Minneapolis creative agency Colle McVoy has hired veteran creative Ciro Sarmiento as its new chief creative officer, taking over a position that hasn’t been filled since early in 2022.
Sarmiento joins the agency, which was named Adweek’s U.S. Midsize Agency of the Year, today following creative leadership roles at several shops in New York, most recently at Saatchi & Saatchi Woven Collaborative, P&G’s dedicated creative shop.
“This is a pivotal moment for our agency, and we’re proud to have Ciro join our leadership team during this time of growth,” said Christine Fruechte, chief executive officer of Colle McVoy, in a statement. “Ciro is a rare gem in our industry. His vision will be critical as we navigate the ‘great wide open’ on behalf of our ambitious clients, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him aboard.”
Sarmiento began his career at Ogilvy & Mather in Colombia, working his way up from copywriter to creative director. He spent time as a creative director at LatinWorks and Leo Burnett before landing as chief creative officer at Dieste. He also spent time as CCO at Weber Shandwick and then Woven Collaborative. His experience spans top brands like Anheuser-Busch, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Mondelez, AT&T, DirecTV, Tide, Downy, Hershey’s, Mars, Domino’s, Lowe’s, MillerCoors, Unilever and Coca-Cola.
Sarmiento helped create one the campaigns from last year’s Super Bowl, the Downy Unstopables series of spots featuring Danny McBride.
Building on creative success
Sarmiento said he took the job with Colle McVoy because he felt an instant connection to Fruechte and president Jessica Henrichs, along with the creative team that has been producing the work since Mike Caguin, the longtime CCO at Colle McVoy, left in 2022 to lead creative at Minneapolis agency Periscope.
“Their motto has their word ‘creativity’ in it, and you rarely see that in agencies who have been around that long. They’re almost 90 years old, but they still have that creative shop energy, which I love,” Sarmiento told Adweek.
He added that he wants to help build a creative vision with Fruechte and Henrichs, as well as Stagwell’s Constellation network of agencies, of which Colle McVoy is a part. He feels that Stagwell is younger and fresher as a holding company, and he has long been a fan of network agencies Crispin Porter + Bogusky and 72andSunny. Sarmiento met with John Boiler, creative chair for Constellation, and the two clicked instantly over their shared creative leadership style and ambition.
Sarmiento said Colle McVoy already has a great creative team in place and he’s there to help guide, inspire and motivate them. He’s looking forward to working with existing clients like La-Z-Boy, Target, Whirlpool and Craftsman, but also helping the agency succeed in new business pitches.
“It’s all part of just getting to know the teams and what their strengths are and helping them dial out the quality of their work. I’m a builder of things. … I want to create work that really leaves a stamp, creates a mark on culture and the industry and also in people. I think we share those same values. I’m excited to be a part of it,” he added.
Sarmiento is hoping to help take an agency that has grown from a regionally respected shop to a nationally respected agency to one with a global creative reputation. “It’s possible. They have the clients, they have the teams, and they have that mix of being humble but staying hungry that I love.”
For now, Sarmiento will be a supercommuter, spending time in the office on the Tuesdays and Thursdays people work at the Minneapolis headquarters, but then working at home in Dallas where his family lives.
“Ciro has consistently led some of the world’s best brands to exceptional work in role after role, and I’m thrilled to partner with him to take Colle McVoy to the next level,” said Henrichs in a statement. “He exudes character, leadership and creativity, and his background in multicultural marketing brings a critical lens to our work and our clients.”