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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Un poco de rabia que divierte a los amigos.

No me parece que tenga que introducir este título. O sea, yo que soy un gamer wannabe desde hace solo un par de años tengo como 10 años sabiendo lo que es COD. Y si necesitas introducción, este no es el lugar. google it. Sorry.

Hace un par de semanas me uni a unos amigos en comprar este juego. La verdad es que NUNCA en mi vida había jugado COD. Nunca. Nada. Es raro, porque la verdad es que uno de mis géneros favoritos, si no es el favorito, son los shooters en primera persona, sin embargo yo nunca había jugado el juego más popular de este genero. Lo otro es que tampoco era muy fan de jugar en multiplayer. Siempre he sentido que soy tan malo en estos juegos, que nunca me atreví a tirarme al bochorno. Pero nada, me uni con estos panas a comprarlo en un especial que tenía el PS store por $45 y lo compré.

En un principio, por falta de alinear con los panas, empecé a jugar la campaña. Aunque solo jugué un par de niveles, la verdad es que estuvo bien interesante. El juego se siente intenso y las misiones son bastante dinámicas. Si me preguntan con lo poco que jugué, me parece que estuvo bien cool.

Luego ya me integré a jugar online con los amigos. Somos 4, Agustín (latatero) quien es el más veterano de todos, Luigui (dalockwell) quien no está tan duro como latatero pero le da, Vivi (HARA_DRAGON) quien es la esposa de Luigui y es novata y yo (efcos) novato también.

Lo primero que tengo que decir es ¡¡¡QUÉ MALDITA RABIA!!! Este mundo de multiplayer es otra cosa. Es increíble. Al principio, salir de una jugada matando a 1 era como que motivo de fiesta. Es a veces exagerado. Pero poco a poco uno va mejorando. Lo más complicado es apuntar. Sobre todo para mi que aprendí a jugar estos shooters con el Mouse en aquel tiempo de Unreal Tournament y los LAN parties después de las 5 en las oficinas. Apuntar es mi gran desafío, y todavía soy horrible, pero uno poco a poco va mejorando. Sobre todo contra los animales a los que uno le toca enfrentar.

Ahora, el juego no es perfecto. A lo mejor yo pido mucho de una plataforma que está funcionando online y que a lo mejor tiene un latency time incluído. Pero estas son mis observaciones:

  • Muchas veces, uno apunto y dispara y ve como uno le pega las balas al oponente y hasta escucha las balas pegandole (el juego hace un ruidito particular cuando le pegas las balas a tus oponentes), pero de repente el oponente no muere y te mata. Uno se pregunta, ¿Cuántas balas hay que pegarle para que se muera? Lo peor es que uno luego ve el CAM KILL y de alguna todas las balas que viste que le pegaste nunca existieron y él o ella simplemente volteó y te mato sin recibir ni una bala. WTF?!? Esta es una de las cosas que más rabia me da.
  • Otra que me molesta que realmente no entiendo como funciona bien es la apuntería como tal. Yo no sé a otros jugadores, pero a mi el juego me exige una apuntería increíble. O sea, tengo que tener la mira exactamente sobre un oponente para que este reciba algún daño. Pues yo como me quedo a ver mis CAM KILLS, noto como otros jugadores no tienen sobre mi y me pegan y me matan. Esto también es un poco molesto.
  • El multiplayer es increíblemente dificil. Para un principiante como yo, por lo menos. Por suerte, hay un modo de juego para novatos, que se llama Combar Readiness Program y se lo recomiendo a todos mis compañeros novatos en el juego. Después de descubrir esto fue cuando empecé a mejorar un montón porque te da chance a descubrir y acomodar to modo de jugar.
  • Son 13 mapas. Al menos a mi me parece que son pocos mapas. Solo tengo un par de semanas jugando, como un mes para ser exacto, y de verdad que me cansa jugar en los mismos mapas todo el tiempo. No sé. Jugando a mi me parecía como que wow que pocos mapas pero luego de contarlos y ver que son 13 dije como que wow, no son tan poquitos después de todo, pero la verdad que ya vienen cansando.
  • El multiplayer es muy defectuoso. No sé si esto es algo normal de jugar online al COD, pero sucede mucho que empieza adar errores y a hacer cosas sin sentido. De momento saca a uno o a todos, de momento nos separa y no nos puede unir al party, de momento estamos jugando y Luigui dice Me sacó del juego y tenemos que salir y empiezar un party nuevo etc. etc. etc. Es buggy. Otra vez, no sé si es algo de este juego o si es algo de COD, o si es algo parte de la naturaleza de jugar online. Es molesto.
  • Como animador, tengo que recalcar que a veces las gráficas tienen cosas que no hacen sentido. Por ejemplo en el lobby cuando uno ve a su jugador, no entiendo por qué los reflejos del personaje en el piso se ven al fondo del escenario, super grande. Como animador, para mi eso es un error y es feo. Sobre todo un juego que en general es muy good looking.
  • Hay una vaina que es el loot que son cosas que el juego te va dando para vestir a tu personaje, armas y addons para las armas. Esto está cool si no te dieran tanta mierda. De momento te llenan el loot de cosas y tienes que empezar a venderlas por XP. Para mi, esto es molesto. No entiendo la dinámica de tener una limitación en esto. ¿Cuál es el aporte? O no den tanta mierda, o hagan eso ilimitado. No quita ni aporta nada al juego en general. Seguro es algo que viene desde siempre, pero yo como novato no le encuentro el sentido.

