Iker Múgica could have been a lawyer or a journalist, but he confesses that he’s not good at lying, and that’s precisely why he chose to be an advertiser. And thank goodness for that because the match between Iker and After is still alive after 7 years during which many things have happened. Iker is the Executive Creative Director at the agency, he defines the future of advertising as “bright,” and if he could hop on a plane to anywhere in the world tomorrow, he wouldn’t hesitate: he’d buy tickets to go to the Maldives with his family.
In this AfterTalk with Iker Múgica, we chat with him about Generative AI, his biggest challenge in his professional journey, and how the industry has evolved in recent years.
When someone who is not in advertising asks you what you do in your daily life, what do you say?
No matter what I say, they always end up asking if I’m an artist.
Why did you choose to be a creative rather than a lawyer, for example?
I thought about becoming a lawyer. And also a journalist. But I’m not good at lying, so I became an advertiser.
If you had to choose the three most important qualities that a creative person should possess, what would you choose?
Listening, empathy, and courage. Listening because the answer is often already with the client without them realizing it. Empathy because you have to put yourself in the shoes of the message’s recipient. And courage because if you don’t stir the hornet’s nest, it’s difficult for anyone to turn around and pay attention to what you have to say.
Recommend to me that novel that has made you daydream.
I read a lot, and I have a poor memory, so this question is quite challenging. But here’s one: “Un verdor terrible” by Benjamín Labatut.
And now, that movie you watch every year on vacation.
I love movies, but thanks to streaming, I no longer repeat viewings. The movie I’ve watched the most times was “Aliens: The Return” by James Cameron.
If one of your daughters tells you, “Dad, I want to be a creative,” what would you say?
Great, but also think about how you’re going to make money with your creativity; romanticism has done a lot of harm.
In a time when content platforms offer ad-free plans as an enticing feature, what does a campaign need to capture the audience’s attention?
To tell something that matters to many people very well, get as close as possible to something you’d pay to watch, or annoy someone a lot.
From a professional perspective, who inspires you?
I’m not really a fanboy, but I admire the career of Carlos Bayala.
And on a personal level?
Sandra, my wife. She helps me remember that I live in society and that if you take care of others, others will take care of you.
The million-dollar question: is a creative mind orderly or messy?
It’s messy in the search for the idea and orderly in bringing it to life.
If you had to predict the future of advertising, how would you paint it?
Bright. As Toni Segarra said, “We are the armed wing of capitalism.” And fortunately, capitalism doesn’t seem to be disappearing.
Tell me about the project that you believe has been the biggest challenge in your career as a creative director.
“Es de risa. Show del Corredor Mediterráneo“. We turned a boring railway infrastructure project into a stand-up comedy show that we premiered in four cities. People were lining up to get tickets.
Time to take a stand: which series would you like to binge-watch over a weekend?
The series from the Alien franchise that Disney+ has promised to make.
What do you consider the most significant changes in the industry over the last five years?
The emergence of generative AI, which has only just begun and is going to change many things in the coming years.
What does Iker Múgica think of ChatGPT?
Both ChatGPT and Bard seem like incredible tools to me. It’s like having someone to chat with and bounce ideas off of. I’m very positive; I believe Generative AI is going to be a great help in many areas.
What does After provide you to keep you betting on this agency after 7 years?
That we have a very particular perspective on communication, and we continue to think ahead of what comes after.
Lastly, if you could hop on a plane to anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
To the Maldives, with my family.