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Mark Tungate 2019-02-14

The Epica Awards are delighted to announce that Insider Latam has become our official representative across the region. 

Insider Latam and its founder and CEO Matías Stetson will work to raise awareness of the Epica Awards and generate more entries from this vibrant and highly creative region.

Insider Latam is the leading news media outlet reporting on the digital transformation of marketing and advertising in Latin America, including information on the latest ad campaigns, interviews with top executives, coverage of major marketing and ad events, conferences and festivals. 

Matías Stetson commented: “Our next steps are to achieve greater participation of Latin agencies, both in number of entries and in diversity of countries from the region. There are many countries that are looking to attract international projects, and in this sense we believe that Epica can be a key to building international reputations and generating ideas and productions in our region.”

From a professional point of view, at Epica I had the opportunity to meet leading journalists from different countries and appreciate their professionalism and commitment. The opportunity to bond with the best in the world makes you raise the bar and want to be even better.


You're a fairly new member of the Epica jury. What's the advantage for the industry of having a jury of journalists?

First, it represents a totally different perspective. 

All the other festivals in the world consist of creatives rewarding creatives. This award is unique in the sense that it is the journalists’ prize. And it’s not awarded by just any journalists: the leading publications in our field in every country are on the jury. 

One of the ways in which that different outlook manifests itself is that there are some campaigns that have not won big prizes in other contests and have obtained Grand Prix here. And vice versa. At Epica there is only one criterion, and that is to reward the best creativity.

Secondly, I consider it a more impartial award. There is no complicity among creatives, no pressure from the big networks, or pressure from the organizers of the event. That transparency is one of the most important values of Epica. 

The third aspect that I find very relevant is the public relations power of Epica on a global level. All the media that are part of the competition are committed to disseminating the winners via their respective portals and magazines. If the audience of all these media is counted, it adds up to a reach of some 50 million readers worldwide. That is a huge earned media figure. 

What are the advantages of being part of the jury for your magazine and for you personally?

Participating as an Epica juror provides a much broader, more international and richer view in terms of analysing advertising cases. I find it very amusing when I see that great creativity with reduced budgets beats mediocre ideas with huge money. And that tends to be the strategy of Latin America: to stretch the limits of what is possible within budget limitations. 

From a professional point of view, at Epica I had the opportunity to meet leading journalists from different countries and appreciate their professionalism and commitment. The opportunity to bond with the best in the world makes you raise the bar and want to be even better.

You've just become officially responsible for promoting the Epica Awards across Latin America. What kind of profile does Epica have across the region?

Most of the creatives know Epica and consider it a very prestigious, impartial prize, which generates a lot of international press, and which is difficult to win. And that perception is quite accurate, although the "difficult to win" is relative, since the Latin American agencies usually do very well in the festival.

Clearly Latin America is not the region with the highest participation (Europe and the US have a much higher incidence), but despite the lower number of entries, Latin work does very well in Epica. The agencies that send their work usually get bronzes, silvers and golds.

The explanation is simple: international journalists value Latin creativity. They consider that Latin advertising has an irreverent, humorous tone, which is very effective and ingenious, given that there are no budgets as big as in advanced markets. 

Where can we expect to see some great entries coming from? In other words, what are the region’s creative hubs?

For decades now, the creative hubs have been Brazil in graphics and Argentina in film. Although this continues, today we can see a variety of creative work of a very high level from a number of countries, such as Mexico, Colombia and Peru, and other sparks scattered across the continent. This year we hope to see very prominent creative work from these countries.

Is there an unsung country that does great work but is not seen often enough in competitions?

Mexico is a country that has great talent and great work, in addition to having a very large and thriving economy.

I remember very clearly that in 2014, Mexican agencies participated aggressively in the Cannes festival and obtained a historic harvest of 24 lions. After that great triumph, I'm not sure what happened, but the international profile was lost. The talent is still there, because I see very good work from the Creative Circle of Mexico. But I don’t think these works have an international showcase. In that sense, I think that Epica Awards could be key because it is a global prize.

Questions by Mark Tungate

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