The McCann Santiago copywriter tells Addison Capper about #NoMásViolenciaSexual for UN Women and why she considers herself a ‘Chilombian’
Javiera Wuth is a copywriter at McCann Santiago. Recently she cast her creative mind to UN Women Latin America in a bid to educate men in the region about the everyday fear of sexual violence that women face. ‘#NoMásViolenciaSexual’ tapped into a common truth that one of the few times that men fear rape is when they picture themselves in jail. But Javiera’s creative career hasn’t always presented opportunities to make such an important impact. To get to this point she’s had to travel through what she calls “the desert”, doing the kind of work - and a lot of banners - that nobody else wants to do. But she knew it was worthwhile as part of her path to create memorable ideas that connect to people.
Outside of work, she is into poetry, writing stories, heavy metal and fluffy cats, which are all excellent pastimes in our opinion. Addison Capper caught up with her to find out more.
LBB> Where are you from and what kind of kid were you? And what role did creativity play in your childhood?
Javiera> I am from Santiago de Chile, far away at the end of the world. When I was a child, I was really a very calm person, I didn't get into trouble. I was always kind of a nerd, I liked to read and play Nintendo.
My first points of contact with creativity were when I started to play with words, writing rhymes and some poems. Then I began to write more seriously, I studied a degree in literature and today, although I am dedicated to advertising writing, I am still writing stories and poems.
LBB> How did you first get into the industry? What was your very first job?
Javiera> I've been working for over six years and my first job was to make posts and banners for a bank. It wasn't an exciting job… Meanwhile, I used to watch senior creatives constantly presenting incredible ideas to the CD and, like, I was junior, I think that they didn’t even see me at all.
In the end, after a while, I understood that I had to go through ‘the desert’ and do the kind of work ‘that nobody wants’ to reach my dream: to create memorable ideas that really connect with people.
If I learned something in my first job it’s that nobody remembers a banner (unless you have an incredible idea for it).
LBB> What was your first creative milestone in the industry – the project you worked on that you were super proud of?
Javiera> I think that my first milestone is the last campaign of UN Women in Latin America, called ‘#NoMásViolenciaSexual’, to eradicate the gender violence we suffer every day. It was a film focused on making men empathise with the fear of rape. To achieve this, we use a powerful male insight: ‘One of the few moments where a man feels fear of rape is when he pictures himself in jail.’ So, we compared it with a daily situation of a woman entering a bar and being harassed.
The result makes you feel goosebumps. The campaign had a process of many emotions because I had experienced violence myself. But the campaign had results with an impact that I´d never experienced before: it was a regional launch that had reached 80 countries and was covered by many media outlets, but, most importantly, we managed to generate conversation in men about the issue in a region where one-in-three women has suffered sexual assault (Source: UN Women).
LBB> I really liked that campaign and was going to ask you about it. What else can you tell us about it?
Javiera> I'm glad you liked it, thank you! It was a dream brief for me - I consider myself a feminist and I had always wanted to deliver a powerful message regarding this issue. UN Women gave me the opportunity and I was able to deliver a personal statement through the brand.
It was an emotional rollercoaster project because I have often been the victim of discrimination and (as I said before) even some types of violence. It was impossible for me to leave the feelings ‘out’ of this work. I thank the wonderful team with whom I developed it, who understood perfectly how I felt in this whole process.
LBB> You left Chile to work in Colombia - how did you find that experience? How was it to immerse yourself in a different culture and a different advertising industry?
Javiera> It was a wonderful two years, leaving your country is something I recommend 100% and I would definitely do it again. It wasn’t so difficult to get into Colombia’s culture because I had an open mind for whatever came, my goal was to learn as much as I could. Colombia is one of the main markets in Latin America, an important destination to learn, regional brand hubs are there and their level of creativity is a reference throughout the region.
Though one issue was my ‘Chilean Spanish’, which is quite different from Colombian Spanish, so sometimes I had to ask for help to bring my ideas to life. Also I had to get used to speaking slowly, because at first nobody understood me. But after six months I was already speaking in the same way so I consider myself as a ‘Chilombian’ now.
LBB> What spurred you to move back to Chile to join McCann Chile in 2018? What makes the agency a good fit for you?
Javiera> I had to return because of a family issue because, of course, family first. With that resolved, I decided to enter McCann because one of the best creative directors that I know called me: the Argentinian and talented Ricardo Corsaro. And it turned out that I found an agency that was going in a super creative direction with the recent leadership of José Ignacio Solari. That caught me because I was hungry to achieve things.
In addition, in the two years that I have been here, I have met an inclusive agency, concerned about its people, that uses all its strength when it believes in an idea to move forward and complete the project.
LBB> Within the industry, who are your creative heroes? And what work makes you jealous?
Javiera> Just to name a few: Mónica Moro, Nicolás Pérez, Ricardo Corsaro, Laura Visco, Madonna Badger, Anselmo Ramos and, why not, Peggy Olson.
Works that I admire and get jealous of: Dove Beauty Sketches, Like a Girl, Rape Tax, Second Chances, The Memory Dial, 88 years old news anchor, Moldy Whopper… I could never stop.
LBB> Where do you draw inspiration from?
Javiera> Usually I use my personal experience or what my gut tells me about a subject. On other occasions, I study and read a lot to get some weird insight or an unknown fact.
LBB> What tips would you give to somebody hoping to break into the creative world?
Javiera> Even if it sounds cliché, I suggest working hard, being passionate and aiming to go further. If you are sure of those things, you are on the right path... I was fired from four agencies when I started and today, several years later, I couldn't be better. Just go for it! We get paid to think of ideas, that’s awesome!
LBB> Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
Javiera> Heavy metal music and fluffy cats.
LBB> What would be your dream brand to work on and why?
Javiera> I'm lucky to work with an institution (brand) that I’ve always dreamed of: UN Women. I’m very happy to belong to the team that develops their campaigns because the results of our ideas are very rewarding and also has a great impact on the whole world. It delivers a powerful message of equality to entire countries, companies and society.