Prado Launches FireFly

NEW YORK Hector Prado, co-founder of advertising agency The Lab, has parted ways with partner Pablo Trench to launch his own company, FireFly.

The Colombia-born creative said FireFly actually started operations in June as a division of The Lab, but in September was spun off as an independent firm. Both The Lab and FireFly are based in Miami.

FireFly, said Prado, has set out to position brands as an integral part of an entertainment experience for the consumer. As an example, he cited the 2000 Tom Hanks film Cast Away in which a FedEx package and a Wilson ball become characters and interact with one another.

“You feel [the brands] as characters,” said Prado, who sold his participation in the Lab to his former partner and invested approximately $200,000 in the new venture. Prado insists that FireFly is not a branded entertainment firm but rather “entertainment with a brand.”

FireFly, which has nine staffers in Miami, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, has developed projects for several clients, including the Office of Early Learning Center in Miami, GenTV (Channel 8) and Commerce Bank. In addition, the company has produced a music video for salsa singer Ray Ruiz. “We managed the artist as a brand and not like show business,” said Prado.

In the area of new media, Prado’s company has worked with several outdoor suppliers, renting unsold space by the hour to display video advertising.