39, started his career at McCann Erickson as a global coordinator for Coca-Cola, then created a strategic unit at McCann Erickson in Mexico to improve the agency's media offering. Back in Miami, he rolled out Universal McCann in Latin America. A year's sabbatical followed, which included being a contestant on CBS's "Amazing Race" reality show. He was later called back for the "Amazing Race: All-Stars" series because viewers loved the Cuban-American's laid-back style.
At Collective Transformation, Mr. Mendez is starting with a pro bono account, working with Mount Sinai's Adolescent Health Center to help raise their profile with corporate donors as well as increasing awareness among male teens regarding the services they provide.
"It lets me do some good, and test my business model with a low-risk client," he said.