- Friday, May. 17, 2013
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Opening Nunchaku's Santa Monica headquarters was an adventurous project I must say. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but with very happy results right now after all.
First, no one could deny how enticing the American market is with its global brands and bigger budget campaigns. But for us, coming from Buenos Aires and having a unique identity and sensibility, the challenge was to extrapolate our beliefs and see what the response would be. We were confident our entry to the U.S. would work, but sincerely it felt a bit lonely at the beginning.
Actually, the first two weeks were amazing and surprising. We got a beautiful and big project for Got Milk? with Grupo and almost at the same time Seba Schor won a pitch for a very funny Ford campaign. It seemed that the risks we took were already paying off. The horizon looked fantastic back then, but the rest of the year was too far from expected.
We were invited to participate in tons of pitches but despite huge effort on our part, sadly these produced few winners. Our feeling was that somehow the market needed reassurance before hiring us. It felt that they believed in us creatively and they loved our executive producer Leda Nasio, but somehow there was something preventing the agencies from taking "the huge risk" of teaming up with a new company. It was easier it seemed for the agencies to work within their usual pool of production companies than to go with something new.
Leda and I understood that these early setbacks were a natural stage of the process of opening a new company. Actually, the challenges were much more believable than winning amazing projects for Got Milk? and Ford in less than a month after the opening.
If we were going to survive in the extremely competitive Santa Monica marketplace, we realized we needed to keep being there, pitching and putting forth our very best efforts to overturn the perception of being the "freshmen" of the market. We saw a lot of high school movies as teens so we knew that the freshman always succeeds at the end!
Right now, after some time and some nice projects and very enriching bonds with agencies such as mcgarrybowen and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, we are in a different place. Now, we are more of a known commodity. After all the difficulty we faced in our first year, it's nice to know that it's now another newcomer's turn...
Nico Kasakoff is director/co-owner of production house Nunchaku with bases of operation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santa Monica, Calif.