Marina Filippelli’s first stint at multicultural agency Orcí was also her first job in advertising while she was in college. “I was an intern, and then made my way around different departments [while] going to school at night,” she said. “Then I thought, ‘It’s going to take me about 10 years to get my degree this way.'”
It became a motto throughout her career: Advertising will always be here.
The mantra has served Filippelli well. After studying English literature at Oxford and finishing school in Miami, she returned to advertising, managing communications and creative for clients addressing the U.S. Hispanic market at Zubi before shifting to music video and commercial production for The Maestros in Mexico City. She then worked in production on her first feature film, 2006’s award-winning Babel. She spent four years working in feature films before her desire for more stability and the chance to work on more intellectually challenging, longer term projects brought her back to advertising—and eventually, back to Orcí.
Filippelli’s work in film and commercial production has helped her adapt to an ever-changing media environment by thinking differently. Filmmaking, she explained, has helped her reconnect with the core of storytelling. “The industry got really good at telling stories in 30 seconds, with a logo at the beginning and a logo at the end,” she said. “Now, you’ve got to tell stories in six seconds or in long form.”
Another strong touch point for Filippelli is her own life as a Latina mom. At Orcí, her team strives to retrain sales and support staff to work with Latino customers; it also develops mobile strategy, since Latino customers are over-indexed on mobile. “There aren’t a lot of Latina moms represented in our industry, so I do take that seriously,” said Filippelli. “Latino moms are important decision-makers. It’s important for our clients that they be represented in the room.”
It’s about thinking through the customer’s needs and expectations all the way through the point of the sale, said Filippelli. “The work I’m proudest of hasn’t necessarily been what’s had the most exciting creative, but instead ensured the right infrastructure for our audience,” she said.
COO, director of client cervices, Orcí
2013 – Present
Group account director, Heat
2012 – 2013
Account director, managing director, Conexión
2009 – 2012
Assistant production director, freelance
2005 – 2009
Executive production, The Maestros
Jan. – Dec. 2004
Account supervisor, Zubi
2000 – 2003
Account executive, Orcí
1994 – 1997
Orcí launched @HondaLatino on Twitter, which quickly became the No. 1 auto brand targeting Latinos and was featured as a case study on Twitter’s annual report.
How She Got the Gig
After an international career in client services and commercial and feature film production, Filippelli returned to her first home in advertising at her first agency, Orcí.
Whether you’re marketing in Spanish, English or any other language, Filippelli stresses that “it’s not just about language. It’s about understanding and relevance.”