2 Minutes With ... Natalia Benincasa, CCO of Wunderman Thompson Argentina
In September, Natalia Benincasa was named chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson Argentina, moving back to her home country from Mexico during the pandemic.
Benincasa spent almost three years at FCB Mexico, and has also worked at agencies including Leo Burnett México, VegaOlmosPonce/Ponce Buenos Aires, BBDO Argentina and Craverolanis in her career.
We spent two minutes with Natalia to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations, and recent work she's admired.
Natalia, tell us ...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I grew up in a small neighborhood in the west of Buenos Aires. Then I moved to Mexico City, where I lived for a few years, and then I moved back to Argentina in 2020 to join Wunderman Thompson. (Yes, I moved in the middle of a pandemic, crazy isn't it?)
What you wanted to be when you grew up.
I didn't think of something specific. I had many interests and passions changing over time, like being a dancer, a poet, a roller skater, a teacher, a choreographer or a clothing designer.
How you discovered you were creative.
Art was the only thing I was interested in. It's the only thing that truly captured my attention and entertained me. As an only child, my imagination was my ally. I used to create absurd costumes and invent games in order to entertain myself. I was always creating, and I never got bored.
A person you idolized creatively growing up.
My mom was my idol. One time, I saw her creating and producing a fox costume in 15 minutes because my best friend forgot hers for a school concert. My mom always applied creativity in everyday life to solve problems.
Later I found several people who inspired me, such as Freddy Mercury, Alfonsina Storni (an Argentine poet) and, reaching the '90s, Agulla & Baccetti. Because of their TV ads, I decided to study advertising.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
My first kiss. It happened at school. Well … I also danced Flash Dance once in front of the whole school. I think I was 8 years old.
The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today.
I think the first one was Aerosmith. It was so cool. My favorite artist of all time was and always will be Gustavo Cerati. An incredible Argentine talent. I also love Kraftwerk and find deep inspiration in the greatness of Beethoven. Someone who can create immensity from deafness and the simplicity of composing only with four notes.
Your favorite visual artist.
Yves Saint Laurent. His work and his life affected me since I discovered him. Leonora Carrington. I recently discovered Manuel Solano and Ana Segovia through an art curator friend, Karen Huber, and I fell in love with them.
Your favorite fictional character.
The best book you've read lately.
Duft der Zeit (The Scent of Time) by Byung-Chul Han.
Your favorite movie.
It's impossible to answer. But I could start listing: The Godfather, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Amour, Magnolia and Match Point or Annie Hall.
Your favorite Instagram follow.
Maybe Es Devlin. And of course: Memelas de Orizaba. Only a few people will know what I am talking about. It is a meme account from Mexico that can make me laugh even in the worst situations. It's marvelous.
How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally, in recent months.
I went through stages from one extreme to another. From enjoying lockdown as a personal experiment, getting inspired spending a lot of time at home and alone for the first time in my life, to the death of my father, who passed away from Covid-19 in only four days. Everything changed in my life from that moment.
Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on.
My favorite projects are, without a doubt, the ones that challenge me and awaken my passion. Not necessarily the ones that win the most awards, but the ones that make me learn more as a professional in the long run.
"Axe Young and Mature." I selected this project that I did many years ago as activation and digital director. It's pretty old. It was a huge challenge, because we also worked on development. It was an absolutely life-changing project because I learned what I wanted to do and especially what I was not willing to repeat never again in an ad and a project.
Your favorite creative project from the past year.
"Almost a Monument." I am very proud of this work, because it changed the way a very traditional brand spoke in Latin America. It's a project close to my heart for its mission is to visualize inequality. There is a significant equity gap between men and women, especially in Argentina, when it comes to spending time doing chores.
Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.
Someone else's creative project that you've been impressed by lately.
I was really impressed by "Moldy Whopper" by David Miami and above all the courage of Burger King to show such forceful work. I also love "Womb Stories" by AMV BBDO. It is a piece full of empathy. Stunning! And the best one "The Truth Is Worth It" by Droga5 for The New York Times.
Your main strength as a creative person.
Your biggest weakness.
Intensity. Passion and commitment can go overboard and make me work more than necessary until my brain burns.
One thing that always makes you happy.
One thing that always makes you sad.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Surely an interior and set designer.