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The Judges’ Club: meet Eduardo Sarmiento, executive creative of Brunet-García Advertising


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

October 12, 2022 | 8 min read

There’s still time to enter The Drum Awards for Social Purpose. We caught up with the judging panel co-chair Eduardo Sarmiento, executive vice-president and executive creative director of Brunet-García Advertising.


Eduardo Sarmiento, executive vice-president and executive creative director of Brunet-García Advertising

The deadline for our Awards Festival is October 13. Don’t miss out on your chance to enter here.

Eduardo Sarmiento’s career began in Cuba where he worked as a designer and illustrator for cultural institutions and as an associate professor of poster design and illustration at ISDI. He also co-founded the Camaleón Group, a collective of creatives that renovated the graphic landscape of the island.

But in 2006 he left his native home for the United States, where he set up shop in Miami.

“I lost a country and gained the world when I left Cuba for the US,” he explains. “And this new world of advertising exploded in my face as a consumer and a professional. It was a natural evolution for me to go from designing magazines and graphic systems to creating advertising campaigns.”

After working as an art director for a few design studios, he worked his way up to become a creative director at MarketLogic. In that role, Sarmiento created regional campaigns for global brands in the Latin American and US markets.

Now living in Atlanta, Georgia, he is the executive creative director at Brunet-García Advertising, which is focused on generating social impact by applying exceptional strategic creativity to solve some of the most complex social issues affecting the nation.

Sarmiento and his team have worked on campaigns that include issues such as the drug overdose and HIV epidemics and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as working with critical US institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare Services (CMS).

What career moment are you most proud of?

I’m proud of the social impact work we do at Brunet-García Advertising tackling today’s critical health-related matters. I’m proud of the many campaigns and visual systems we have created, their impact and industry recognitions, but I’m most proud of (and grateful for) the opportunities I’ve had throughout my career to inspire others. Whether it was teaching at the Superior Institute of Design or leading teams to create the strongest work we are capable of, it is always a privilege to inspire people (to a greater or lesser extent) to think creatively and to strive to perform at their best.

What’s a piece of work you’ve seen recently that really blew your mind?

The Lost Class, a moving piece by Leo Burnett for Change the Ref. This is a film that makes me think deeply about the need for commonsense gun laws and to address mental health and adverse childhood experiences in America. It’s a testament to the power of creativity and dedication on so many levels. Creativity is not limited to the piece of work, but to a mindset to dare to imagine what could be possible if we all push forward together.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Poetry has always been very useful to me. There are a couple of verses that haven’t abandoned me in the last 15 years.

“Dismiss whatever insults your own soul,” by Walt Whitman, has become a beacon of clarity. I measure my choices and actions against it.

“Say it clearly and you make it beautiful, no matter what,” by Bruce Weigl, is something I practice and aspire to.

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What are your views on the importance of awards?

Creative awards show us what has been possible, inspire us to be bolder and confront problems from different perspectives, and, above all, they are a celebration of human ingenuity and extraordinary craft. I love what that provides for our industry – as long as the work is really created to positively impact an audience, not to seduce a jury.

If you could fix one problem in the marketing industry what would it be?

Data over intuition and imagination, no matter what. Agencies and clients ought to continue embracing more calculated risks and aiming for the right mix of data and intuition. That’s the only way, in my opinion, we are going to be able to enrich the human spirit and imagination, and contribute to creating a meaningful future.

And how do you maintain a work-life balance?

It’s very difficult to completely switch off because everything I do or experience has the potential to stimulate a solution, so the creative thinking is always on. But I’m very intentional about the time I spend with family and friends and try to be protective of our spaces. So, no devices when we are eating together. No messages to my team after regular working hours unless it’s really necessary (which is not common).

Fatherhood is essential to me. Spending time with my son, rediscovering the world through his eyes and learning from his endless enthusiasm brings me joy and balance.

A short meditation in the mornings and writing or drawing my thoughts help me to stay connected to what’s important to me and increase my awareness.

Life fuels creativity. Creativity fuels life.

The deadline for The Drum Awards for Social Purpose is fast approaching. Make sure you enter your amazing work before October 13.

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