2 Minutes With ... Morris Dávila, Executive Creative Director at Remezcla
Morris Dávila is the executive creative director of Remezcla, where he delivers a sense of discovery and fluency in Latin culture for brands including Toyota, Foot Locker, McDonald's and Ulta. His career began in his hometown of Monterey, Mexico, where he studied marketing and began working with an agency before he moved to Austin, Texas, to serve as an art director at Third Ear (formerly known as LatinWorks). During his nearly 15 years there, he rose to creative director, focusing on the Hispanic market for a broad range of clients.
We spent two minutes with Morris to learn more about his background, creative inspirations and some recent work he's admired.
Morris, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I'm from Monterrey, Mexico originally, but Austin, Texas is where I call home since I've been here for most of my professional career. New York City also holds a special place for me, as I lived there for four and a half years and it’s where my son was born.
How you first realized you were creative.
During my teenage years, I was pretty involved in the church and took charge of a youth group. As part of this role, I began designing the branding and merch for the group… and that’s how my passion for art direction started!
A person you idolized creatively early on.
Despite not having creative professions, my parents were a major influence on my creative development. I fondly remember watching my mom create all sorts of arts and crafts, such as cross-stitching a family portrait or knitting elaborate slippers. Meanwhile, my dad had a knack for finding creative solutions to fix or build anything, including the treehouse he built for me.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
During my final semester of college, I was doing an internship at an agency in Monterrey, and my creative partner and I earned a spot in the Young Creatives Competition in Mexico City as the only team from another city. We actually won the contest and the prize was an unpaid internship at DDB Mexico, the top agency at the time. This was an incredible opportunity, but we decided to decline the offer and instead accepted a paying job at our Monterrey agency. Looking back, I have no regrets about our decision as it eventually led us to the United States a year later.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
C. Tangana, a Spanish musician and rapper. His latest album, El Madrileño, is just amazing. He mixes traditional Spanish music with modern urbano beats and brings in a bunch of Latin American artists, including a legend from Argentinian rock and regional Mexican artists. The visuals for his music videos and concerts are super inspiring too—I recently caught one of his shows and it was one of the best I've seen in a while. If you want a little taste of his work, check out his Tiny Desk concert.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
The Rehearsal on HBO. Ever since I first saw Nathan Fielder on his Comedy Central show, Nathan For You, I've been a huge fan. Every creative should watch that series—best case studies ever. And with his latest show, The Rehearsal, Nathan continues to deliver his unique brand of humor and cringe-worthy moments, but now with a much bigger budget.
Your favorite fictional character.
Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Deep down inside, we all wish we could be like Larry.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
As a creative working for a Latin lifestyle publication, it's crucial that I stay on top of the latest cultural trends. In addition to following a diverse range of creators, my go-to source for all things culture is the company where I work: @remezcla.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
My son was born just months before the onset of COVID-19, and I was pretty stressed because I wasn't able to spend as much time with him as I wanted to. Then the pandemic hit and I got to spend every day with him the first couple of years. I'm still working remotely and I’m thankful for my work-life balance.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
Súper Tazón. In order to attract viewers to the Spanish broadcast of Super Bowl LIII on ESPN Deportes, we came up with a unique and unprecedented advertising strategy that went beyond language—we gave a taquero a free :30 spot during the Super Bowl programming. The response was overwhelming and the news of this first-of-its-kind ad moment quickly went viral. The taquero went from having two locations to seven locations.
A recent project you're proud of.
We developed Alta Sinfónica, a music program specifically for Tecate Alta, a beer created for the US market but brewed in Mexico. Our goal was to connect with a younger audience of beer drinkers who embrace diversity and appreciate the blending of various cultures. We created an extraordinary event and documentary for U.S. Latinos who embody this ethos, and for the very first time, the San Francisco Philharmonic collaborated with Latin urban musicians, including reggaeton and corridos urbanos artists, resulting in a groundbreaking musical fusion.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
How great is having a mustache?
Someone else's work you admired lately.
Back in 2013, my boss told me he was bringing in a creative from Peru to work with me. That's when I first met Daniel Lobatón, who quickly became one of my best friends and one of the creative talents that I admire the most. His portfolio is exceptional, but his work for Tide is worthy of a place in the advertising hall of fame.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I feel weird talking about my own strengths, so I asked Daniel Lobatón to write it for me: "Morris' greatest strength is the saying he repeats the most. Whenever you ask him how things are going he says ‘everything’s in order and under control.’ And they truly are most of the time. Mainly because Morris has the ability to focus on solutions, not the swirl of drama that comes with unexpected change. He stays focused and he is able to simplify problems to come up with the best solutions. That and the fact he has his fingers on the pulse of culture, always one step ahead of what will be cool tomorrow. So that’s two strengths for the price of one."
Your biggest weakness.
Willingness to spend over $6 on coffee every day.
One thing that always makes you happy.
Enjoying a delicious bite of Japanese uni with my wife at a sushi counter is a guaranteed way to bring a smile to my face.
One thing that always makes you sad.
When we go to a sushi restaurant and they don’t have uni.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Probably owning a coffee shop or a mezcal bar, or both.
2 Minutes With is our regular 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.