2 Minutes With ... Arturo Gigante, CCO of Burns Group
Arturo Gigante is an art director/creative director, relentless advocate of creative innovation and current chief creative officer of Burns Group. He believes in big ideas, taking risks, and the importance of the strategic/creative process in informing a brand's unique and ownable story.
Prior to joining Burns Group, Arturo co-founded his own ad agency, Spork NY in Soho, where he produced work for SportsNet NY, Honora Pearls, and Nature's Bounty. Originally from Puerto Rico, Arturo is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park school of advertising. He spent 14 years with Ogilvy in New York, working on global brands including IBM, American Express, Kodak, and Kraft's Capri Sun, as well as more niche clients like Fage Yogurt and the New York Mets. His career began with Trahan, Burden and Charles in Baltimore, where he worked on such accounts as Harrah's Casinos and the Maryland Lottery.
He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and two children. And when he's not obsessing about ways to connect brands to consumers, he's rigging up his fly rod and obsessing about the perfect cast.
We spent two minutes with Arturo to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.
Arturo, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Puerto Rico. I now live in Maplewood, New Jersey, where I daydream of beautiful beaches.
How you first realized you were creative.
When I was a little kid, I used to make costumes of my favorite TV characters using stuff found around the house—tinfoil, old clothes, cardboard, you name it. It was a ton of fun and really challenging. I always thought they looked amazing. They didn't.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
Alfred E. Neuman. He taught me at an early age how to be cynical and funny, and vastly improved my English language.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
My best friends and I created a production company when we were seniors in high school. Our big project was making a movie called Senior's Vice, a spoof of Miami Vice using all our fellow senior classmates as the crew and actors. We never finished it, but I got to experience firsthand the thrill of collaborating creatively with people you love and how hard it is to see things completely through.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Pink Floyd. The Wall is still one of the most creative fusions of music and film ever made.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I recently started watching Love, Death + Robots. Great short animated stories and concepts.
Your favorite fictional character.
El Chapulín Colorado. No question.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
@Alexis_Diaz on IG. Super talented Boricua.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
It brought our family closer together, taught me the importance of human interaction, and sent me on a new and exciting creative journey.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
I still love the Capri Sun's "Respect the Pouch/Disrespectoids" campaign. We created a mini universe of characters with origin stories, animated series and video games, and they all connected seamlessly to the product. Plus, I got to work with Ulf Johansson and Tristan Eaton, and made my little kids laugh out loud.
A recent project you're proud of.
Honestly, bringing my entire family together for a reunion this summer after not seeing them for more than a year. A gigantic logistical nightmare during the pandemic, but after the vaccine came out it seemed like the most important project I could focus on. All 21 made it.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
"We're The Superhumans," the "Yes I Can" spot for the Rio Paralympics. It is both entertaining and inspiring. You don't want it to end.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
Dove's "Courage Is Beautiful" doesn't need any more fanfare, but seeing the reality of the pandemic in the beautiful photographs of the first responders was powerful. I admire how Ogilvy continues evolving the "Real Beauty" campaign.
Your main strength as a creative person.
Treating every project, no matter its size, as a real opportunity to do great work.
Your biggest weakness.
Not a big fan of process.
One thing that always makes you happy.
Crème brulee shared with my family.
One thing that always makes you sad.
Holes in sweaters.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Running a fly fishing lodge somewhere out west.