Building Brands Across Borders
We’re making our international debut with the opening of CMV/R&R Partners in Mexico City. CEO Billy Vassiliadis made the announcement during a keynote address entitled “Translating Success – Learning to Do Business Across Cultures” at Austin’s BonusMX@ATX, a forum for creative industry executives in the United States and Mexico. It marked a long-anticipated move by our agency into Latin America, and represents our fourth new office in six years.
“The borderless economy is here and now,” Vassiliadis said. “When you look at American brands like Microsoft, Pfizer and Walmart, which are well-established in Mexico, you’re seeing how 20 years of NAFTA have helped erase many of the old trade barriers. Mexico is now the world’s 11th largest GDP and has a tech-savvy middle class that embraces the “Made in USA” label. The potential for U.S. companies to benefit can’t be overstated.”
But why now? Just like in effective advertising, timing is key. When it came down to deciding whether to invest resources into an emerging international market with CMV, a full-service agency with clients ranging from Pfizer to Birkenstock, Vassiliadis and the rest of the agency brass felt like it was the perfect time – following suit with our expansion model to seek opportunities driven by markets with growth potential, such as our offices in Los Angeles, Austin and Denver.
Additionally, the components are in place: Technology is on the rise. Positive political reforms and deregulation of energy, financial and telecommunication industries have created opportunities. The GDP growth rate in Mexico is outpacing Eurozone countries. And from an economic standpoint, Mexico and the U.S. are more parallel than perpendicular these days.
In his report, “Working Together: Economic Ties Between the United States and Mexico,” Christopher Wilson of The Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars explains: “Mexico and the United States are no longer competitors, where one country wins and the other loses. They are partners. The Mexican and U.S. economies are now as deeply integrated as any on Earth.”
A partnership with CMV and entry into Mexico City makes perfect sense. Sure, the stats figure into the equation – 53.6 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population lives in the Southwest, where we have the strongest presence, and nearly one in eight U.S. Hispanics lives in a city where we have an office. And we have plenty of experience conducting business in Mexico over the past decade, and more with our work with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Western Union, the 2012 G20 Summit and more.
There are other factors, too. The move will also yield more opportunities at home. This partnership gives us a better vehicle to create an authentic voice and vision to first- and second-generation Hispanic consumers in the U.S.
But ultimately, this bold move is about two things: the opportunities, and teaming with the right people. We’ve found that our partnership with CMV grew out of the recognition that our two agencies share a similar passion for tackling tough issues, developing creative work and having a strong internal culture of excellence. And sharing that passion across borders is something we can’t wait to accomplish together.