2 Minutes With … Dany Minaker and Patán Tarazaga, CCOs at Wunderman Thompson LATAM
Dany Minaker and Sebastian "Patán" Tarazaga are the chief creative officers of Wunderman Thompson LATAM. Together they're responsible for delivering world-class services to clients as well as continuing to raise the creative profile of Wunderman Thompson in the LATAM market, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Peru.
Their work has received a number of awards at our industry's most-renowned shows, including the 2021 Innovation Grand Prix at Cannes for their "Degree Inclusive" project for Unilever, and the Grand Prix at El Ojo and Epica for their "WaterLight" campaign for Edina Energy and "Nature Is Calling for Help" campaign for the WWF.
We spent two minutes with them to learn more about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, and recent work they've admired.
Dany and Patán, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
- Dany: I was born in Buenos Aires and grew up in Lanus, in the south suburbs, near where Diego Maradona was born. Still living in Buenos Aires!
- Patán: I grew up in Belgrano, a fancy neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where my father and my whole family still live. As the years passed by, I felt the pull of the suburbs, and I've been living in Martinez for the past five years.
How you first realized you were creative.
- Dany: I've always been interested in art, drawing and design. From a very young age, I was the one in charge of coming up with creative ideas for school projects. What really confirmed it, was the word "Creative" on my paycheck when I first started at Ogilvy. I've still got it!
- Patán: I've always loved being creative. When I was at school, I was the one in the middle of the class imitating all our teachers, doing different voices, trying to be funny. But I'll never forget the day I walked into an agency for the first time to visit my older sister, who used to work at Y&R. I asked for her at reception and they told me she was on the third floor … the creative floor. As I was climbing the last steps to get there, I heard "London Calling" by the Clash playing, saw some guys playing soccer and my sister talking to a guy who looked like Eddie Van Halen. I was 17, and I thought: "I have to work on a place like this."
A person you idolized creatively early on.
- Dany: Some of LATAM's most prominent creatives happened to be my professors, including Taretto & Vázquez, Hernán Ponce, Pablo Del Campo and Carlos Pérez, and I definitely idolized them. But the creatives that got me started in the advertising world were Agulla & Baccetti.
- Patán: David Droga.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
- Dany: My teenage days were rough, but I also met some of my best friends then. We played handball semi-professionally … There are many things I learned from sports that I've incorporated into my leadership style.
- Patán: The day I played with my band in a theater in front of 1,000 people.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
- Dany: A classic artist, Velázquez. I love Baroque music. A musician? That's hard. I listen to most music … But I think Guns N' Roses is the band I listen to the most.
- Patán: Guns N' Roses.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
- Dany: A book—any of Quino's books. A movie—The Matrix, the first one, of course. A TV show—Peaky Blinders.
- Patán: Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones.
Your favorite fictional character.
- Dany: ALF, the alien that ate cats. Although, I thought the last chapter was so bad that when Facebook launched, I looked for the writer, who also wrote many episodes of The Simpsons, to propose some alternate ending options. I still have his response telling me that my endings were better…
- Patán: Bart Simpson.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
- Dany: Personally, it changed my life radically. I lost four close relatives due to Covid in 2020 and 2021. Professionally, the home office forced me to stop flying and allowed me to spend more time in Buenos Aires with my family.
- Patán: Professionally, working from home. At first I loved it, then I hated it, now I love it again. I think it's about striking a balance between the best of both being in the office and working from home.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
- Dany: I have two, "I Will Survive" for VH1 and "Through Your Eyes" from Sony Music Argentina and INCUCAI, an NGO. This was a project we made together with THE MOVEMENT BY LANDIA, that won many awards such as a Silver Lion at Cannes, a Grand Prix at El Ojo, and a Grand Prix at Epica, the first LATAM GP in the history of the festival. Moreover, it was an opportunity to create a campaign for a noble and emotional cause alongside a Latin musician I deeply admire, Dante Spinetta.
- Patán: That would be a TVC I did for VH1, when I worked at Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi, "I Will Survive." This campaign meant a lot to me. I worked it on it during a time where I used to practically live at the agency. When I presented it to the client, there were 15 people looking at me and I started singing the song with different lyrics. There was silence … until the boss said: "I like it. Let's do it."
A recent project you're proud of.
- Dany: Without any doubt, I'm proud of having contributed to all the work from Wunderman Thompson LATAM. In 2021, we won more than 245 international awards and 13 Grand Prix. That's insane! But the one to highlight is "Degree Inclusive," a project that we co-created with people from the disability community that will change the life of many around the world. What makes me most proud about this project is the fact that we dreamed it could be done and pushed tirelessly until we achieved it.
- Patán: Launching the world's first inclusive deodorant for Unilever, "Degree Inclusive." The project was two years in the making, with lots of people dedicating time, effort, passion and love. And the results were even better than we had hoped. The way people reacted to it was amazing—I never thought that something I worked on would be so well received by the public. By real people, not just our industry. That really touched my heart.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
- Dany: Sony's "Balls" from the great Juan Cabral, with whom I was close but never got the chance to work with. I hope that life brings us together to work on a project one day!
Someone else's work you admired lately.
- Dany: Moldy Whopper. A brave campaign, beautifully inspired.
- Patán: Publicis Milan, "Enjoy Before Returning" for Diesel.
Your main strength as a creative person.
- Dany: Focus, bravery and ambition.
- Patán: I never take no for an answer. I keep pushing and pushing until the idea gets done.
Your biggest weakness.
- Dany: Lately, my lower back.
- Patán: Cheeseburgers.
One thing that always makes you happy.
- Dany: Thomas and Thiago, my sons, make me die of laughter. Another happy moment is when I'm filming an idea that I like. That's still like a drug for me.
- Patán: Watching my daughters laugh together.
One thing that always makes you sad.
- Dany: What's happening with global warming and sustainability issues.
- Patán: Sundays. I can't stand them.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
- Dany: I always said I would like to be a professional athlete. But now I feel more comfortable watching sport on TV in a calm place in Patagonia, Argentina.
- Patán: There are two options. First, I'd be playing in a rock band. If that didn't work out, I'd be working in the kitchen of a great restaurant. Preferably near the barbecue, inventing new recipes with Argentinean meat.