En general el juego está muy divertido, los controles se sienten muy bien y las gráficas están geniales. Tiene un par de cosas que me sacan por el techo pero en general, súper cool.

Whiplash – Una de las que no te puedes perder.

A ver, siempre hay películas que uno no tiene que ver. Gone Girl, por ejemplo, es una película entretenida pero no indispensable. Si no la pudiste ver, la verdad no te pierdes de mucho. Whiplash no es el caso. Esta película está increíble en todos los sentidos de la palabra.

Es una historia sencilla sobre un chico que tiene un sueño, y al encontrar un mentor tan obsesivo como él, su sueño se vuelve algo más que solo una meta. Así como que en pocas palabras, me parece que más que eso sería contar la peli.

En general, me parece que está increíblemente bien hecha. Empezando por la actuación, ¡Qué bueno es ver una película bien actuada! Simmons la verdad que se bota y el chamaquito (no recuerdo como se llama, abajo pondré el trailer) la verdad que se lucieron. Son personajes 100% creíbles. Ya el resto de la peli también es una obra de arte, el look es super oscuro y cálido. Desde que empieza solamente con como se ve la peli ya da cierta tensión, y eso es lo que tanto me encanta. Es una historia tan sencilla pero tan bien contada y producida que no exagero cuando digo “obra de arte”.

A esta peli le doy unas 5 estrellas. Se la recomiendo a todo aquel que le guste las pelis de trama centrada en personajes y de desarrollo lento. A mi me encantan.

trailer:

Mis favoritas para los óscares.

Ya salieron las nominaciones para los Oscars, y como siempre, uno tiene sus favoritos y eso. Yo la verdad no he visto todas las pelis en todas las categorías pero tengo que escribir este post… a lo mejor luego vamos actualizándolo, a medida que vaya viendo las pelis. Un punto es que estas son MIS FAVORITAS, no las que de momento pienso que van a ganar, so esto no es una predicción.  Bueno, acá va…

Best Picture

American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood,
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightly – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Best Director

Alexandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki – Birdman
Robert D. Yeoman – Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski – Ida
Dick Pope – Mr Turner
Roger Deakins – Unbroken

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida – Poland
Leviathan – Russia
Wild Tales – Argentina
Tangerines – Estonia
Timbuktu – Mauritania

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jason Hall – American Sniper
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler

Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6
Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Documentary Feature

Citizen Four
Finding Vivian Myer
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth Virunga

Best Film Editing

Joel Cox and Gary Roach – American Sniper
Sandra Adair – Boyhood
Barney Pilling – Grand Budapest Hotel
William Goldenberg – Imitation Game
Tom Cross – Whiplash

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X:Men: Days of Future Past

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper
Birdman
Mark Weingarten – Interstellar
Unbroken
Thomas Curley – Whiplash

