Monday, April 25, 2011

Argentina Alive!

Glen Cameron is one of the SweeneyVesty team who manage my speech and media programs out there on the road. He is an advance negotiator and logistician for keynotes and media around the globe, and occasionally plays onsite diplomat. We were in Argentina 10 days ago. Here’s Glen’s report.

I often wonder if the gods of city planning had my tastes in mind when designing Buenos Aires. Wide avenues and cluttered city streets, beautiful parks, contrasting neighborhoods, often wonderful weather, incredible restaurants, European architecture, and robust, friendly people. Hotels like the Alvear Palace and the Faena couldn’t be more different, but each is fully representative of the supposed Paris of the South. In reality, Buenos Aires has no need to be compared to anywhere. The color and energy of the city made a perfect fit for the FIAP (Festival Iberoamericano de la Publicidad) celebrations – Latin America’s premier advertising festival.

It was noticeable that FIAP was happening around the city, due to the enormous amount of people-who-looked-like-they-were-in-advertising around, and inspiration and excitement was everywhere. Argentina is the home of one of the stars of the Saatchi & Saatchi network, Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, who were voted Agency of the Year again, whilst winning 20 “Soles”. Fertile ground.

Kevin was there to join celebrations and to accept a FIAP award honoring his life time work in advertising, and his influence on Latin America marketing life. A great moment, and honor, capped by the surprise of the night, as he was presented with his medal by the New Zealand Ambassador to Argentina, Darryl Dunn, and a surprise guest: the great Argentine rugby player, Hugo Porta.

It probably meant more to the rugby fans amongst us than others could have guessed – but an evening in the presence of the great No.10 was a real treat to anyone who had seen him play. Given that in Argentina, No.10 usually means Maradona or Messi, Porta is able to describe himself convincingly as a “private citizen”. Not this evening!

Ambassador Dunn and his wife kindly opened up their residence for the evening reception, and the melding of the rugby and advertising worlds caught fire. It won’t be the last time, and not the last time this Rugby World Cup year for sure, but it was proof positive that great deeds are never really undone – Porta was a champion again, and monopolized in conversation. Including by me – we talked about the first time I saw him play, on a day that Allblacks.com describes as “foul and windy” – a deliberate understatement. I wasn’t really sure I did see him through the sleet and southerly gales, this led to the belated discovery that I was in fact short sighted, so it was a pleasure to be sure this time.

Argentina is coming into the southern hemisphere’s rugby tournament next year, the Tri-Nations will become Four Nations. It will be the perfect excuse to visit its capital, a city that is alive – with magical no.10s, advertising visionaries, 15 million energetic souls, and plenty of attitude. Check your meat eating credentials, budget for a very long flight, and step into the creative future."

Hugo Porta and Kevin Roberts

1 comment:

Daniel Marcet said...

Thanks Glen for your comments, thanks Kevin for accepting our invitation. It was a great honour to have the whole Saatchi team, and specially you Kevin, at FIAP. Warmest regards, Daniel Marcet, FIAP CEO.