Episode 03: The One where Loops was stranded twice

Hello … Its me…

Hello from the other siiiiiiiideeeeeeeeee… of the Atlantic Oceaaaaaaan

First of all… I cannot believe I only have one week left! Everything has gone by so fast!! But first things first, how was this past week?

Happy Meal from Arena Media in Spain!

This week at work was very productive! As I said in an earlier post, everyone has been so generous with their time and not one of my colleagues has shown any resistance to meet up and share their work with me! They’ve even given me some files and contacts to take home, like a Happy Meal treat, so that I can duplicate some of the work they are doing here at my agency in Havas Village Mexico.

The only down side of the week (because I wasn’t invited LOL) is that my coach left me for Cannes (bwahhhh). He stranded me to go to this event.. can you believe it? I would think so, because it’s awesome and I would have done it too! He didn’t leave me alone though, as he arranged meetings for me to attend and work for me to do while he was away.

We’ve divided my time here into two phases… One for working and the other for learning.

Working Loops: I am working with the client Correos, the largest and oldest messaging company in Spain (it was created over 300 years ago!). The strategy we are developing for them involves a strong understanding of their small communities. This has been a huge endeavor for me since, until 2 weeks ago, I had no idea who the Spanish consumer was, let how alone how consumers from the furthest provinces behave. However, it has been so much fun gaining new insights from this research.

Learning Loops: Because I sit with many different teams, each one shares with me their most distinctive work on the topics of strategy, creativity and data (the subjects we defined prior to my arrival). I have already sat with many people to learn things such as:

  • How they work with online and offline attribution models. I am surprised by how Arena Spain has hacked standard tools, such as Miner, to get into the veins of attribution modeling! Definitely a different way to view things.
  • How the connection managers work in Spain. Here in Arena, they not only guarantee that the pure players understand the strategic brief and translate the solutions into the media proposal, BUT they also make sure its implementation is how the strategy team planned!
  • How to approach startups and integrate them into the strategy working process. Innovation on the go, medium-long term business, new ways of thinking that go beyond what we have on a daily basis.
  • How creativity is present for every step. From strategy to media and business to communication, the fact that creativity is always there is a huge deal! I have really enjoyed gathering with my fellow strategists to analyze the innovation proposals and the heart creatives put into them.
  • The impact of proactive work from the strategic side. Clients do not always like to take risks on innovation, but the strategic work has resulted in good proposals and client confidence that Arena will be there as a business partner rather than just a media agency. The spirit here is something that needs to be replicated in every other market and Village.

Stay tuned for what I learn during my final week, I can’t wait!

But before you go… I said I got stranded twice right? Well, the other time was in my third phase… the Loops as a Tourist phase.

Last weekend I took the AVE train (the fast train) to go to the province of Valencia to visit my good friend Angie!

The first night I was there, I walked around Valencia’s Downtown with Angie and her husband. We walked through the Art District and visited the outskirts of the Opera House as well as the art museum.

Several views of Valencias Art’s District at night

After the walk, we went to their house where they made me “parrillada,” or meat on a grill. It was delicious! The next morning we planned to visit three different towns, the first of which being Secundo (an old Medieval town with lots of history).

On our way to the second town, the car broke down and we got stranded :( I am taking the fact that I did not get to visit the other two towns as a sign that I will have to come back to Spain and Valencia very soon.

VALENCIA’S MALVARROSA BEACH

On the bright side, the next day we hit the beach, where I swam in the calm ocean and laid in the sun. I wish I lived closer to the sea!

Lastly, my friend’s mother-in-law cooked a traditional Paella Valenciana for me. Everything in the dish was self-cultivated, I highly recommend it!

I leave you with this traditional and delicious plate.. until next week!

The Paella Valenciana being cooked by my friend’s Mother-in-law
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