Best Costume Design

Milena Canonero – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mark Bridges – Inherent Vice
Colleen Atwood – Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard – Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran – Mr. Turner

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar
Gary Yershon – Mr. Turner
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything

Best Documentary Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

Best Original Song

Lost Stars – Begin Again
Everything is Awesome – The LEGO Movie
Glory – Selma
Grateful – Beyond the Lights
I’m Not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me

Best Animated Short Film

The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Live Action Short

Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
Parvaneh

Como verán, hay muchas categorías en las que no pongo ningún voto porque la verdad es que no he visto todos los nominados (a veces a ningunos), aunque tengo que confesar que en ontras categorías voto sabiendo que no he visto otras de las nominacionesm so podriamos decir que no es como que tan objetivo, pero hay películas que simplemente siento que son invencibles en ciertas categorías. Así que nada… eso es lo que hay.

El primer post.

Este es el primer post, con fecha designada. Entonces, la verdad no voy a echar para atrás y empezar a hacer reviews de películas que he visto, sino que voy a empezar a partir de hoy con las pelis que vea a partir de hoy.

A los temas de películas voy a darle ratings de manera similar a como Netflix lo hace. Es decir,

1 estrella es “¡¡¡La odié!!!”,
2 estrellas es “No me gustó”,
3 es “Me gustó”,
4 es “Me gustó mucho” y
5 es “¡¡¡La amé!!!”

Otras cosas que puedo decir sobre este blog es que no me voy a dedicar a “escribir”. Es decir, no soy escritor ni periodista ni nada de eso, así que escribiré de manera casual, sin rebuscar y pretenciones. Como dirían en mi país, a la brigandina.

¿Sobre mi?  Bueno. Mi nombre es Francisco Sánchez. Soy Dominicano, nacido en Puerto Rico. Vivo, en este preciso momento en Houston, TX pero dentro de dos semanas me estoy mudando a Miami, FL, donde viví por 10 años (2003-2013). Siempre me ha gustado el arte en general, pero el amor por la música y el cine definitivamente fue algo que heredé de mi hermano mayor, quien me lleva casi 5 años de edad. Aunque desde mucho más joven en realidad siempre hice música y tuve bandas y todo eso, pero en mis 20s, tipo 26 años de edad, empecé a hacer cortometrajes y tuve la oportunidad de escribir una película, “Sin Ella”. Con lo de la música se me hace dificil escribir un blog, algo que puedo explicar luego, so lo hago para cine, y bueno… a ver como va. Y como el blog se llama Cine y otras debilidades, las “otras debilidades” son cosas random, que entre ellas pueden ser música, opiniones, comentarios sobre algo, etc. O sea, cualquier cosa… porque ¿pa qué tener varios blogs uno hablando mierda?

¡ojalá y les guste!

2015: The year of simplicity, clarity and content.

I always tend to make predictions of what’s going to happen in the upcoming year, and 2015 won’t be an exception. I think this is going to be an exciting year in digital advertisement and technology in general. It’s going to be the one in which we, advertising and marketing professioals, are going to go “That’s it!” With all the trial and errors we’ve been through, especially in the Hispanic market, this year we are going to digest the good, throw out the bad and relaunch. Here are my predictions:

In the agencies.

I think in 2015 we are going to see more and more that the ol’ traditional duos of an art director and a copywriter are going to be blurred by a more collaborative structure between departments and the addition of new positions. Campaigns will start not to be campaigns anymore. They are going to be platforms. Ecosystems that should breathe and live the core of the brand message and philosophy and integrating the consumer in order to create an interaction between the two entities. The old models that agencies have are turning more and more obsolete by the second. This mentality of creatives being copywriters, and all they can do is write, and they have and should have no idea of any other discipline is not the way things are going to turn out to be. Talent will have to be hybrid and more collaborative. We should start to see a way more Vertical pipeline rather than a Horizontal one.

