"I’ve lived all my life in Argentina, a place in which we are used to going through economic and political crises again and again." This is the sentence with which Dany Minaker opens his answer to one of our questions below. A sentence which easily reflects his own strength of spirit.
Coming from the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Dany lived a good part of his life believing in his own dreams and knowing that your ambition and determination can potentially get you anywhere. Now, Dany's career and experience in the industry both demonstrate the strength of believing in one's dreams.
As cliché as it may sound, talent will only get you so far – if you are willing to give it your all, Dany's story proves that any dream can come true. Today we are Getting to Know the Wunderman Thompson LatAm Chief Creative Officer, a talented leader and a successful entrepreneur who is also one of our Top 100 Creative Industry Influencers of 2020.
Tell us about your current role!
I am currently Wuderman Thompson Latam ‘s CCO together with my partner Patan Tarazaga, who I've been working with for 14 years now. We are based in Buenos Aires.
How did you get to your current position? What was the biggest challenge?
I have worked in different advertising networks and agencies. In 2015, Patan and I started working at Wunderman Argentina as ECDs. After 3 years of hard work, some failures and some successes, Juan Pablo Jurado, Regional CEO for Wunderman Thompson, trusted us to get a regional position.
I remember the main challenge then was to raise the creative bar of the region inside a strong client service culture network. That’s why, back then, we had to change the culture of the agency a bit and promote creative courage.
What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?
There are three key points that have shaped me significantly.
First, team sports. I’ve played handball all my life and many of my skills as a leader come from there.
Second, my passion for art and design. In this profession, it shouldn’t be the same if your published work is very good or just average.
Last, a good balance between common sense and unconsciousness.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
It’s a really good question that I never gave a proper thought to.
I’ve lived all my life in Argentina, a place in which we are used to going through economic and political crises again and again. We have the need to reinvent ourselves sporadically. I think that makes Argentine people adaptable to change and transformations. I wouldn’t have any problem if I had to do something else, I could do anything. Now, during this Covid time, I took up painting.
What’s your secret to keeping the team inspired and motivated?
To push their ideas with all my might and resources. To encourage them to do the best work in their careers and to dream two steps further from reality.
How has COVID-19 affected you as a leader?
Covid has affected both my personal and working life strongly. To highlight what changed regarding leadership, I had to learn to delegate much more. Besides, it has helped me be more connected, in a more humane and deeper way, to my team and clients.
What is your one advice to aspiring creatives looking to be successful?
I come from the suburbs of Buenos Aires, near where Maradona was born. It’s the South of the South of the South of the world. And, even though my talent can’t be compared to that of the best player in football history, his career taught me that we have to dream forward. That all of us can get what we want if we are willing to give our all for that. It sounds cliche, but that’s how it is.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Nowadays, I only have time for work and family. I have a wonderful wife, Jimena, and two children, Thiago (8) and Toto (4). I dedicate most of my time to them. Whenever I can, I paint or play football or tennis.
What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?
I’d like the advertising industry to have the same inspiring place it used to have. I feel advertising has lost sexiness for the new talent. That’s partly due to the ego of the industry itself and to the search for reference somewhere else. believe there are still great opportunities for artistic and technological development in the industry.