2 Minutes With … Victor Vetancourt, CD and Copywriter

On promoting a more collaborative environment

With over 18 years of experience in the global and U.S. markets, Victor has collaborated with clients such as Adidas, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Toyota, Sony Ericsson, Miller Lite, T-Mobile and Visa. 

We spent two minutes with Victor to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Victor, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. My career took off pretty quickly—I started out when I was 20 years old. Six years later, my wife and I decided to move to Uruguay, where I found a job at Camara/TBWA. However, our life took a very abrupt change, and we landed in Miami, where we lived for nine years, before settling down in Dallas.

How you first realized you were creative.

At 8 years old, I discovered my passion for creativity. I loved spending the day drawing, writing and playing a Casio SK1 and an electric guitar. I even won awards in drawing contests and wrote a short novel that won a local award in my school district. During middle school, I was influenced by Darrin Stephens (Bewitched) and Who's the Boss. These TV shows were key. Through them I saw the possibility to write and design in advertising. Later, in college, I saw the "Drugstore" spot for Levi's, and that was it. I immediately fell in love with the industry.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

In advertising: Lee Clow. In life: Mari Carmen, my godmother. She was an artist.

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

In college, I produced and hosted a radio show where we played music from every decade. I enjoyed writing scripts and gathering information for the show.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Visual Artist: Felipe Pantone. Band: LCD Soundsystem.

A book, movie, TV show, or podcast you recently found inspiring.

I'm focusing on my mental health, and the Ten Percent Happier podcast has been a great help. A movie? Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. It blew my mind. 

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on. 

"Lola the Mutt," the first AI Puppy that lived in Google Home devices. She trained humans before they adopted a dog. The team and I had to learn A LOT about machine learning, dialogue agents, three decisions, etc. It was pretty exciting.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

"Talking Stain" from Saatchi & Saatchi. Simple, funny, no fancy celebrities, no over-the-top production. Just a really awesome idea executed flawlessly. 

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

The work done by Rethink on Heinz is impressive. I have a healthy admiration/envy for Aaron Starkman and his team.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Not being afraid of rejection. 

Your biggest weakness.

Lack of patience at work.

A mentor that helped you navigate the industry.

I have had many mentors throughout my career, but I can definitely name two: Carlos Rusconi, a creative director I met early in my career at J. Walter ThompsonJay Bertram was another mentor. He was the CEO of TBWA Canada and LatAm. We worked together in Miami. He taught me everything I know about Chiat Day (the old days). We continue to stay in touch.

How you're paying it forward with the next generation of creatives.

By listening to them. I like giving them opportunities to showcase their ideas and talents. I have witnessed firsthand the impact of providing opportunities to younger creatives. Unfortunately, being sidelined is very common in our industry, which can frustrate younger talent. We need to promote a more collaborative environment and create a more inclusive community where silos can be a thing of the past.

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

Reading news and books about advertising.

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