This year also we are going to see more and more of the digital mid size shops turning into full service agencies with all capabilities. Of course, it makes sense. When everything is digital, nothing will be. Sounds like “The Incredibles” villain Sydrome, but it’s completely true. And right now the only shops capable of both disciplines are the ones that are digital at the core. As part of this transition, we’ll also see more and more agencies acquiring other agencies and/or shops. Like Sapient did with La Comunidad in Miami in order to grow their creative capabilities, other traditional agencies are going to acquire digital shops in order to grow their production, strategy and measurement capabilities in the digital world.

Other thing is the infamous term “Total Market.” As a Hispanic creative working in the hispanic market, I think that we should move from the immigrant perception of the hispanic consumers. By now Hispanics are not immigrants anymore. They are Hispanic-Americans and that’s what I think Total Market, in the most simplest way, means. Are we going to see this turning tables this year? Of course. So, to all Hispanic agencies, be ready. Clients are already realizing this.

Digital Advertising.

Those brands that think of digital advertising as a banner ad media plan are really, at the end of the line, wasting money. Its been a while since the ROI on a banner ad campaign is negative, for everybody. Yet clients keep on doing the same things. Why? I have no idea. In my opinion the most effective way of doing digital advertising is through content. CONTENT. again. Yes. Also making your ad approach a useful tool is another way of making your campaign or strategy successful. Digital advertising has turned into something more than just the web. Now, it’s also mobile devices including phones and tablets, wearable technology like the smart watches, even your regular ol’ TV with a chromecast. We should see more and more of those in 2015. For sure. Now, it’s weird to have a digital advertising section in this article since everything that will continue is unavoidably, DIGITAL by now, I’ll continue and you draw your own conclusions.

TV.

Interactive television will continue to grow and will make regular TV more and more obsolete. Proof of that is that HBO GO will be a subscription stand-alone platform, without the dependency of a premium cable subscription to HBO. That’s something. Netflix, Hulu and Prime will continue to grow and be able to have more and more content. People are going to start getting used to it. Why? I mean, consumers are already recording TV shows and content on their DVRs. That is a clear sign that they cannot be constrained to TV schedules. We already have the solution, the big corporate pigs are the ones who need to let us move forward. That tendency will continue to grow in 2015. I don’t think regular TV will be replaced this year though, not yet.

This year online content will continue to take grounds on advertising. Interactive TV is growing in a way in which Ads have no place in it, and if this is the tendency that consumers and the industry will ultimately take, advertising will have to become entertaining content as well. We are already experiencing that kind of strategies. Old Spice, Dove and Honda are just a few of the brands that are mastering it. Content. Content. Content. Content. In my opinion, that’s the keyword for this year. Regular ol’ TV commercials? sure. They are going to continue to be there. But I think this year they will start to grow into a bridge in order to amplify a broader platform that will exist online.

Mobile & wearable.

Whoever thinks of mobile as an APP, it’s terribly mistaking. Mobile devices are a set of tools that have become essential to people. This year, we aren’t going to see a lot of breakthroughs in mobile other than more ways to advertise through the tools (apps) people are already using on their devices. You are never going to advertise successfully through an app unless you give consumers a useful tool for them to use on a daily basis, “brought to you by yourbrand.” Think of the Nike Plus platform. It’s a tool. It’s a community. Brought to you by Nike. Also, mobile will continue to grow as the driver of content through social media. Consumers aren’t going to their computers to communicate or share with their friends, they are using their mobiles. The web is turning more and more into apps rather than websites, something I’ve been predicting since 2008 when I first saw the app store. And of course, data. With a device that people carry 24/7 and have made everybody obsessively dependents of it, big data collection (and privacy) this year is going to continue to be a major topic. Just thikg, with a phone (or a wearable) you can actually know when a person went into your store and send him or her a message, “Say hi to my little friend and get a 10% discount.” Scary, yet exciting. For us ad people at least.

Social Media.

