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The Work That Made Me: Jorge Murillo

Executive creative director at Alma on his inspirations, recent victories and recording his first project over his wedding reception

The Work That Made Me: Jorge Murillo


Jorge Murillo is an award-winning Creative Director with a passion for helping brands tell their story. Whether it's a global TV campaign, an online content series, a mobile execution, or Facebook retargeting ads, Jorge treats every project with the same commitment to excellence. With over 20 years of experience in agencies big and small, from global networks (DDB, McCann, FCB) to start-ups, Jorge has learned the art of influencing people (especially clients) and how to engage the consumer with respect, sincerity, and often humour.

As an instructor at the Miami Ad School for the past 10 years, he's also helped shape and guide a whole new generation of creatives worldwide who inspire and teach him as much as he teaches them.


The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…


Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” In the 80s every kid in America was addicted to MTV and in 1983 the biggest cultural event of the year was Michael’s newest video drop. A 13-minute film directed by John Landis, with Vincent Price narrating/rapping. It was epic. And the scariest thing I’d ever seen in my young life! Unquestionably the apex mountain for Zombie dancing.




The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…


While studying architecture at the University of Florida, my friend Kyle Cohan convinced me to take an elective class with him called Elements of Advertising. I needed a break from my intense architecture courses, so I took it. The first day the professor showed us some classic Nike outdoor ads from Chiat Day that I had never seen before, then told us they were designed by an “advertising art director.” Apparently, these “art directors” got paid quite well to create images like these. I quit architecture the next quarter. Thank you, Nike.



The creative work (film/album/game/ad/album/book/poem etc) that I keep revisiting…


There’s no one piece I revisit for inspiration but there is a book that helps keep me sane when I find myself overwhelmed and in the weeds. It’s “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott.  Some great advice in there for all types of creatives. And a fun read by a brilliant writer. And cheaper than a therapist.


My first professional project…


Florida Lottery “Lottomobile” TV spot. It’s like Nightrider meets 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you have a VCR I can send you a VHS tape of it. It may or may not have been recorded over my wedding reception. 


The piece of work (ad/music video/ platform…) that made me so angry that I vowed to never make anything like *that*…


Anything that insults the viewer’s intelligence. There needs to be room in any piece of creative, regardless of medium, for connecting the dots and bringing the viewer/listener along for the ride. People can’t skip an ad fast enough, so you better intrigue them from the get-go and reward them for spending time with your baby.


The piece of work (ad/music video/ platform…) that still makes me jealous…


Anything written by Charlotte Moore. Here’s one of my faves.




The creative project that changed my career…


McDonald’s “First Customer” commercial. This was the one where I figured out the brand’s voice. Based on my real-life experience, it became the storytelling standard for the agency when it came to McDonald’s, and eventually led to my leading the account ever since.




The work that I’m proudest of…


Tobacco Free Florida. The work we’ve done over the years for TFF has helped make Florida the state with the lowest rate of smoking in the country. From award-winning radio to docu-style stories about real smokers, to pop-up smoking stores that sold items priced in cigarettes, we’ve found new and unexpected ways to help smokers quit. I couldn’t be any prouder.




I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…


Viva Movil. The horror…the horror.


The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…


Our Coors Light “Iceman to Canton” campaign was special. Helping Latino Football legend, Tom Flores, get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after being snubbed for over 20 years was one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been a part of. Seeing the look on Tom’s face when he found out he was voted into the Hall was worth all the Lions in the South of France. 




Our collab with J Balvin on Miller Lite this summer was another recent victory. It’s not too often we get a chance to design a can inspired by a reggaetón superstar, then launch it by surprising his fans with the man himself. 





And most recently a run and gun McDonald’s project for Hispanic Heritage Month we produced in a little over a week was as exciting as they come. My producer still isn’t speaking to me.






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