circle conversations with Gabriela Scardaccione
What was the most challenging part of your job?
I’ve worked in advertising all my professional life. When a client comes to the agency, the easier way for them to picture success is by "selling more”. It’s our job to make them change their mindset and help them think differently about what success can look like if what they are after is a healthy, loved, respected and sustainable business. The pandemic gave people the sense they need less to be happy, so how a brand becomes chosen or loved doesn't depend anymore on how funny or witty their communication is, but how they behave. Because people are watching them and talking about them through social media 24/7.
I guess the short answer to your question would have been finding the best possible creative solution to a problem without compromising my values and beliefs, because the world needs less rather than more stuff going around.
What is the best part about what you do?
Hanging out with creatives and daydreaming about changing the world, even when what we have in front of us is just a fridge (as in the case of Grundig, one of my favourite clients) or a piece of furniture (IKEA, one of Mother’s biggest clients). As Mother’s Brand Ambassador – the position I held until the end of December –, it was a joy talking to the partners in Shanghai in the morning and the ones in LA in the evening to find that no matter how far apart geographically we seemed to be, wanting to make the best possible creative work of our lives while having fun and making a decent living kept us united as a single powerful force.
What took you through the toughest moment in your life?
Trying to conceive a child, without a doubt. Up until that moment I felt invincible, but when I couldn’t get pregnant it was heart-breaking. Imagine working in a place called Mother, having been able to create my own version of Mother in Buenos Aires, Madre (madrelondon.com), creating a nurturing culture, being called by everyone “the Mother” of the place, and not being able to have my own baby. But it taught me to be more humble, more empathetic, more rooted to what is important in life. It was also the biggest proof of resilience I’ve given to myself as, after six IVFs in three years, Domingo (Sun-day), my son and sun, finally came into this world to make sense of it all.
What inspires you at the moment?
Everything! For the first time in almost thirty years, I have time for myself. I went to the cinema last Wednesday at 3pm and I found myself in tears and the movie wasn’t even a sad one. I just felt so happy and present!
The world is an inspiring place if you look it with the right glasses. I am an optimist so I can’t help but to always see the glass half full. There is so much to be done in order to make it right for everyone but that’s what inspires me the most: the amount of people of all ages that wake up every morning with the obsession of getting it right.
Please share with us an inspiring or challenging or fun moment from your life
My entrance into Mother went down as one of the most unusual, fun and unexpected things to ever happen in agency history. Mother had only recently been founded and was at that point just twenty people strong, so upon interview we (my creative partner and I) were told that we were far too senior. Not willing to take a no as an answer, we asked them to be taken on under the guise of students, hungry for work experience. Soon after our entrance, we won a pitch for Coca Cola which led Founding Partner Robert Saville to offer us a job under only one condition: that we agreed Maradona’s goal with the hand was unfair, which we did, without taking away Diego’s merit for having scored the best goal in history in that same match!
How do you envisage the future?
The future is the consequence of the actions we do in the present, so I prefer to focus in the present and make sure that every single action I take is aligned with what I want for Domingo, my son, as the environment where he’ll live in the future. And by environment I am not just talking about the physical world. I am talking about creating a place where there is plenty of freedom, empathy and generosity. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
What does humanity need the most?
Humanity. And we need to stop thinking that the Metaverse or the electronic devices are the enemy of humanity. As creative minds, we need to embrace that digital, unknown and -sometimes- scary world and help to shape it, so it becomes a safe place to explore and spend time in. We need to make that world more human.
What does earth mean to you?
Earth means love, perfection, awe. When I observe the wonders of earth like the flowers, the Iguazu Falls (you must visit them!) or the waves I was lucky to surf last October in Portugal, I feel I do not need anything else but more time to be enjoy more of these miracles.
What is the most important thing in life for you?
To try to find as many possible answers as possible to some of the most common questions like what’s love or what’s happiness, or possible definitions to common words like success or failure. I want to make my son’s journey as easy as I can. I would love to be able to eradicate pain from his life, but even if I could, I know as a fact that pain is necessary in life. As Murakami beautifully put it in his book “What I talk about when I talk about running”, describing what it feels to get ready for a marathon:
“It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive-or at least a partial sense of it”.