Social media will continue to be the biggest driver of content in 2015 (content again) and the reason why consumers are bringing up the numbers on mobile content consumption. It is of my belief that when I see the growth of mobile consumption in any market it’s not because people are using a bunch of apps. People are just most of their time on facebook or twitter watching and sharing content. So next time when you start working on a campaign and want to include mobile because of the big numbers, have that in mind. Also, Facebook has been taking over video distribution. This year I think Facebook is going to be claim kind of a genre of videos from Youtube, just because of how consumers behave. If I take a video of my cat and want to share it with my friends, does it make sense for me to post it on Youtube and then share it on Facebook or just go to Facebook directly and share it there? I think the answer is simple. For ads, however, it’s a bit more complicated since you have a measurement aspect on it. So far, the results I’ve seen with Facebook video ads are way better than going to Youtube. I think the reason is that people aren’t looking for ads on Youtube. Only us, advertising geeks are hehe.

Any new social network site for this year? Who knows. Maybe the next Zuckerberg is coding in a garage somewhere in nevada at this very moment. How social media is going to evolve in wearables? That I want to see it, but of course it’s something we are going to experience this year.

Radio & Music.

I love radio. Maybe because I’m a musician, who knows. I think this is a good time for radio creativity. Why? Because consumers are quitting the old model of owning music and are moving into a “renting” music platform. How? By using platforms like Pandora and Spotify. Renting? Well… I think that’s what it is. You listen to all the music you want and in exchange they will play advertising in between songs, but you don’t really own the songs. Is the internet way of things. Sort of. hehe. Even if you subscribe to these services, you are basically renting it for a fee. I don’t know, just my view. Anyway, most consumers aren’t paying for this services and that’s where advertising comes in. Now, this is not a prediction but more of a request to the industry: we should be doing MORE. Even radio has turned into a SCREEN (tablet, smartphone, TV). Why is this precious media being left behind is beyond my understanding. Regular radio is mostly being used in cars. In our homes, offices and portable devices we are using these online services, with screens and headphones!!! Great opportunities and ideas (that I won’t share here) for any creative here. 😉

BIG DATA.

Brace yourselves! For BIG DATA will become BIGGER AND BIGGER. hehe… This year one of the most important things is going to be DATA. I and don’t mean the good ol’ hits and visits. Those are already obsolete and don’t mean nothing, IMHO. I mean DATA. INFORMATION. Why do you think Amazon is going into hardware businesses like phones, tablets and home electronics? Because they want DATA. They want to know what you do, when you do it, how you do it, with whom and how frequently so they can sell you what you “want.” Same thing with advertising. This year every single campaign should collect DATA. That’s going to be the second most important measurement for any campaign (being ROI the first, of course).

General technology.

  • 2015 is the Oculus Rift Year. Hopefully. We will definitely see a lot of campaigns and stuff in general using this thing.
  • This year we are going to start seeing a lot of Game Streaming services bloom.
  • Wearable technology. Hopefully we don’t end up with Golden iTeeth.
  • 4K will start to become a standard more than a novelty, and we are going to see more streaming of it.
  • In app purchases will replace the model of purchasing apps. At least for games. This is so sad…
  • A bunch of other useless crap, as usual, will come out. Where’s my Leap Motion? ha!

That’s it. Happy 2015!!!

Francisco “El Tigre” Sánchez.

Things we should stop over-using (or doing at all) in Hispanic advertising.

As you may know, I’m a creative working in the Hispanic advertising industry. My background is actually in art direction, in digital more than any other medium. As many of us creatives, everyday we look online for inspiration, what’s out there, what other brands are doing, portfolios, funny stuff, trends, articles, news… all of that. In this daily routine, I find myself stumbling upon the same resources, references, techniques and gimmicks over and over again… and really: we should stop. Here are some of them:

 

1. La familia.

It seems like every single Hispanic ad has to have the mom, the dad or the abuela, or all of them.  Granted, there are situations in which it’s 100% relevant to have those characters, but like the title of this post: let’s stop over using it.

2. Luchadores.

Gosh… I really don’t have much to say about this one other than, please, let’s stop using luchadores. It was cool 10 years ago. By now it’s just as stereotypical as salsa dancing and mariachis. Let it go.

3. Candy Skulls.


Same thing as with luchadores. Enough already. Done.

4. Cha. Cha. Cha.

Really? do we really think that to approach the Hispanic consumer we need to always sound like a Mariachi or a Salsa? I know we have a distinctive sound but… really? Again, there are particular cases in which the cha cha cha is the correct approach, but definitely not in every single one. This only screams “client asked for it”. And if he/she didn’t… oh well.

