During our call for Agency Innovator nominations, Rodrigo Figueroa Reyes’ name was mentioned by former agency colleagues and clients alike. All talked about the innovative nature of his vision for “new communication,” which has resulted in FiRe Advertainment-- (an agency titled on the basis of his surname and the marriage of advertising and entertainment). However, we were most intrigued by those who mentioned how his work in Latin America now affects thinking in the U.S. and the rest of world. According to one of his many advocates, “His agency is not just a one-of-a-kind within its discipline, but in my opinion, is the only agency that can deliver not just in the quality of ideas but also in the format.”
FiRe will mark the start of its seventh year this September, and Figueroa Reyes has come a long way from his earliest beginnings as a messenger at Ratto-BBDO. He quickly moved on to copywriter, creative director and then eventually President at DDB Argentina. His FiRe Advertainment is 60% owned by Figueroa Reyes himself and 40% by Omnicom Group's DDB.
FiRe has now grown into a “Latin Network” dedicated to creating content for brands in Spanish-speaking countries, although its expansion goals now seem to be worldwide. Today the company has grown beyond its creative headquarters in Buenos Aires to have offices in Santiago, Chile; Bogotá, Colombia; Miami, USA and Madrid, Spain.
Branded Entertainment may not be new in Latin America; however, Figueroa Reyes believes that FiRe is ushering in a new era of advertising as it produces content that’s custom-made for brands that highlights their intrinsic value at the same artistic level as the programming they normally support. Advertising can no longer be disruptive or intrusive. By respecting a consumer’s intelligence, FiRe’s work creates a more sincere and longer-lasting connection, according to Figueroa Reyes. He also believes that in a digital world with countless TV options, content will increasingly be a result of brands.
What role does innovation play in your area today? While a Cannes Judge, Figueroa Reyes discussed how judging work for awards or within his agency involved the same process. It is the search for “a concept that is fully whole, that appeals to multiple audiences while making the brand or product proposition relevant, clear and memorable.”
“Because a concept that is not fully whole is not a concept. It can be just a good idea that doesn’t last for long. Whole ideas have a challenge that catch all audiences so the challenge is greater not only about the invested budget, but about the panoramic view of the company that wants to get through to the public.”