Latin America is a region celebrated for its artistic heritage, yet creativity in advertising has had an uneven development probably associated with the many economic upheavals that characterize it.
Brazil has always been the powerhouse. In 2011 it was ranked 7th in the world by the Won report. A Brazilian agency is widely regarded as one of the world’s top creative agencies, it has ranked for the last few years as the number 1 or 2 most awarded advertising agency worldwide. Argentinians have had a very visible presence in Europe, particularly London, Madrid and Barcelona, especially after fleeing the economic crisis in the last decade of the twentieth century. It is interesting to note that quite a few global campaigns are created in Latin America or by people from Latin America, as is the case for Coca-Cola or Volkswagen as well as for P&G or Unilever.
Cannes is no stranger to these countries. For 2012 there are 31 Latin American juries spread across all fifteen categories. Word has it that this year there are more entries than ever from this region. Doesn´t surprise me, considering the boom in Brazil and the optimistic outlook in most of the continent. Last year, there were a total of 29 Lions won in the region including one Gold Lion each for Argentina and Mexico, as well as 19 other Lions for Argentina and 8 for Brazil.
Passion for creativity is alive and well throughout the continent. There are a number of regional Festivals; the first of the year is the Caribbean Festival, followed by El Ojo de Iberoamérica in Buenos Aires in April, FIAP that has moved to Miami in late April and El Sol in San Sebastián, which happens along with the San Sebastián Film Festival in May and finally in November el Ojo de Iberoamérica.
Film production is also very important in Latin America, brands as diverse as Cartier, Sony, Master Card, and BMW have shot commercials for use abroad. In Argentina alone more than a hundred of those commercials are shot a year. The combination of talent, location and crew at reasonable prices (no cheap anymore) are a big draw every year.
2012 promises to be a great year for the region in many ways, I sure hope creative development is one of them.
Margaret Rose Grigsby Latin America Development Director Worldwide Partners WPI