5. The over the top VOs.

This is one of my favorites. It’s been a while since I want to do something making fun of our VOs or our spanish dubs. They are so over the top and cliche that you could be watching the most visually stunning commercial ever created and once that spanish VO comes in, feel like your watching the most horrendous spot ever from 1981. Can’t we just move on to having neutral voices?

6. Hispanics are smarter.

Enough said. I refuse to think we are THAT stupid. George Lois said:

“If you think people are dumb, you’ll spend a lifetime of doing dumb work.”

Couldn’t agree more.

 

 

The Digital Dilemma: What is being a digital agency anyways?

I’ve worked for the Hispanic advertising industry in the US for several years as a digital expert / creative / developer / producer / guy. I’ve worked from static banners to developing highly complex SaaS websites. I’ve seen some extraordinary ideas, many lame ones and lots and lots of… well.  No one to blame, as there is one thing that this new digital fever really has for certain: nobody knows what to do. And you know what? That’s OK. We’ve been for around 50 years (maybe more?) doing advertising in the same formats: a TV scripts/spot, a print ad, OOH and other below the line mediums. Then digital is born… 20 years ago that meant banner ads and a website. Now, it means… well, it means too many things. What to do, how to do and when to do whatever needs to be done to become a digital capable agency are the big questions. Yet, throughout my years of working as an independent contractor and an employee for many Hispanic agencies (and some GM ones), I’ve seen a constant issue and that is of structure. What is a digital creative? where’s the line between creativity and production capabilities? What makes the agency digital or not? When is the agency doing advertising and when is it acting as a digital studio? These are some of the scenarios I’ve encountered in the past 5-7 years:

Some agencies don’t have any in-house digital creative and/or production capabilities, yet they offer digital services. How do they deliver? They rely only on third party vendors and not only for the development of the idea, but for the actual ideas. This is not a very good approach because the creative agency never grows as a full service integrated advertising agency for it always depends on a provider. Also, their creatives never become very savvy in digital and never move away from their safe priority of doing their regular ol’ TV spots. Not that it’s a bad thing for TV creativity is more challenging (and fun) than ever nowadays, yet we are talking about agencies that are aiming to have an integrated team with a very wrong approach.

The previous scenario leads us to a second issue which is that these third party vendors aren’t digital advertising agencies, they are digital studios, so their real strength is in building things. Some of them are really extraordinary from an art direction and development point of view but most of them are really weak in creativity, for the lack of better words to describe it. This is exactly what’s happening with Sapient. They are a true digital production powerhouse but they lack creativity, hence their acquisition of  La Comunidad in Miami, FL. Same thing is happening with many digital studios like Digitas and Red. They have the great advantage of being capable of designing, programming and building anything a creative mind can think of, they just don’t have the creative minds. Yet, they are in the works of leaving their “provider” status behind and becoming full integrated agencies.

Other agencies have the two previous situations combined. They have a full in-house digital team of designers, animators and developers. This may sound very nice at first but the same problem as before happens. The agency relies on this team to come up with all of the digital assignations, the problem it renders is the same as having the third party vendor, but in-house. The way a friend described to me was “this is like an agency within an agency.” This situation, in my opinion, is even more complex and challenging in transitioning into a full integrated advertising agency because the isolation between departments is greater. But even a bigger problem is that if the agency decides to integrate both departments it unavoidably becomes overstaffed being forced to 1) keep the positions and somehow make it work without overlapping responsibilities (and egos) 2) Reassign people to new positions (sometimes made up), which most likely leads to confusion an even more complicated processes and understanding of their own roles and responsibilities, or 3) Letting people go… not very fun.

One thing I’ve encountered in all the above scenarios described is the lack of identifying when a project is an advertising one or simply a studio one. You see, in my mind if I work in an advertising agency I should be working on… well, advertising! But a lot of people don’t understand this and think that if we do digital then we do web design and if we do web design then we do your website! This really bothers me. I’ve seen how agencies end up doing corporate websites for their clients as if they were the little web design studio down the street. It kind of reminds me of a prank an ex co-worker (and good friend) did to a advertising production house we used to work for. He called asking for film rates and services… for his wedding. “No sir, we don’t do weddings… But, you are a film company, right? Yes. And you do video? Yes. So why can’t you do my wedding’s video?” Same thing. The fact that you offer digital services doesn’t mean you are a webdesign shop or “do their wedding’s website.”

