Lucky number 20. This week’s Spotlight features Argentine Advertising Executive Jose Molla. He’s notorious for his amazing creative work on brands like Nike and Coke, having survived a shark attack, and of course more recently building up and eventually selling La Comunidad, a top global agency. A warm gentlemen and even better Dad, Jose is someone you should know about…
Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a Dad?
I have two girls, Kayla (5) & Luna (7), and I love it because they always take me out of my comfort zone. From painting my nails, to trying the brightest lipsticks or having the most bizarre hairdos done with a glitter dust finish, I’m always their fashion guinea pig. I also know the name of every princess and Little Pony out there. Pink is the new black!
One of the main reasons I love fatherhood is because I have an amazing wife and I didn’t have to give up all the things that I loved before having kids. I’m an avid kitesurfer, snowboarder, I love boats and I spearfish a lot. I just came back after an amazing week at Burning Man’s alternative reality. I get to travel to remote places with my buddies. And now I’m starting to enjoy my passions also with my girls. They are very good skiers already, and we love snorkeling on shipwrecks together, especially in Bahamas. I think it’s a big mistake to give up who you are because sooner or later you will end up blaming your kids.
Never surrender to the Minivan! is my motto.
Talk to us about your parenting style?
I am a floor kind of dad. I enjoy getting into their world and I am always present when I’m with them. What I like the most is that I become a kid again and I do all kind of silly stuff. Being a father is not just one role. Sometimes I’m a horse carrying my girls all around the house and other times I’m a dog, obeying their commands. The Jumping Frog is also popular (I always get the rewarding princess kiss at the end). Many times we dance off to blasting music, just for the sake of it. The kind of non-sense that makes everything else make sense.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without as a Dad?
Our nightly ritual. Every night when they go to bed and the main light is off, they have to think of one thing and I improvise a whole story in which that thing is the main character. Could be an animal, a tree, a house, a person, a movie character, anything goes. Some of the stories are really good! That is always the best moment of my day and I try not to miss it.
You recently sold La Comunidad to SapientNitro and did an awesome #WhyWeSold film that the world saw (and laughed at!) Tell us more about the sale and how it impacts your family lifestyle.
In 14 years running our own company, we were lucky to have received several offers to buy it. But this time it felt right from the beginning because this partnership is all about the future. We didn’t do it to retire. We did it because combining Sapient’s incredible technology capabilities with our story telling represents a great opportunity for the agency. So, when we were explaining people the philosophical reasons why we sold, most people would say: “yes, yes, but…how much?” So we decided to have fun doing that video as our press release.
Now, I also have to say that having our kids college already paid, definitely helps.
#WhyIDad might be an even better hashtag. Talk to us about the balance between running La Comunidad and raising your kids.
We love what we do and we get 100% emotionally involved in our work. The projects we do and the things we create become our kids at some point. The advertising business is known for being crazy and very stressful, but, throughout the years, you learn many tricks and you accept that the tension that comes with having to deliver great ideas on a tight deadline is just part of the process. You learn how to turn fear and uncertainty into motivation. So, I don’t get so obsessed about it. Even if I didn’t crack an important brief, I go home and enjoy my girls knowing that eventually the ideas will happen. You might had the hardest day ever, but when you open that door and they come running at you screaming “Daddyyyy!!!!” with so much excitement, nothing else matters. It is like the reset button for me.
Nobody is as happy to see you, every time they see you. Not even your dog.
You are from Argentina and have worked/lived in some amazing places. What is your ultimate Hip Daddy Travel destination with the family?
Disney World in Orlando. Just kidding. We are not fond of “resorts” kind of vacations.
Jose Ignacio, in Punta del Este, Uruguay, it’s pretty nice. Also Parrot Cay, an amazing island in Turqs and Caicos. We try to go there for at least one week every year.
For more on Jose, follow him on Twitter here.