2 Minutes With ... Alberto Hernandez, Chief Growth Officer at Sanofi

On society's move from 'sick care' to 'proactive self-care,' and Icy Hot's Comebaq Courts

Alberto Hernandez joined Sanofi Consumer Healthcare in 2020 as the U.S. category head for pain and sleep before taking on the role of global chief growth officer in 2022.

Before joining Sanofi, Alberto was the chief marketing and innovation officer of Dyla Brands, and prior to that spent 17 years at Nestlé, where his last role was VP of marketing for Gerber Products Company.

As a former graffiti artist, Alberto likes to tackle new roles boldly and courageously to deliver powerful storytelling about purposeful brands—especially those that nudge behavior change and empower self-care. After moving to Paris after living internationally for nearly 15 years, Alberto is rediscovering the joy of cross-country family road trips across Europe and further bonding his two U.S.-born young children to his Spanish heritage.

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


Alberto, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I am originally from Spain. More accurately, Barcelona—probably the most beautiful city in the world, in my biased opinion. I represent all possible clichés … I love soccer ("football" to the rest of the world 😉), therefore Messi is my idol and I am living proof you can be raised exclusively on tapas…

I have lived in Barcelona, Madrid, Lausanne, Mexico City, New York and New Jersey … I currently live in Paris.

How you first got interested in health.

Early on. I wanted to find a deeper meaning to what I was doing, and helping people take better self-care of themselves was the perfect Venn diagram.

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

I led the 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby program where Lucas Warren was chosen. Lucas was the first child with Down syndrome to be awarded the "spokesbaby" for the brand in its more than 100 years of existence. He became an instant celebrity and made us all super proud. Working with him was one of those magic moments in which your personal values and what you believe in connects 150 percent with what you're working on. And that doesn't only make your brain proud, it touches your heart. A great example of doing well while doing good.

A recent project you're proud of.

I can think of several, but in line with "doing well while doing good" with our brands front and center, I can highlight two—Icy Hot in the U.S., and the work our global team has started with Enterogermina and Save the Children.

Sports and performance is in the DNA of our Icy Hot brand, and Shaquille O'Neal has been our brand ambassador for the last 17 years … so honoring our brand origin and building on our brand purpose we launched the Comebaq Courts initiative together with the Shaquille O'Neal Foundation to help kids within underserved communities get back in the game by refurbishing basketball courts that could use some TLC, such as freshly designed blacktop, baskets and other elements This partnership remains strong, and I am really proud of what we’ve achieved in these last two years in Las Vegas, Newark and the new ones to come in Miami and Atlanta.

The other exciting project is our partnership with Save the Children to support health intervention and build awareness for children’s health, especially in preventing diarrhea. We've started piloting in Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa for our Enterogermina brand—the world's No. 1 OTC Probiotic brand.

One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about.

How society has shifted behaviors from "sick care" to "proactive self-care," and how that "democratization" of health management is disrupting the way that the industry needs to connect with consumers to help them make better decisions.

Long gone are the days of one key launch every two to three years, a before-and-after video campaign and broad distribution as the three ingredients to be the chosen. As a marketer, I cherish the equal importance of winning people's brains and hearts, the need to better educate consumers about science while making sure that information is entertaining, the constant drive for personalization, the need for sharp insights and robust data, the importance of embedding sustainability and purpose into our day to day brand building, the increasing importance of co-creating with our customers…so many things. No better industry to be in.

Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

Wow… this could be a very long paragraph…but keeping it short for the sake of the 2 minute read: Fan of the 2020-21 work done by AB InBev, Fernando Machado's time at Burger King, Oatly Department of Mind Control, Wendy’s Twitter account, anything with the personal touch of Ronald Ng, Marco Venturelli, Terri & Sandy or any of the COVID time campaigns done by Maximum Effort.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Visual Artists: El nino de las pinturas, Alex Senna, Jora Frantzis, Invader, JR, Bosslogic.

Newest additions to my playlist are Fred Again, Kid Cudi, La Rosalia, C.Tangana and there's always some Kb space for Nada Surf.

Your favorite fictional character.

Colossus (X Men) and Don Quijote de la Mancha.

Someone worth following in social media.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ibai and Masood_boomgaard not to take life too seriously…

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

Daringness.

Your biggest weakness.

Impatience and very thin crepes with Nutella.

One thing that always makes you happy.

My kids (most of the time) and a completely expected "underdog" themed movie.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Anything related to children suffering. One hundred percent unfair always.

Something people would find surprising about you.

In the '90s and early 2000s I used to be a graffiti artist. 😊

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

What I would LOVE to be doing (dream) would either be writing or directing cinema.

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.

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Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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