Now the big questions again, What can we do? How do we do it? When? Small questions, big answers. I think that the recipe (or at least part of it) is a little bit in all of the previous scenarios I just described. How come? you ask… All of the experiences I’ve had, in my opinion, have a piece of the puzzle. First, we must never forget that ideas are ideas and if a creative is good, ideas are going to be good. That is the essence of our jobs as creatives, right? The big confusion in the industry is the thin line between an idea and an execution. Both of them have to be creative, indeed, yet they are not to be taken as the same thing.

If your agency has good creatives, rest assure that you will get good ideas, the question is if they can execute them in digital mediums, and therein lies the problem. For starters, In my opinion, for those agencies that only rely on third party vendors: stop spending that money and invest it in your own company. Yes, hire digital developers/technologists to work along with your existing creative teams. That way there’s a streamline of conceptualization, design and development within your agency’s pipeline, probably saving you some money since good and reliable providers aren’t necessarily cheap. Also, the agency has to be sure that they start hiring integrated creative people or training the existing ones. There is no use of having the right teams to come up with digital campaigns if their Creative Directors don’t have a clue. Granted, it’s very hard to find these leaders since the true digital generation is just starting to get out of school and even harder it’s in the Hispanic industry but… it is what it is.

Now, there are other structure issues when having a development team in-house, and that is… what’s the difference between a project manager and a producer? If the team is in house, and the agency already has a project management team and a production team, then who’s in charge of what? Here is a little puzzle, because in digital you actually never know what’s going to be done until you get your idea and come up with an execution for it. In my opinion, the agency should simply have the capabilities. Project management should be in charge of managing everything that happens in-house and producers in charge of managing with third party vendors and providers. If the agency doesn’t have a project management department as lots of the digital studios, then producers are the project managers as well; and if the agency already have digital producers then they should be either trained to be capable of producing video, audio, photography and all of the offline stuff; or reassigned as PMs. Here the agency may end up with an overstaff issue as well.

Should the agency have exclusive digital creatives? With what I just said I think it’s very clear that the answer is no. Having exclusive digital creatives is not the right approach. Will it be good to for the transition? Yes. Will it ease the pain of transitioning to an integrated agency and being able to deliver the day to day work? Yes. Will it ultimately cost more and make things slower and painful? definitely. Does it make sense to have an executive overseeing digital? I’m not sure. In my point of view, the digital vein (because I don’t see it as a department) falls under the creative and the production departments. If the ECDs and Heads of Production aren’t savvy enough to oversee, then I think an executive digital person it’s necessary yet not crucial. It might help the transition a lot though, especially because it will have the power (or at least it should) to make some very tough decisions. But, then what? After everything is done, what happens with this position?

I never said it was easy, and I actually haven’t even done this myself. Shit, I’m even one of those unnecessary exclusive digital creatives myself!!! I just say this is what I would try to do given the power and the ideal scenario (not very common) to do it. For now, I just write and post these ideas in my blog and… wait.

Como sea y lo que sea.

No debe ser así. Nunca podrás recobrar el interés en las cosas que te conmovían, y si lo dejas entonces te encontrarás en un abismo de incertidumbre que te dolerá a morir, hasta volver a reencontrarte con las cosas que te conmovían. ¿Si me entiendes? Por eso te digo, no debe de ser así.
No puede ser así. Lucha, no abandones… Sufre, no llores. Por que solo los perdedores abandonan y lloran. Los que luchan y sufren siempre terminan con un triunfo digno de memoria. Por eso te digo, no debe de ser así.
No puede ser así. Ven devuelta y ¡levántate! Levanta la mirada, ¡oh! Hijo de la estrella Sol, que te hace falta luz en esos ojos…- Dijo.
 a lo que yo respondí ¿De qué hablas? Y de repente un silencio incomodo inundó aquellos oscuros metros cuadrados.