Creative Flavor: Javier Osorio Shares How He Became 'Bewitched' With Creative Advertising

With this creative director's work, pop culture is both the inspiration and the outcome

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You’ll often hear of creative advertisers discovering their interest via pop culture, whether it stems from an iconic billboard or a music star’s distinct creative direction. Fluent360’s group creative director Javier Osorio is no different in that respect, but he does cite an interesting, very specific source of inspiration: the classic 1960s sitcom, Bewitched—more specifically, one of the leading characters: account executive Darrin Stephens.

“I was struck by the discovery that someone could make a living drawing and writing to sell products,” the Chicago-based creative told Adweek for its Creative Flavor series, made in collaboration with Produ and Circulo Creativo. “The character impacted me so much that I entered the industry as an account executive before switching to ‘the creative side of the force.'”

Entering creative advertising allowed Osorio to combine narrative with strategy—a challenge that he describes as an “exhilarating rush.”

“It what keeps my days interesting and stimulating,” he said.


The work also allows Osorio to be a part of pop culture in a tangible way. One example of such access lies in his proudest work, which is based on a famous Allstate character.

“There’s a creative campaign called ‘Mala Suerte,’ or ‘Mr. Bad Luck,’ that we created,” he shared. “It became part of popular culture for Latinos in the U.S., which I’m very proud of.”

Mala Suerte, a spinoff of the notable Mayhem character played by Dean Winters, isn’t simply a Spanish translation of existing work. Whereas Mayhem operated off of chaos, Mala Suerte more subtly embodied destiny—a detail based on key cultural insights.

Said Osorio, “Mala Suerte’s campaign was built on consistency. Everything was carefully crafted to establish a consistent style, from the character’s mannerisms to the construction of the accidents he caused. That helped us sustain the campaign for over seven years with solid results for the brand.”

The ‘more interesting’ challenge

On his ideal project and client: “A few years ago, I would have told you that an ideal project gives you creative freedom with a reasonable timeline and a robust budget. But after more than 22 years doing this, I prefer complex projects within small strategic boxes and limited budgets, because those are more interesting and challenging.”

On what he hopes to learn over the next year: With great passion comes a desire to be heftily involved in every part of the creative process. It’s also the quickest way to burn out. Osorio wants to prevent that as much as possible so that he can keep creating while allowing other creatives to sharpen their skillsets.

“I want to learn how to delegate a bit more,” he said. “I have a tendency to be extremely hands-on. That is why this year I’ve been building a team of top performers so I can spend more energy creating the proper conditions to do good work. Then I can get out of the way and let the team shine on its own.”

To read the full Creative Flavor series, visit the landing page.