David Miami has made a flurry of new hires as of late, including a creative team from We Are Unlimited that helped McDonald’s flip its golden arches in honor of International Women’s Day last year.
Sarah Dembkowski and Georgia Taylor, who were both on Adweek’s Creative 100 list earlier this year, are joining David Miami as senior creatives in January. At We Are Unlimited, Dembkowski and Taylor served as senior copywriter and art director, respectively. While there, the two also worked on a project for McDonald’s that involved bringing a “Shambow” (short for Shamrock Rainbow) to life in Chicago to promote the chain’s Shamrock Shake.
Pancho Cassis, who joined the Ogilvy-owned agency earlier this year as partner and global chief creative officer, described the two as “super young and super hungry,” noting that their previous experience will bring fresh thinking to David Miami. He also said the addition of a female team will make the agency’s creative department more gender-balanced.
Additionally, David Miami has hired Sergio Takahata and João Viegas as art directors. Both have worked at David’s São Paulo office as well as other agencies on brands such as Heineken, Burger King and Coca-Cola.
The agency has also added two hires to its leadership ranks. Ricardo Honegger, who currently serves as managing director at Gut Miami, is joining David Miami to take on the same role. Paula Vampré is joining the agency as global chief strategy officer, a new position at David Miami. In this role, she will oversee strategists across David’s four offices in Miami, São Paulo and Buenos Aires and Madrid. Throughout her career, Vampré has worked at agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy and BBH.
All of the new hires are beginning their new roles in January 2020. The additions come as David Miami rebuilds following an exodus of talent over the past year, as several of its leaders have recently departed for Gut, the Miami-based independent agency founded by David co-founders Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio in 2018.
In September, executive creative directors Juan Javier Peña Plaza and Ricardo Casal announced that they’d be leaving David Miami to join Gut. During their time at David Miami, the two worked on some of its biggest clients and campaigns, including Burger King’s “Google Home of the Whopper,” which won a Grand Prix at Cannes Lions two years ago.
Others who have left David Miami this year include Carmen Rodriguez, who joined Gut as a partner and its first chief client officer. In June, Paulo Fogaca left his post as David Miami’s managing director and global chief operating officer to join Gut, where he serves as partner and chief operating officer.
Ignacio Ferioli and Joaquín Cubria, who previously served as executive creative directors at David in Buenos Aries, joined Gut—which has offices in Miami, Buenos Aire and São Paulo—in July as partners and chief creative officers.
Cassis came to 7-year-old David in June from Lola MullenLowe in Madrid, where he’d served as executive creative director for four years, racking up Cannes Lions for the likes of Burger King and Mattel along the way. At David, he’s been tasked with driving a new chapter for an agency that’s built a reputation as a scrappy creative powerhouse.
“We’re going to start 2020 in very good shape,” Cassis said. “We’re going to have fresh new forces coming in to deliver all the work we have. We’re getting a lot of business, so we wanted to bring in new, young, hungry teams.”
David Miami in particular will hit the ground running at the start of the new year, as it is currently working on two Super Bowl 54 spots, as well as a brand hack of sorts that will tie into the fanfare surrounding the game. David’s Madrid office, which opened in July, is also working on one of the Super Bowl spots.
The 30-person Madrid office was recently named Burger King’s agency of record in Spain and Portugal (David was named the chain’s global agency of record in 2014). Moving forward, David Madrid will handle digital, TV, radio, out-of-home and visual efforts for the brand in those markets.
Recently, David Madrid created a campaign dubbed “La Toma de Ávila” to launch the Rebel Whopper, Burger King’s plant-based burger, in Spain.
According to Cassis, David’s Madrid office also handles creative for cough drop brand Halls across Europe, while David Miami works on the Halls account globally and in the U.S. David Madrid has also been credited with helping WPP win Mondelēz-owned Milka’s European creative business earlier this year.
Aside from overseeing the agency’s burgeoning Madrid office, Cassis said he is working on a growth plan for David that involves making it more than just a “provider of good advertising ideas.” According to Cassis, he wants David to “behave more as a company and less as an agency,” working on everything from product development to user experience for its clients. He also foresees David getting to a point where the agency is creating its own products, content and IP.
“We don’t want to be the agency that is only doing ads,” he explained. “We want to be a company that is helping our clients with creative solutions to their business problems.”