Our industry has a reputation for being very fierce, but there is also room for good.

Our industry has a reputation for being very fierce, but there is also room for good.

Aimée Ortiz Rodríguez ACD, SajoMcCann.

With 12 years of experience in advertising and working  in SajoMcCann for the last six years. She’s won over 20 awards across her career.

You won a gold medal in Switzerland, at the Luum Awards, for “Kings of Perreo”. What anecdotes do you have from this campaign?

How cooperative the whole process was. The team got behind the idea and we found ourselves driving two hours on weekends to go to take the dogs pictures at the sanctuary and other players started to share ideas on how to grow the effort unprompted. Everybody wanted to be part of the project in a very selfless way. We were happy to do it even if it meant using our personal time to accomplish it. It was fun, it built from a cultural insight, and it felt right because there are over 500,000 stray animals in Puerto Rico.

Before the Luum Awards, the industry lacked a festival dedicated to social and environmental responsibility. What do you think about the Luum Awards format?

It’s really interesting! The idea to just give out gold awards sets a high bar and standard which we need when talking about social and environmental issues. Being socially aware is necessary, but we are past the point of awareness and way deep into solution territory. Just looking at how the world and our industry is changing, you see the need for formats like the Luum Awards.

How do you manage to incite interest in the media and with other actors to    support animal, social or environmental causes with zero budget?

I like to think we are all a little altruistic at heart and, in our project, dogs are so wholesome it’s hard to say no! Our industry has a reputation for being very cut-throat, but you’ll find there’s also a growing space for kindness and humans just trying to help in their own way with their influence or resources. If you knock, a lot of doors can open and the ones that don’t were not meant to anyway.

Is it easier to “sell” social issues than products?

I think it is easier to sell products. Social issues require accountability. Your consumer will know you’re faking it if you don’t follow through with your stances. You put a lot more on the line when you work on social issues. Products are things that if they work as they’re supposed to, it will be fine.

If it were in your hands to change something in the advertising industry, what changes would you make?

Apply all the actions we push through our campaigns to our industry. How can we promote better mental health and inclusion, fix disparages in wages or maintain eco-sustainability in our workplaces? It would be ideal if the social issues efforts we are doing changed how we do things, too.