The recent XXVI edition of the International Festival El Ojo de Iberoamérica witnessed an emotional moment with the second installment of the Hall of Fame for Latin Talent. This space, dedicated to honoring outstanding creative leaders from the region, bestowed this recognition upon Ana María Olabuenaga, an emblematic and pioneering figure in Mexican advertising, acknowledged for her ideas and messages that linger in the minds of consumers to this day.
This award was received with great emotion by Ana María Olabuenaga, who chose to dedicate it to Lorena Orraca, the first director of television commercials in Mexico, who recently passed away. Reminiscing about her, she highlighted her work in breaking barriers for future generations in a predominantly male-dominated industry.
Hailing from Mexico, Ana María studied Communication with a specialization in Journalism at the Universidad Iberoamericana, where she graduated with honors. However, a professional crisis in journalism marked a turning point in her career. “You write very well, but journalism doesn’t suit you,” were the words that drove her to venture into the world of advertising, starting as a copywriter at the Bozell Agency in 1986.
She quickly showcased her talent as a copywriter, later joining forces with the Leo Burnett agency and becoming the creator of the iconic slogan “The message is in the bottle,” which adds to a list of claims that have left an enduring mark on Mexican culture and society.
It was at TeranTBWA where Ana María reached the pinnacle of her creativity. Her work with El Palacio de Hierro propelled this company in the Mexican retail sector with the phrase “Soy Totalmente Palacio,” a milestone in the country’s advertising.
Her success at TeranTBWA led her to lead Noble-D’Arcy, a company on the brink of bankruptcy. With determination and talent, she saved the agency, secured the Lala account, and later founded Olabuenaga-Chemistri, associated with Publicis, where she achieved significant milestones with clients such as Nextel, Telefónica, Tecate, and Bodega Aurrerá.
Recognized as one of the 50 most relevant female executives in Mexico by Forbes and one of the 35 most important women in business by Expansión, Ana María has been honored 12 times, standing out with awards such as Woman Executive of the Year, the “Juanita Guerra” award for advertising trajectory, Best Creative in Mexico at El Ojo de Iberoamérica, among others.
Now, Ana María Olabuenaga enters the Hall of Fame for Latin Talent at El Ojo de Iberoamérica, a well-deserved recognition for a woman who knew how to reinvent herself and transcend, becoming part of a select group of visionaries, just as El Ojo de Iberoamérica represents since its inception.