A heavy hitter in the Austin advertising industry is back in business after a year’s sabbatical.
Sergio Alcocer, who spent 16 years at Austin-based LatinWorks, working his way up to president and chief creative officer, has launched his own agency, which he has named Rest of the World.
Based in South Austin, Rest of the World made its debut this month, primarily targeting young, multicultural audiences – people Alcocer says can be overlooked by ad agencies and the companies they represent.
“I always knew I was going to go back to advertising and the creative sector,” Alcocer said. “The idea here is to bring together the best talent and put them to work for brands that want to do something different, brands that want to take a stand.”
Rest of the World initially has a staff of six, Alcocer said. Ultimately, he envisions a team of 20 to 25 employees – smaller than many other agencies – with a focus on recruiting diverse “talent that many times is not represented at big agencies.”
“Taking a multicultural view makes the country better – all the skin tones together, living harmoniously,” he said. “Together, we can strengthen the country.”
Starting his new venture in Austin, instead of a more traditional location such as New York, was a deliberate decision, Alcocer said – one that he said will help when it comes to attracting up-and-comers.
“I think advertising needs to catch up,” he said. “You can choose where you want to live and do business these days. Austin is a city that attracts talent. Things are happening here, now.
“In many ways, Austin represents one of the cities of the future. It’s a much more interesting proposition. There’s talent, technology and tolerance here. When you have those three things, you flourish.”
At LatinWorks, Alcocer handled numerous big accounts. It would be easy to cite his past projects when working to land new clients, but Alcocer says he’s chosen to look forward, not back. And, already, he’s managed to secure work, with more accounts expected shortly.
“This an opportunity to start all over again,” Alcocer said. “Starting again makes you humble. You need to make yourself current. Starting an ad agency from scratch in 2017 gives me the opportunity to structure things the way they need to be structured.”
For instance, Alcocer has opted to contract with a number of trusted partners rather than bringing some specialties in house. Those strategic alliances, he says, will help keep Rest of the World a manageable size – a firm that’s flexible and quickly able to adapt to changes in the marketplace.
“We are living in a world of specialists,” he said. “It’s difficult these days to truthfully claim you can do it all. I don’t need to hire experts when experts already exist.”
One of those experts is Natalie Boden, president and founder of Boden, a public relations and social media agency that Rest of the World will be working with on some projects.
“Brands need to tread carefully in today’s climate and not be inclusive for the sake of inclusivity,” Boden said. “It’s about understanding your consumers’ needs, regardless of skin tone and language. Powerful work does not stop at ethnic boundaries. It’s universal, and that’s what Sergio’s multicultural approach is all about. This is an agency that a brand can go to for all its work.”