By SuperSpy 

We’ve been lucky lately. People want to keep chatting with us! Next up is Manuel Wernicky of ADRENALINA, the agency that shocked everyone by nabbing the Hispanic Heineken business. So, how did they even get in the room to pitch? Wernicky gives us the answer.
1. ADRENALINA just bounded onto the scene, seemingly out of nowhere. How is it that you guys managed to close the Heineken account without having a firm established portfolio of work? How did you even get invited to pitch? That’s impressive.

The the three partners heard about the pitch and asked Heineken USA to let us present our capabilities and beer expertise since all three partners combined have over 80 years of beer experience. Paco Olavarrieta with Heineken USA and Jose Arandia and myself with Miller Light and Miller Genuine Draft.


We knew we were up against the establishment, legacy agencies with a history; a client portfolio and a story of the past – “We’ve done. We did, and entitlement.” We had to turn their strengths into a weakness by powerfully leveraging our strengths. We had to come fully armed with a pithy category and product insights the client had never heard before and a brilliant marketing strategy – dynamic, fresh and unexpected creative that would differentiate the brand.

We’ve all been in pitches where you need a defribilator to help you get through the two hours – CLEAR! CLEAR! CLEAR!

Our one goal was to create ADRENALINA: Engagement, experience and emotion between the brand and consumer.

2. When you think about the future of ADRENALINA, where do you see the agency in five years?

Leading the curve in the third generation of Hispanic marketing. There’s been two generations in Hispanic marketing to date – the pioneers that started about twenty-five years, the sprouts, and now we’re hoping to raise the bar, using a more evolved, sophisticated, strategic marketing approach that is less focused on media flow charts and storyboards and instead focused on ideas, based on insightful marketing that delivers quantifiable results.

3. Why are you attracted to the advertising business? What is that keeps you getting up in the morning and doing the grind?

I really love what I do and am passionate about bringing great ideas to life. Also, I love working with some of the best people in the business. You know, none of us at ADRENALINA do this to collect a paycheck and that is refreshing. It’s great to work with people when everyone feels the same passion about doing things differently, pulling no stops and that it’s all about the work.

4. Leo Burnett had a very firm idea of when it was time to take his name off the door. When will you know it’s time to get out of the business?

When we stop obsessing about our client’s business and become more focused on ourselves, egotistical about the agency and its accomplishments. When we become order takers and stop leading the client when we conform to mediocrity and say the work is really good and provide a sea of sameness instead of something dynamically different.

5. Do you work on any other side projects outside of the business?

No right now.

Last year, I did ‘Reading Is Fundamental’ and helped launch a multicultural reading awareness campaign to help increase literacy rates among African American and Hispanic pre-school children ages 1-5. It was one of the most intrinsically rewarding things I’ve ever done.


Adrenaline, a hormone in the human body, is generated when we experience an emotion. In the same way Adrenalina, the agency, generates ideas that provoke engagement, experience and emotion between brands and consumers.

Based in New York’s SoHo district, Adrenalina’s marketing disciplines include: media agnostic ideas, breakthrough advertising, retail and event marketing, consumer promotions and digital. The agency is 49% owned by MDC Partners.