Luis Miguel Messianu: Creative Chairman & CEO, Alma


My NativeAdVert: Eternal Optimist. Passionate Ad man. Copywriter by conviction. Brand Builder by definition.

Luis Miguel Messianu has played a respectable and influential role in the most important developments in the U.S. Hispanic market during an advertising career that spans three decades. Born to Romanian parents and raised in Mexico City, he has worked in both the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets. His professional trajectory is defined by a conscious effort to help pioneer the melding of marketing niches into a nuanced and evolving total market. His award-winning work for multinationals such as McDonald’s, State Farm Insurance, Clorox, MillerCoors, Sprint, Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Goodyear, Quaker, and L'Oreal, among others, is a testament to that effort. Luis Miguel Messianu is an innovator, a mentor, and an example followed by many distinguished professionals in the multicultural marketing community.

Twenty years ago, when advertising to U.S. Hispanics was an afterthought in a business plan, Luis Miguel had the foresight to target this vast and untapped market. In 1994 he started his own Hispanic agency, winning soon after the McDonald’s and State Farm Insurance accounts. Twenty years and numerous award-winning campaigns later, both clients still trust their multicultural strategy to Luis Miguel’s creative shop, now called Alma. Many other top brands have since joined the client roster.

In 2001, DDB partnered with the agency, recognizing the spirit, passion, and creativity of the team built by Luis Miguel, as well as his vision and leadership in creating a non-conformist culture, which constantly reinvents itself. Luis Miguel sits on DDB’s Global and DDB Latina's Creative Councils and their Executive committee, and today Alma is one of the largest Multicultural agencies in the country, with a team of over 150 people hailing from 31 different nationalities, and still growing. The agency has appeared on Ad Age’s “A-List” six times since 2010, including three as Multicultural Agency of the Year.

Led by Luis Miguel, Alma has been awarded at every international festival in the industry. The agency set a new record for the U.S. Multicultural market by earning 22 coveted Cannes Lions since 2013. Alma has been named “Agency of the Year” at the Mosaic Awards, which recognizes multicultural excellence. The agency recently won two Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards for Innovation for the “Free Radicals” campaign.

In 2015, ADCOLOR named Luis Miguel Legend Honoree in celebration of his achievements in diversity through his career, and in 2016 he was selected as juror for the Radio Category at the Cannes Lions Advertising festival.

He has always been passionate about mentoring and educating a new generation of Multicultural advertising professionals, and has been a member of the Miami Ad School Board and faculty since the school's inception. Luis Miguel was also one of the founders of the US Hispanic Creative Circle more than a decade ago, was elected its first President. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board at the newest Miami Ad School in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. He recently completed with honors his Executive MBA at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

My Goal of the Day: By the evening be slightly better than who I was in the morning

My Thought of the Day: The best is yet to come  Life is a special occasion!

My Action of the Day: Get shit done! “Hit the ball” even if I miss!

My Deed of the Day: Help elevate the image of Latinos in the U.S., in one way or another

My Tip of the Day: “Life is what happens while you’re busy doing other things.”

My Pic of the Day:

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? The sense of diversity and inclusion! The good thing about Miami is that it’s very close to the US ; )

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? Home without a doubt! My wife makes a great protein shake during the week and on weekends the best omelets in the world. I make a mean Bloody Mary, so much so that a few friends come by for one or two on their way to Mass on Sundays! They have faith in my secret recipe!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Rushing to open the door and let out our three dogs and getting ready to drink Liz’s amazing coffee as I get ready to work out. She gifted me for my Birthday the Peloton bike and I’m hooked. And more recently we just got another exercise marvel: “The Mirror.” It will change the way we all work out! It already changed ours!

While I work out I tend to visualize my day and set short terms goals in terms of what I would like to get done and achieve that day!

10:00 AM – By that time I already browsed my e-mails, the news and trade sites and sent out the urgent messages. I’m normally reviewing presentations, making phone calls or talking to people around the agency, especially in the kitchen where we serve a free and healthy breakfast every day! I love exchanging ideas and catching up with the team!

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

I have a few favorites: Sapore de Mare is a great Italian home style restaurant very close to the office. Izakaya is an awesome Sushi Bar in the heart of Coral Gables! I also like the building’s cafeteria, from where I get my food almost every day. They have great salads and wraps and the father-son team that runs it always greet you with a smile!

On Saturdays I love going to Hillstone’s with my wife and seat at the bar. I look forward to a dirty Grey Goose Martini with extra olives and a Rainbow Roll. It’s the perfect way to close the week and kick off the weekend!

7:00 PM -  I cannot wait to get home to see my wife and my daughter, have dinner and play with her for a while. After putting  her to sleep there’s nothing better than unwinding watching a good series or a movie, surrounded by our dogs.

11:00 PM – Ready to hit the sack and go to sleep, but not before quietly reflecting on my day and  asking myself if I was kind to someone, if I said something positive to my wife, connected in one way or another with my two other children, felt gratitude, and ultimately wondering if I could have done something better! Good thing tomorrow is another chance! 

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I used to truly enjoy a glass of Cabernet or Malbec with dinner but lately we have cut back during the week. I only drink wine if we go out or if we have something special to celebrate! At social functions Vodka is my poison of choice!

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I love the immediacy of Twitter, the visual appeal of Instagram and the sense of personal and professional connectivity that Facebook and Linkedin respectively give me. I’m pretty active on all platforms. Regarding Instagram I enjoy the pages of several photographers and I also love following Australian Shepherd pages. They are my favorite breed of dog! 

What should everyone try at least once?

Unlearn and reset

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In my thoughts!