Gustavo Pratt, Owner & CEO, Asterisco Healthcare Communications Mexico

2024 Grand Jury Spotlight: Gustavo Pratt, CEO, Asterisco Healthcare Communications Mexico

New York, New York | March 28, 2024

Welcome to AME's exclusive interview series, where we shine a spotlight on the globally respected members of the AME Awards Grand Jury. Strategic, innovative, analytical, critical thinkers, and creative storytellers dedicated to ensuring brand awareness and equity – these qualities embody AME's Grand Jury. Serving as emissaries of effectiveness, AME's Jury members, recognized globally as industry leaders and award-winning marketers, ensure that every entry submitted to the AME Awards is evaluated with the utmost care and consideration.

2024 AME Grand Jury member Gustavo Pratt brings 29 years of iaward-winning advertising experience to the AME jury panel, His creative and strategic leadership includes 10 years in mass media/ATL and 19 in pharma, health and wellness.

He is CEO and Owner of Asterisco Healthcare Communications, a pharma advertising agency with 12 years in the marketplace, recognized as one of the most innovative and creative pharma agencies in Mexico.Gustavo has developed global campaigns for the biggest Pharma companies in the world: Eli Lilly (Diabetes franchise, Byetta, Zyprexa, Bydureon), Pfizer, Merck, P&G Health, Astra Zeneca, Novartis and also has launched successfully new drugs into different countries around the world.

In the interview below Gustavo shares his industry perspective on future forward trends like AI and big data algorithms, how AR,VR  and interacive content are shaping advertising effectiveness, what he's looking for in award-winning work, e-commerce trends and much more.

AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?

Gustavo Pratt: Now more than ever before, advertising and every piece of communication that we create has become a challenge to reach our target, that the piece become interesting and finally it  becomes a lead or a purchase. So after all those obstacles to have an effective piece is something that needs to be recognized. So, awards like the AME really go deep to bring into the light the best in a very competitive and complicated industry.

AME Awards: As a creative strategist, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative effective advertising?

Gustavo Pratt: First of all that it has big creative, powerful, passionate idea. An idea that shakes the core of person that is looking at it, that captures the esence of the brand or the esence of the message that the brand wants to communicate. The has that "stopping power" to keep you from scrolling and get you to read and most important, to think. I remember a year by year campaign that always has the same message and always gets me excited, that has the power to stop me and also that makes me take action and read or click the ad, and also, it is from New York City, it is the TCS NYC MARATHON advertising campaign. With a single Line of Great advertising Copy it hit the heart and soul of runners and non-runners alike, the Copy is this one: IT WILL MOVE YOU. With that promise, every single year the Marathon has 55,000 runners and increasing every year. For me an idea like that, that moves that ammount of people from all over the world is Worth winning for creative and effectiveness. Literally, advertising that moves you.

AME Awards: What future forward trends and innovations are brands embracing for 2024?

Gustavo Pratt: We definetly will see more use of AI, in the big data algorithms (in search for even more specialized Target audiences) and also in the generation of images, video and content. I think big brands were a little cautious in its use, but as time moves forward I Think Brands like Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Apple, Nike will start bringing AI components to its advertising and Communications. The film Industry and streaming services like Disney are pushing the technology to bring to the audience a younger Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and also a younger Luke Skywalker and use them to fill in the stories of a bigger storytelling scenario, you might say to fill in the gaps. So we might see more of that becoming part of our every day life as that Technology becomes available. I think AI has become a very powerful tool that we need to understand and put it to good work.
Also as a new innovation we will see what Apple brings to the table with their VR glasses: APPLE VISION PRO, I think the we are in the Dawn of a new era in computing that will bring new experinces as user and new channel to develop for us advertising, marketing and Communications professionals.

AME Awards: How are emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and interactive content shaping the landscape of advertising effectiveness?

Gustavo Pratt: Quick answer: they are the future. The more data you have, the more Information you have to make your advertising, the better. So that goes with your message and then you potencialize it using new technologies as the APPLE VISION PRO, that will create a world within our world and you can end up with an amazing new way to look and engage with content based on the user experience (I start sounding like Flynn in TRON) but it has come to that...The CUSTOMER will become the USER. Understanding the user (via empathy and understanding, basically putting yourself in their shoes) will create a better, more Direct message that will hit the spot, feeling less invasive and more accurate to the other words, the ad (or Communication) won´t feel out of place or invasive, on the contrary, it will go with the flow of the world of the user, if we can accomplish that, what we are communicating/selling/engaging with go to the heart, mind or soul of the USER and it will be EFFECTIVE.

AME Awards: How have brands adapted in the realm of mobile gaming? How do you design advertisements that encourage user engagement and interaction rather than passive viewing?

Gustavo Pratt:I was reading the other day that the gaming Industry in 2023 made more money that the film Industry. That definetly will shape how the big players in the entertainment Industry will invest their money, clearly focusing more on games. If that starts to become our reality, advertising will be even more targeted to those audiences within the digital realm of each game, reaching a Community with certain brands that will resonate with those targets. It will be a great opportunity for ads and product placement with in games. Image if a character in a video game grabs some sunglasses, but those sunglasses are Oakley, the will become relevant to the target even more.

AME Awards:  How have brands adapted their advertising strategies to capitalize on the growing trend of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer models?

Gustavo Pratt:I think it has been a try and failure environment for Brands that want to go alone in this e-commerce process. But in 2023 it has benn more success than failures. Brands have understand to read the consumers (or USERS) and understood the insight that "its the easy way or the highway". The user wants things easy, simple and fast. That´s it. has proved that they can deliver on the promise and other brands simply have to follow their example...even toilet paper gets deliver right to your door by them. The interesting thing here for all of us, for everybrand is "create an e-commerce experience" that feels like the real thing. With AR Technology I think we will be able to achieve that, by creating a virtual supermarket or shopping mall that you can "see" and almost "feel" all the things and at the end pay with you Apple Pay card...and when the experience ends, you will received your shopping bag the next day. Again it is all in what experience we can create for the user that will remind him/her of the real shopping experience in a mall.

That will definetly create a mindshift in our society, culture and the way we look at life. What will be the purpose of going to the movies and walking around the mall if you have done your AR shopping for Christmas? Will brands keep "real" stores open? What will be the purpose? Or do we have to create new more immersive shopping experiences for the real world? I think with the arrival of Apple´s AR we will see what the future has prepared for us.