Francisco Letelier

Chief Creative Officer

The Axis Agency

I believe in human stories, not resumes.

I believe that all of us who work in marketing, comms, and advertising must be storytellers. How else could we possibly build meaningful brand stories that engage audiences and yield desired outcomes?

So, here’s my story.

I was born and raised in Chile but have spent almost all my career life working in the U.S. Decades ago, Leo Burnett Chicago brought me from Chile to work specifically on a P&G project for the Hispanic market; a project that was supposed to last only 6 weeks. And here I am, decades later, a U.S. Citizen developing creative solutions that engage the pluralistic, multicultural world that we live in.

But let’s start from the beginning. As a VP Creative Director at Leo Burnett Chicago, I was fortunate to work for more than 8 years with almost every single brand that was part of the agency roster –from P&G to McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Tropicana, United Airlines, and more. It was a time of big campaigns and big budgets that helped create very memorable work. After more than 8 years living in the Midwest, my wife and I were feeling the toll of the long, dark Chicago winters and decided it was time to look for new opportunities, and, most importantly, a more benevolent weather!

Hello California!

Part of my professional experience involves having worked with a behemoth, global ad agency, small and medium-sized agencies, as well as family-owned agencies. I’ve also worked independently for a few years because I just needed to prove myself that I could do it.

La Agencia de Orci, a prominent Hispanic shop at the time, brought me to LA to grow and lead their creative team and help evolve their creative vision. I hired new talent and retained existing ones as the business needs grew. I was also in charge of their production department. At Orci I developed creative strategies and guided the creative teams’ work from ideation to full production. The award-winning work we created for Honda of North America, Washington Mutual Bank (nowadays Chase Bank), Verizon, and Allstate generated great business results for our clients and our agency.

After more than 4 years at Orci I wanted to try being on my own (I think that, secretly, I wanted to create my own agency). Yet, paradoxically, I didn’t work for clients directly and became a very busy freelancer working for other agencies. At this time, I developed work for Wells Fargo, Carl’s Jr., and IKEA via Anita Santiago Advertising; am/pm and ARCO via Háblame; Red Bull via Kastner & Partners; and SoCalGas and Panasonic via The Phelps Group.

I’ve worked in this business long enough to appreciate how everything continues to change. And I think change is inspiring and stimulating. For starters, there’s no general market, or Hispanic market, or whatever market anymore. We live in a multicultural world where everything is in constant flux, and in which learning and understanding cultural traits and new trends have become paramount to successful marketing efforts.

The business of agencies has changed as well. In order to succeed we’ve had to learn to collaborate effectively with other agencies –and, believe me, some have had a harder time achieving this than others. This new way forward meant learning how to manage our corporate culture differences, develop and agree on creative strategies, create new more effective processes, and appreciate the different points of view that each member of the team brings to the table.

I’m currently the Chief Creative Officer at The Axis Agency –a position that I’ve held for the past 4 years of the 8 years that I’ve been with the agency. During my tenure with Axis, I’ve been tasked to be an active player in creative strategy, creative development, and production, as well as part of the executive committee that steers the agency into the future and helps overcome immediate challenges. This shaped the way I hired the creative talent, with the abilities to stay on top of new trends as well as industry and tech developments. My team has been responsible for the work done on behalf of Kaiser Permanente,, and ALDI to name a few, across all channels and platforms –ranging from collateral, POP material and store signage, to full-blown broadcast, digital, paid social, paid search, and experiential campaigns.

Now it’s time to write the next chapter of my story!

Francisco Letelier