Creative Flavor: Luis Vásquez Navigates Chaos to Get to the Heart of the Work

10.4.2022
The Houston-based ACD and Copywriter credits the "most hyperbolic" era of visual media for his initial interest in advertising. Luis Vasquez


By Shannon Miller
September 29, 2022

Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s meant having a front row seat to what Houston-based Associate Creative Director and Copywriter Luis Vásquez calls “the most hyperbolic ads and films ever to exist.”

He doesn’t consider that a bad thing. In fact, the era’s robust approach to entertainment and creativity is what sparked his love of advertising in the first place.

“Tom Hanks in Nothing in Common and Big played a role, as did all those Saturday morning sugary cereal and toy commercials bursting at the seams with puffery and hot air,” he tells Adweek for the Creative Flavor series, created in conjunction with Produ and Circulo Creativo. “I was always fascinated by how they got me to want to eat cereal, drink Pepsi or buy toys.”

And while he’d figure out that process rather intimately after joining Lopez Negrete Communications in 2010 as a junior copywriter, he’d largely learn that advertising is about more than selling a product. Through Walmart’s expansive 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month campaign “Together Somos Más,” which he listed as his proudest work to date, Vásquez realized that good creative can help viewers form new connections with their communities as well as their own identities.

“As a first-generation Mexican American, I always felt like I was ni de aquí ni de allá [or, ‘neither here nor there’],” Vásquez said. “So I struggled with my identity since I was a kid, and through our research, we found that millions of Latinos feel the same way.”

Equipped with a wealth of artistic elements that informed many of the campaign’s assets, “Together Somos Más” connected the Walmart brand with the Hispanic community through real stories from figures like artist David Maldonado and actress and singer Leslie Grace.

The work taught Vásquez how to “tame the chaos” of a project with a lot of moving parts, but the biggest lesson he learned was how to creatively answer one of the most pressing questions in his industry: “Why?”

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it,” he concluded.

Seeing the value

On the ideal client: “The ideal client is someone who sees your value. That means they understand what makes you unique. When pitching multicultural work, not everyone will get it right away, but the mark of a good client is when they try to understand on a cultural level. An ideal client asks questions; they realize what makes you tick, how you work best, and how they can help make things smoother. They don’t have to agree with everything—I’d say it’s better if they don’t. That way, we can have fun discussing different ideas and seeing what works best for us.”

On what he hopes to accomplish over the next year: “First, I want to become a better leader for everyone around me. I know that if I lead well, the people around me can do their jobs better. I want to be an inspiration and a mentor to my team members and hone my skills in spotting, developing and seeing the bigger picture in good ideas. Finally, my last goal is to get back into writing more proactive ideas, as I feel that’s where the fun truly happens.”

To learn more about Luis Vásquez’s work (and to see the full scope of “Together Somos Más“), visit his website.

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

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