Meet PACO: Ozzie Godinez, CEO
After working in agencies for years, while in-between jobs, Ozzie Godinez and his friend Pablo Acosta decided to open a Hispanic agency together. In 2006, they co-founded PACO [ideation].
As the owner, a co-founder, and the CEO, Ozzie admits that he is a little biased when asked the question “What does PACO mean to you?” as for him it means a lot.
“PACO is the emerging markets,” Ozzie said. “He is the average guy: PACO is the soccer fanatic, the street vendor, the small business owner, the lawyer. PACO represents the melting pot of what the U.S. mainstream has become.”
Ozzie himself is part of that melting pot. He and his family moved to the South Side of Chicago when he was seven years old from Guadalajara, Mexico. He is known for his cooking skills and loves trying different restaurants throughout the city. One of his favorites, Birreria Reyes de Ocotlan, is located in Pilsen.
“The food is very specific to the region of Mexico where I am from,” Ozzie said. “The restaurant is literally a hole in the wall, it’s very small. But, it’s family-owned, the food is amazing. It’s just awesome.”
His love of good food is just one of Ozzie’s examples of how the American culture has been heavily influenced by Hispanics. He thinks that Hispanic roots can be seen across food, sports and music. Ozzie’s own Mexican heritage helps him in his day-to-day work by showing him not the differences between cultures, but the uniting factors of every culture, despite differences in language.
“The multicultural market is now the American mainstream,” he continued. “We approach our work by looking for the inherent truths that unite us. We look at how we can leverage those truths to help our clients motivate consumers to take action. I think that I’m incredibly motivated by how branding to the Hispanic segment can help grow sales and market share. It always amazes me to see how many companies are still missing out on the opportunities.”
So Ozzie has made his career by helping companies seize those opportunities. His favorite moment when working on a campaign comes during the strategic planning phase; when the benefits of the brand finally click with the consumer.
“It’s the ‘a-ha’ moment,” he said. “When a brand connects with the Hispanic consumer in a different way and actually drives a consumer to take action. This is when the big idea meets the business objective.”
One of his favorite campaigns currently in the market place is the Volkswagen “Vámanos” commercial because, “it’s so simple.”
If he could give a talk on any industry topic, it would be about emerging media. Ozzie has a distinct interest in how digital and social media are being used in marketing, advertising and public relations. He says that it has changed the way media is viewed as a whole.
“Social media is a great way to reach a lot of people, but it can’t be siloed as its own strategy, it has to be a part of a total strategy, including traditional media and public relations,” Ozzie said. “We, the marketers, are still trying to figure out how to optimize social media and use it effectively.”
When he isn’t working, Ozzie loves spending time with his family and watching sports, specifically baseball – and more specifically the Chicago White Sox (Sorry Cubs fans!). But, he approaches all aspects of his life with some advice from his father at the front of his mind, “Whatever you do, do it 100%. Whether you’re picking strawberries, answering phones, or whatever, do it better than anyone has ever done it.”