An interview with Sergio Rodriguez, CEO and Creative Director, JWT

Y-C: Sergio, do you think we are born creative or can we learn it?

Sergio Rodriguez: My “creative calling” began with a violent call as a teen-ager towards everything that had an artistic, musical content, outside any rational scheme. It started at the beginning of my social education.
Now that I analyze it, I believe this punch that was knocking inside me had the forms of a flame that I was looking for in the following years, also thanks to the help of those who saw it in me (and had the patience to go along with it) to give a form, a purpose, a greater reason.  Inspiration is a gift, to which a lot of work and experience gives a form and content.

You are born with creative talent, you can’t learn it at school.  But the school of humility is, among so many schools, the best one in order not to stumble over the most dangerous chimera of any creative person: the school of the Ego.

How to keep pure creativity in an extremely competitive advertising world?

In the world of ideas, you will survive if you accept that you will never be a professor, you are an eternal student.
Every day the world of creativity is enriched with new possibilities offered by the digital technology.
New languages are unlocked by behaviors based on simultaneous social interaction and visual culture that replaced the words.
Every day we are born again, one day older. It’s all fast because you live in “the attention economy” and young people don’t allow you any patience.

How can you stimulate your creativity?

You should never look back. You must accept change as a constant in life.
I believe curiosity is the only value that gives something lasting to those who handle ideas. Because it stimulates you, puts you back in the game, it requires you to accept the risk of trying and making mistakes.
Curiosity for those who say “Yes but” is a heresy.

What is the advice you give to young people entering the world of marketing and communication today?

To a person who is born with the flame inside, I advise him/her not to care about the first three points.


Sergio Rodriguez, CEO and Creative Director, JWT
Where in other advertising agencies creativity and operational management are kept strictly separate responsibilities, in Wunderman / Thompson they live together. Sergio is in fact both CEO and Creative Director of a team of 220 professionals, who are able to cover and monitor every phase of a contemporary “journey idea”.