SapientNitro buys Miami-based creative agency La Comunidad


Creative giant SapientNitro, born in Miami, buys Miami-based creative agency La Comunidad.

Teaming up: Joaquin and Jose Molla. founders of La Comunidad, and Gaston Legorburu, worldwide chief creative officer of SapientNitro,
Teaming up: Joaquin and Jose Molla. founders of La Comunidad, and Gaston Legorburu, worldwide chief creative officer of SapientNitro,
Photo courtesy of SapientNitro

In a global move rooted in Miami, creative giant SapientNitro announced Wednesday it has acquired Miami-based La Comunidad, an agency known for award-winning cross-cultural campaigns. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2001 by brothers Jose and Joaquin Molla, La Comunidad is renowned for its campaigns for brands such as Time Warner Cable, Corona, Sauza Tequilas, Converse, MTV, Subway and Virgin Mobile. It has about 75 employees in its Miami office and 35 in its Buenos Aires office.

“To get to the next level, we needed help and this is the best scenario possible,” said Joaquin Molla, in a phone interview with his brother on Wednesday. “We are joining forces with a company that has technology in its veins. At the same time, they have values and care about culture in the same ways that we do.”

SapientNitro, a division of Boston-based Sapient, has divisions worldwide but Miami is the creative headquarters. Its Global 1000 clients include Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target and Vodafone. The agency has 11,779 employees in 31 cities across the Americas, Europe and Asia, with about 300 full time employees in Miami. Now in two buildings in Miami Beach, SapientNitro is building a headquarters space for 500 to 600 people in Coconut Grove to accommodate future growth.

The acquisition of La Comunidad reflects the growing importance of cross-cultural marketing and the Hispanic marketplace for SapientNitro, which last year took a controlling interest in Sao Paulo-based digital agency iThink. With the U.S. Hispanic market estimated to reach $1.5 trillion in buying power by 2015, according to Nielsen, the La Comunidad purchase should help the giant in both the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.

“We’re crazy excited,” said Gaston Legorburu, worldwide chief creative officer of SapientNitro, who founded PGI, the Miami interactive agency acquired by Sapient in 2005. “These guys are just amazing, by any measure, La Comunidad is one of the hottest creative shops on the planet. ... What I love about their work is the sensibility that appeals to multiple cultures and the new face of the American consumer. That said, imagine when we connect that to the digital power that we bring to the table.”

La Comunidad will be maintaining its brand and offices in Miami. “Our intent to to maintain the culture of their space,” said Legorburu. “That said, I think collectively we are going to see a lot of growth.”

SapientNitro won more than 200 awards last year, including being named Creative Agency of the Year by MediaPost's OMMA Magazine. Among its many accolades, La Comunidad was featured on the Advertising Age “Agency to Watch” list in 2012 and its “A-List” in 2013.

“From a local perspective, what we and La Comunidad have done, and Crispin, is to put Miami on the map as a creative hub. This industry is changing and a lot of it is happening by combining technology and creatives together,” said Legorburu. “It’s really good for Miami.”

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlherg

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