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Creative Creative Works World Creative Rankings

World Creative Rankings: Pancho Cassis talks Banksy, unexpected work and writing


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

March 6, 2024 | 6 min read

We catch up with David’s global chief creative officer, who has been named the third most awarded CCO in the World Creative Rankings.


Pancho Cassis / Pancho Cassis

With an almost five-year stint as global chief creative officer and partner at revered agency David under his belt, Pancho Cassis is one of the most awarded creatives in the world according to this year’s World Creative Rankings report.

He began his career as a copywriter, after a short stint studying economics, having got into the business after growing up seeing his father make ads at Leo Burnett Chile.

“My Dad would come home from doing funny stuff, meeting celebrities for commercials – it was great,” Cassis tells The Drum. “I always wanted to be in advertising.”

With a love of writing and drawing, the creative is quite self-deprecating, stating that he’s “not good at anything, but not bad... not the best at anything.”

“Writing, for me, was more interesting because you were coming up with the idea. 20 years ago, it was a bit more traditional than now – copywriters had the ideas and art directors painted them.”

Spending days writing up different promotions was excellent training, he says, as there’s no way to mask a bad idea when it comes to that medium. “With craft, you can hide a bad idea, but writing is hard.”

During his two decades in the industry, he’s worked at the likes of Lola MullenLowe and Grey. Campaigns for Fiat and Miller stand out to the agency leader but there are two ads that he feels have stood out in his career so far, both from his time at the Miami-based shop David.

The first is ‘Stevenage’ for Burger King, in which Fifa 20 gamers were invited to sign the best players in the world to English lower league side Stevenage FC, whose shirt Burger King sponsored, and to score goals with them to win free food.

“That’s one of my favorites because of how stupid the idea is actually... it’s very simple.

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“We realized that, in the game, they copy every detail of real life, so why don’t we change something in real life so it appears and we don’t need to pay? That very stupid, simple thought had a lot of planning behind it.”

It was also fairly risky, Cassis says, especially when it came to the lawyers.

Another, of course, is ‘The Moldy Whopper,’ which dominated headlines in 2020. It’s an ad that would divide marketers’ opinion on its effectiveness for years to come. “That’s another one that probably will stand the test of time. ’Moldy Whopper’ was brave, but I think ’Stevenage’ is more unexpected.

“Many of the things we see today winning in gaming have some sort of ’Stevenage’ DNA somewhere in there.”

When it comes to inspiration, he finds it in loads of places as he deems himself a curious person. He tells young creatives to look all around and be a sponge. His favorite artist is Banksy, which makes a lot of sense when you look at the work Cassis has produced for the likes of Burger King.

“Banksy likes to hack the moment. Many of his ideas become even more relevant when he’s hacking the context. I would never compare our work in advertising with his art, but they both have a provocation.”

Creative Creative Works World Creative Rankings

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