Although Argentines and Brazilians tend to be fierce rivals
everywhere, from soccer to creative departments, the three men have
worked closely together at Ogilvy Latina, the agency's Latin
American network that has become a hotbed of creativity in the last
few years and increasingly takes on international assignments. In a
forerunner of David, they pitched and won a Coca-Cola assignment
last month to run a global cultural leadership platform.
Ogilvy Latina has been behind creative projects like Brazil's
"Whopper Face," in which pictures of consumers' faces are put on
their hamburger wrapper, and Argentina's Friendship Machine, a very
tall Coca-Cola vending machine that requires two friends to
collaborate to reach high enough to retrieve their drinks. Whopper
Face proved so popular that Ogilvy developed an app so Burger King
can re-create the promotion elsewhere.
Idea born in Cannes
Mr. Musa said the idea for David arose this year at the Cannes
Lions International Festival of Creativity in the south of France,
where they were hanging out and enjoying the pile of Lions won by
Ogilvy's Brazil and Argentina offices, musing on the 100th
anniversary of the birth of David Ogilvy being celebrated in
Cannes, and "we were a little bit drunk."
"It might have been the Lions, or the Cannes atmosphere, or the
alcohol," he said. "We thought it was a dream left behind in
Cannes, then we started talking about it and said 'let's try to
make it happen'. The spirit of the company is David [Ogilvy] before
[he started] Ogilvy."
They presented the idea to Ogilvy's regional management, then
CEO Miles Young, and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell signed off on it.
This isn't the first time an agency has been named after a
legendary founder, or tried to take Latin creative talent global.
Results have been mixed. Publicis Groupe backed a Paris shop in
2005 called Marcel, named after Publicis founder Marcel
Bleustein-Blanchet. But the founders Frederic Raillard and Farid
Mokart decamped after barely a year to do their own Fred &
Farid startup and, adding insult to injury, were backed by Publicis
rival Havas. (Marcel has made a comeback though). Separately,
Lowe Worldwide has
tried to capitalize on its Latin talent by setting up Madrid-based
Lowe Latina to handle Unilever and win other international
business, but also lost much of its top talent soon after
Keeping Ogilvy titles
That may be less likely at David, where all three founders are also
keeping their current Ogilvy titles. They are the only ones who
will have dual roles. David has already hired Nazia Du Bois, global
head of cultural strategy at Ogilvy & Mather, to be David's
head of planning, and poached two creatives, Analia Rios and
Joaquin Cubria, from creative agency Ponce Buenos Aires to be
David's new executive creative directors in Buenos Aires. The David
offices, which will be located very close to but not inside Ogilvy
& Mather, will have about 35 or 40 people in Sao Paulo and 15
to 20 in Buenos Aires, Mr. Musa said.
"To have a truly global agency, the U.S. is key," said Mr.
Ramos, who worked in New York and Miami and became a U.S. citizen
before returning to Brazil four years ago. David is also eyeing the
U.S. Hispanic market, where the founders already have Coca-Cola
experience from Ogilvy Latina. Coke Zero's U.S. Hispanic work is
created in Brazil and planned in Argentina, with account service in
New York, he said.
David will report to Sergio Amado, chairman of the Ogilvy Brasil
Group, with a dotted line to Marcos Golfari, chairman of Ogilvy
Latina, Mr. Bigio said.