2 Minutes With ... Gian Carlo Lanfranco and Rolando Cordova of Lanfranco & Cordova

The Peruvian pair's world travels, and their new agency in NYC

Gian Carlo Lanfranco and Rolando Cordova have spent the last 15 years of their careers creating celebrated campaigns for iconic brands around the world, including Mini/BMW, American Express, Orangina and Coca-Cola. 

They've worked at top agencies including McCann New York, Fred & Farid Paris, Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam and Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore. A year ago, the Peruvian duo founded Lanfranco & Cordova, an independent agency in New York.

We spent two minutes with Gian and Rolando to learn more about their background, their creative inspirations, and recent work they've admired.

Gian and Rolando, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Both: We both grew up in Lima, met in university, and after a 15-year "world advertising tour" we ended up in New York City after pit stops in Singapore, Amsterdam and Paris.

What you wanted to be when you grew up.

• Gian: I wanted to be a film director, big fan of Spielberg.
• Rolando: I was obsessed with dinosaurs, so I wanted to be a paleontologist. 

How you discovered you were creative.

• Gian: When I was a little kid, I used to make plasticine figures of my parents and my parents' friends. The figures were really creative interpretations of their physical features and personalities. 
• Rolando: Playing with my toys as a kid. I use to make my own toys sometimes and even imagine the storyline of the game.

A person you idolized creatively growing up.

• Gian: Walt Disney, for sure. The first time I visited Disney World I was blown away by how a man could imagine all these attractions.
• Rolando: The creators of Noppo y Gonta, a Japanese kid's show on TV network NHK. They teach you how to make your own toys at home and even how to recycle materials.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

• Gian: When my brother took me surfing for the first time. I almost drowned and hated him for a month, but later I loved the sport and discovered the ability to face my fears and conquer them.
• Rolando: When I decided to study advertising after everyone told me to become a lawyer.

The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today.

• Gian: The first concert I saw was in the early '90s in Peru—a Mexican TV show band called Muñecos de Papel. They were a hit and Ricky Martin was one of the singers. It was pop in Spanish, and they wore these really cool outfits. Now I will say the Doors. The music is totally different, but they also used to wear really cool outfits.
• Rolando: The Pet Shop Boys in Singapore, and now I will say Beach House.

Your favorite visual artist.

• Gian: @pietparra from Amsterdam. I used to hang out with him when I lived there. He is a genius.
Rolo: @markwebber_ A fantastic photographer who captures the beauty of the night.

Your favorite fictional character.

• Gian: ALF, the extraterrestrial.
• Rolando: Edward Scissorhands. 

The best book you've read lately.

• Gian: Stillness and Speed, Denis Bergkamp's autobiography.
• Rolando: The Last Resort by Martin Parr. Not that much reading, but lots of pictures.

Your favorite movie.

• Gian: The Goonies.
• Rolando: Interstellar.

Your favorite Instagram follow.

• Gian: @kellyslater
• Rolando: @broadmagazine

How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally, in recent months.

• Gian: Personally, it's been really hard to get used to staying at home most of the time, leaving behind things I loved doing in New York like going out for dinner, playing soccer and going to the movies. Professionally, on the positive side I think it equalized a bit the balance between smaller independent agencies like ours and the bigger corporate ones. The clients now can focus more on the idea than all the physical resources of an agency, as agencies are presented via Zoom, and that is great thing.
• Rolando: Not being able to see my mom for a long time, and other family members, is something difficult to go through. I think professionally it's making the agency process less corporate and going back to the core of an ad agency, which is to deliver great ideas for business problems.

Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on.

• Gian: I would say the global launch of the Mini Countryman we did in Amsterdam. Really simple, iconic and great craft.

Mini Countryman | The Last Spot

• Rolando: I think the Orangina "Statistics" campaign we did while working at Fred & Farid Paris. It was the first time we were taking Orangina's iconic characters from the animation world to live performance.

Orangina | Satellite
Orangina | Human Cannon Ball
Your favorite creative project from the past year.

• Gian: I would say The One Show Call for Entries campaign we launched early this year, one of the first campaigns we launched for our agency "Cleofe the Shaman." The idea is basically a social media direct response campaign. The insight of wanting to get your work blessed before entering it to an award show is super strong, so we decided to hire a real Peruvian shaman to bless all the entries to the show.

The One Show | Change Your Destiny

• Rolando: A global campaign we launched recently via LC NYC for Dole Packaged Foods. We are really honored to communicate to the world the promises for a better world from a brand that is truly committed to reducing food waste, plastic use and added sugars from all their products.

Dole | Dear Leaders of the World
Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.

• Gian: "Still Free," one of the first projects of Droga5 for Mark Ecko. I still remember thinking, did they actually paint Air Force One for real?
• Rolando: "Balls" by Sony Bravia and the amazing Juan Cabral, probably the best emotional demo ad ever made.

Someone else's creative project that you've been impressed by lately.

• Gian: "Womb Stories" was such a powerful message and beautifully crafted.
• Rolando: KFC's "Finger-licking good" tagline removed from their advertising campaigns due to Covid. So simple and iconic.

Your main strength as a creative person.

• Gian: Never giving up.
• Rolando: Being a good listener.

Your weakness or blind spot.

• Gian: Being too optimistic is a good and bad thing sometimes. But mainly a good thing.
• Rolando: Sometimes a little too obsessed with work.

One thing that always makes you happy.

• Gian: Having a dessert with chocolate as the main ingredient.
• Rolando: Listening to music while thinking.

One thing that always makes you sad.

• Gian: Any form of discrimination.
• Rolando: Animal cruelty.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

• Gian: Professional pétanque player (French game).
• Rolando: Photographer.

2 Minutes With is our weekly interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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