Del Campo Saatchi’s Maxi Itzkoff and Mariano Serkin on life, creativity, football and what women make of their Teletransporter ads

Multi award-winning creative directors Maxi Itzkoff (right) and Mariano Serkin from Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi in Argentina are arguably the hottest creatives around at the moment. They won the outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes last year with their Teletransporter campaign for Andes beer.

So we asked them some questions.

1/ If the Teletransporter TV campaign was running on UK TV some people would say it was anti-women. What has been the reaction to the campaign among women in Argentina?

Argentine women are not only beautiful but also have a great sense of humor. We are not saying they are perfect, but they tolerate campaigns such as Teletransporter. In fact 60 per cent of the Teletransporter users were women who entered the cabin to cheat on their boyfriends.

If you see the footage of the Teletranspoter’s hidden cameras you could tell women are very good liars. Much better than men.

2/ Many people and big companies are now aware of the so-called creative revolution in Argentina. What in your view has been the trigger for this? Or has it always been there, it’s just that the rest of the world is now noticing it?

Argentina has always stood out for its ideas, perhaps because limited budgets forced us to have ideas that didn’t require money to be outstanding. The opportunities with international brands meant our work started to be seen around the world. Today more than half of the agencies in Argentina work for foreign brands. It is an excellent business: Great talent of course but also four, five or even seven times cheaper than elsewhere, depending on the conversion rate!

3/ Are there more restrictions on creativity when you’re working on multinational accounts as opposed to local advertisers like Andes and BGH?

The creative constraints don’t depend on the size of the advertiser or the market. It depends on the people involved in the approval processes. A client can be very good or very bad regardless of its geographical location or size.

We try to work with people who need us, who want to be helped and respect our work. We don’t care if it’s a small account in Argentina or if it’s a giant account in Europe. We sell ‘creative solutions’ and that’s why they come to us. We never do what a client tells us, we do what a client needs.

4/ We all know your creative hits. Are there are creative misses you can talk about?

Yes there are. But we’ve already spent a lot of money in therapy to forget them.

5/ The Olympics and the World Cup are coming to your neighbour Brazil. Will this impact on agencies in Argentina?

During the World Cup Argentina is paralyzed. During this period there are only two things that people talk about: football and football spots. The equivalent to what happens with the Superbowl in the US but instead of capturing the attention during one day, this lasts a month. That’s the reason why brands invest substantially.

The difference this time is that as the next World Cup will be held in a Latin American country, regional brands will be betting stronger. And many of these brands are managed from Argentina.

With the Olympic Games it will be the same but on a smaller scale. There’s not so much fanaticism for the pole vault or Olympic rings.

6/ What are your biggest influences, from advertising and elsewhere?

In the agency the creatives are excellent planners. I think the big difference with other agencies is that we spend more time thinking about how to solve a problem rather than writing the final piece.

Also all the people working at Del Campo are in advertising because it’s their passion and advertising is their calling. They didn’t end up here because they couldn’t be painters, filmmakers or writers.

But what definitely motivates us is the desire to have the best agency in the world, so we don’t have to go abroad to work in a better one.

7/Are there any other individual creatives, agencies or campaigns (past or present) you particularly admire?

There are a few agencies that we really admire: Crispin Porter, Goodby Silverstein, BBDO NY and Wieden Portland.

But if we had to choose one, it would definitely be Crispin Porter because of its great diversity of clients and the quality of work for each one of them.

8/ How important are awards to you?

We work for ideas that solve in the best way what brands need. On this basis we can conclude that if an idea is so good and effective it should win a prize. But if it wins or not it is not our problem. Nor are we stressed about that.

What is also true is that the awarded works are generally the responsibility of the advertiser itself and the advertiser community. This encourages and gives strength to ideas.

We can also say that awards retain creative talent in advertising agencies and also project the careers of clients in the company.

So yes, awards are important. But at the same time, festivals and their 300 or so different categories are a horrible and shameful business.

The conclusion would be: The awards are important and hateful at the same time.

So there you have it. Here’s another of their ads, for BGH air conditioners.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.