The Creative Essentials of SVP, Strategy Director, Juan Pablo Camargo

Leo Burnett Chicago’s newest SVP, Strategy Director talks about the importance of music and positivity in his work and reveals why he keeps a Big Lebowski bobblehead on his desk.

Meet Juan Pablo Camargo. Previously Chief Strategy Officer at Leo Burnett Mexico, he recently joined our Chicago team to take on an exciting new role leading work for Samsung. Onboarding remotely is a challenge, and he shares some of his unique solves to stay engaged while working from home – one of which may involve presenting to a bobblehead of Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski.

Check out ‘creative essentials,’ from a strategist with a passion for music, verbal communications and data storytelling.

Learn more about Juan Pablo below!

Fender Stratocaster

I consider myself a failed musician. (Frustrated musicians are the ones that are lazy about learning the instrument, which not the case with me.)

I started playing instruments as a teenager, signed a record deal while finishing high school and was convinced that my band was going to be massive. Well, that didn’t happen, but I have learned so much from making music. I guess it shaped the way my mind works. I’ll never stop playing.

Gallbladder Plush Toy

I’ve always had weird health issues. People say that I’m a hypochondriac, but the science is always there to prove it. I got complications from a gallbladder removal surgery (which is uncommon) and had a really bad time recovering. I decided to start a band to pour my poor-health episodes into songs.

Actually, the band is called Débil (translates as “Weak”) but it has been a source of strength. I’m happy to have turned physical painful experiences into something I love. Instead of letting my health issues bring me down, I decided to laugh at them and start a band to create something positive from a bad situation.

The Big Lebowski Bobblehead

Verbal communication is key for a strategist, and I loooove to talk. Unfortunately, I had vocal cords surgery a few months before the pandemic (again, a weird health hiccup).

Speaking loudly to a computer screen didn’t help my recovery since our brains are trained to understand where people are positioned and adjust voice volume accordingly. My doctor recommended talking to an object instead. So, whenever I am in a presentation, I do it for “The Dude”.

“How to Lie with Statistics” Book

The main message of this book is that you must never ever alter numbers. Basically, it trains you to approach data storytelling adeptly. I always find great inspiration in books that challenge conceptions on how data is understood by the mainstream. Also, I believe that presenting numbers has to be entertaining. (I wonder what the finance people think about this…)

Craft Beer

Craft Beer is great – not just for the alcohol, but for the brand inspiration. Craft beer wasn’t a thing in Mexico until recent years. I have seen quite a few brands start from scratch and get big. They offer real-time inspiration on how brand stories come to life from day one.

Also, the way these brands come together to build a movement is a great lesson on purposeful collaboration. You just want to be a part of that.

Note It All Down

I remember ideas from how they look on paper. Sometimes I don’t really have to go back to read them (which is good, since my handwriting is horrible). That’s just the way things are stored in my brain. It takes a while to download your thoughts to a deck, but I will always keep a notebook next to me.