When Andrea Diquez and Javier Campopiano took on their respective roles as chief executive and chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi New York last summer, things at the agency weren’t exactly smooth sailing. The Publicis shop was about to lose its longtime General Mills account, former chief executive Brent Smart and chief creative officer Jay Benjamin had both left the agency to pursue other opportunities, and Kevin Roberts had just resigned from his role as Saatchi & Saatchi chairman after controversially stating that the gender diversity debate within the industry is “over.”
Despite the rocky road, the two are eager to spearhead Saatchi New York’s next chapter while doing work for big-name clients like Walmart and P&G’s Tide. Apart from both being natives of South America – Diquez hails from Venezuela while Campopiano is from Argentina – they both have a history with Saatchi that’s spanned global offices and roles.
Diquez has served in various positions within the Saatchi network for more than 20 years, most recently as president of its New York headquarters and global director of the Olay account for P&G. Campopiano, who joined Buenos Aires-based Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saaatchi in 2007, rejoined Saatchi in 2014 as chief creative officer of its Latin American operations after a stint at FCB.
“We’re super hungry and super excited,” said Diquez during a recent interview with The Drum. “When you come from countries that are in turmoil all day long, you’re used to changes. I’ve worked all over the world, so what I do here in North America is very different than what I do in China, what I do in Singapore, what I do in Europe. You [become] very adaptable.”
Campopiano added that both he and Diquez have taken Saatchi’s longtime motto “Nothing Is Impossible” to heart, noting that he wants to continue creating work that he believes is reflective of the agency’s boundary-pushing ethos.
“We are Saatchi people,” he said. “We embrace the spirit of the company, and we try to create work that reflects that.”
Since Campopiano took on his new role a little over six months ago, Saatchi & Saatchi New York has already launched a few large-scale campaigns under his creative leadership, the most notable to date being its elaborate Super Bowl campaign for Tide.
The crux of the campaign was a spot starring Fox NFL Sunday co-host Terry Bradshaw and actor Jeffrey Tambor in which Bradshaw panics when he realizes that he’s been on air during the Super Bowl with a giant barbecue stain on his shirt. Upon realizing that he’s “trending” because of the stain, he steals a golf cart to flee the game and ends up in Tambor’s lawn, at which point the actor offers him some Tide laundry pods.
But the spot was only half of the campaign – to make viewers believe that Bradshaw actually went on air during the Super Bowl with a huge stain on his shirt, Tide had him smear some barbecue sauce on his white button-up for a halftime promo that he appeared in minutes before the spot aired. Right as people began to tweet about the stain and the hashtag "#BradshawStain” started to pick up steam, Tide aired the ad to cleverly bring the campaign full circle.
While Tide’s campaign was overshadowed by some of the more politically charged Super Bowl spots that aired this year, the P&G brand’s ad was still one of the more buzzworthy ones, garnering more than six million views on YouTube and a number five spot on the USA Today Ad Meter.
For Campopiano, campaigns like this exemplify the kind of innovative work that he wants to keep pushing for in the future.
“To attract people today towards content, you have to offer them something different,” Campopiano said. “I think that every client these days is realizing that we have to work harder to get people’s attention, and the only way for us to do that is to take more risks sometimes. We’ll see that more and more hopefully coming out of this office.”
Diquez said having the ability the tap into Publicis Groupe’s newly minted “Power of One” strategy, which aims to de-silo its offerings to provide clients with more integrated services, is also a key aspect of strengthening Saatchi New York’s creative output.
“What we have right now is access to incredible skills and tools that we don’t have to have all built in here,” she said. “We have all the base for that here, all the knowledge and overall understanding of everything that we need to do, but we actually can tap into the group and get expertise and scale in everything that we do.”
Even though the holding company restructuring has changed the way that Publicis’s agencies operate, Diquez said that Saatchi’s focus is still the same as it’s always been: to provide clients with unparalleled creative.
“It’s in our DNA that [the agency] is all about the unreasonable power of creativity,” she said. “The spirit and the energy that everybody that we’re bringing in has and the people that are here is exactly that. Nobody will stop at ‘no, we can’t do that.’ I think what you’re going to see is a complete transformation in terms of creativity.”
The Drum's editor Stephen Lepitak contributed to this article