STV Masterclass - Alvaro Sotomayor

On Thursday saw the fourth in the STV Masterclass talks. Trevor Beattie, Mark Waites, Sir John Hegarty and now, Alvaro Sotomayor. Like I was, you may be wondering who he is.

Born in Malaga, a sculptor by trade, he's been at W+K Amsterdam for over 15 years. And, by the looks of some of the shoots he's been on, he's not done too badly for himself. So well in fact, he's the Creative Director. He's worked across all the best clients. From Nike, to Coca-Cola, EA Sports to the Olympics. Not bad. Not bad at all.

He talked the expectant crowd through Weiden and Kennedy. Who they are. What they are. And, what they do.

W&K have two nicknames:

"Wedding and Kennedy" and "Weekend and Kennedy".

"Wedding" has been derived from bringing the creative minds together to do their best work. Or, the fact that they team up lots of singles to make a Mr and Mrs of them. And, coincidentally, Alvaro met his wife at W+K.

I reckon they should make a dating website by the sounds of it.

The "Weekend" refers to everyone's working week. None of this Monday to Friday 9-5 nonsense. Work hard, be better, succeed more often.

As Sotomayor starts the agency promo video it starts with a great line:

"You wont see any awards when you walk in, you'll see people that make great work for inspiring clients."

And by the looks of any entrance, that's just the case. Take W+K London for one. A wall full of hand painted self portraits, some more unusual than others.

W+K Amst, he goes on to explain, was created in 1992 by 15 people and 25 nations on the ethos that they're "a truly global agency that has specifically built local, grassroots and global work".


They love them. Well why wouldn't they? In fact they love them so much they create artworks

How about "Fail Harder" in Portland, made out of 100,000 drawing pins.

Or "Work is Worship", made out of pencils in the Delhi office.

W+K's vision is to provide an environment that inspires individuals to produce their best work.

Sotomayor then proceeds to show one of the best showreels anyone could have. Ever. Fact.

Take Rooney vs Higuain for EA Sports. EA normally did 20 second spots but W+K wanted to do something for the audience. And, what better way to show off the product than take two stars from it. Then get them to play each other.

When working with global brands, you have to work with very little words. You need to think about the visual language to tell your story instead.

Take for instance, Nike - Grab a chair, a brilliant piece of advertising. Using the simple kids game of musical chairs they created this:

Or how about a game of Horse?

(Granted this game maybe called something similar, but you get the gist.)

His final two choices were the brilliant "I'm on a horse" Old Spice and Tiger Woods' Nike commerical (which he actually showed a spoof of).

But both of these I felt were overshadowed by something he showed halfway through, the Nike Chalkbot.

I'd seen it before, that is to say I saw the YouTube video of it. And, to be honest it didn't grab me at the time. Perhaps it was a busy day or I skipped bits. I dunno. Until I saw the official trailer, which isn't anywhere to be found - except under lock and key at W+K HQ.

I was taken back. You must see the video, and if W+K are listening, please upload/link/YouTube it, it's truly inspiring.

This explains what it does:

But these make it look good.

And these go a little bit further to explain just how cool this was.
Chalkbot Twitter
Chalkbot Twitpic

You can also see some of Alvaro's work here.

And, I think that's enough inspiration for now.