Uprising in association withThe Immortal Awards

Uprising: Endless Possibilities with McCann Bogotá’s Andrés Vergara and Julian Triana

Advertising Agency
Bogota, Colombia
Creative duo speak to Addison Capper about winning at the 2020 Colombia Young Lions and the importance of patience to life as a creative
Photo, left to right: Andrés Vergara and Julian Triana 

Andrés Vergara and Julian Triana are a creative team at McCann Bogotá who, in the midst of everything terrible that 2020 threw at us, celebrated a Bronze win at the Colombia Young Lions. 

Their entry is a cheeky, text-based piece of work for Club Colombia beer that lists the endless pairing possibilities for the beverage, such as cheese fondue, BBQ and all manner of Colombian culinary delights before reeling off things such as Rocky (one, two three AND four), your ex, badminton, the Super Bowl, and a whole load more. 

“To participate in Young Lions will always be a great experience,” says Julian. “Last year Andrés and I won a Bronze in the Film category, which made us feel very proud because, without doubt, it is one of the most competitive categories in the festival. We only had five days to make the piece, it was really challenging to create something that could surprise the jury. But in the end, the effort was worth it.”

“I’ve been participating in Young Lions for several years, being shortlisted many times and have won two times,” adds Andrés. “Last year I represented Colombia in the Cannes Lions Festival in the Design Category, and it was a grateful experience to compete against other countries. This year, I won a Bronze in the Film category with Julian. It’s a great competition because it challenges you to believe in your own judgment, and it helps you to push yourself to the limit.”

Andrés’ childhood was split between the tropical, coastal city of Barranquilla and the Colombian capital Bogotá, which is located way up high in the Andes mountains. “Living on the coast has many values in terms of culture, music, art and folklore,” he says. “So, living in these two cities let me have many perspectives about my career and myself as a person.”

Julian, meanwhile, is a city kid through and through, raised in Bogotá. “I was an extroverted and curious kid,” he tells us. “All my childhood was surrounded by musicians, and that’s a very important part of me in terms of creativity.”

After his studies, Andrés focused his creative energies on branding, design and a little digital retouching work before landing a job at Ostia, a small agency in Bogotá. After that, however, he dipped his toes into the post production industry as a post producer at Latina, one of the most well-known post production companies in Colombia. He was named by Lürzer’s Archive as one of the 200 best digital artists worldwide. 

Julian was still studying when he got his first stab at agency life, landing a trainee gig at Leo Burnett working on the agency’s Philip Morris account. From there he went on to McCann as a junior copywriter, gradually working his way up to his current creative director position. 

The duo both cite everyday life as their biggest form of inspiration. “Any good talk, a trip, series, a song, an article, a meal, even playing with my daughter in the park,” says Andrés.  “Being opened to any experience can give you a good tool when it’s time to work.” What’s more, he is a keen traveler, not just for the Instagrammable pics but the benefits that it brings to his job too. “I love to travel, to know different landscapes, cultures, things that we are not used to living daily. To travel helps you to know many things, including different points of view from every person you meet and to respect their ideas. This is important because we work in communications and respect must be always present in everything we do.”

“Music and films,” adds Julian. “They both are the strongest way to communicate emotions. From a single lyric or chord that makes you feel sad, to a fine portrait shot that makes you feel alive. I also really think sports and videogames are powerful in many ways. And it’s not about entertainment, it’s about how you can push yourself to overcome any situation. They both require a lot of fast thinking and creativity.”

Julian’s admiration of video games also feeds into the work that he’d most love to do in the future. “I would choose two brands [that I would love to work on]: Nike and PlayStation,” he says. “Those are definitely two of the greatest brands in history. They have a really meaningful role in people’s minds. The first one speaks to the world through real life culture to make statements, and the other one does it through virtual reality to create culture.”

After an award-winning year in 2020 and looking ahead into this new year, Andrés and Julian offer simple, honest advice to anyone looking to make a career as a creative in advertising. 

“Discipline. Patience. Respect for your own work and others,” says Andrés. “Those are three factors I've learned in my career. They have helped me to never lose the guts and the will to keep doing great things.”

“Always be patient,” Julian adds. “People tend to get frustrated easily. And just like sports or video games, you need to fail a lot before you score. The key is to never stop trying, one day will come the match when you can score and win.”