Cira López, freelancer and founding partner of UNTO
Being born and living in Barcelona, the most beautiful city in the world is a privilege. Well, except for the prices of rentals, the mass tourism and the number of dogs per inhabitant there. Nothing serious. Here in Barcelona I have developed my professional career. I started off as a war journalist but then I joined a large advertising agency back in 1996 called Lorente Grupo de Comunicación (nowadays Havas), and I got hooked on creative writing. There I learned about the need for consistency in brand identity and its message. Then I went to Young & Rubicam, where I was a creative director working mainly in the food sector: Danone, Nutrexpa, Diageo, etc. I spent the day on film shoots, despite that many people believe it’s boring. I had a lot of free time between shots and shots, so I wrote a youth novel and I designed a clothing line. Where are they? Well stored in a drawer, waiting to be dusted off.
I cannot help it, every two years or so my hobby changes. Undoubtedly, curiosity is one of my qualities (or defects, depending on how you look at it). I’m always trying something new: crochet, scrapbooking, miniatures 1:12 scale, pedagogy of education, the list goes on. I started a second career in Humanities, I set up my own advertising agency called Thousand People, which, in two years, happened to bring set up clients like Rituals or Font Vella with social networks. I left it in 2012 because what I wanted was, actually, to eat and drink.
I love everything related to gastronomy so I went a step further in my career and, together with three partners, we embarked on what is now my great professional adventure: UNTO, producer of gastronomic contents. We made TV shows like El Comidista TV and videos for The Comidista, the most visited blog by El País, the biggest national newspaper.
I am also the chief editor of the cocktail blog, The Shaker and The Jigger, with some of the best gastronomic collaborator writers in Spain. The blog won the award for the ‘Online Medium of the Year as a Diffuser of the Culture of Cocktail’ awarded by the Mi congress ( x) ology Trends.
I love my work, but I still have time to practice freelance continuously with the Turisme de Barcelona website and sporadically with Copywriter Collective and with some collaboration in the written press, such as AD magazine.
Web of Turisme de Barcelona
All this trajectory has led me to live in the first person and in the first line the becomings of advertising: from the most conventional to the most alternative. I was in the right place at the right moment when the social networks emerged and I got up to date before others. Then came the outbreak of the gastro, and UNTO was already there. We have created a school with El Comidista videos, which accumulates millions of visits on YouTube and on the El País blog.
The Shaker and The Jigger
Still, sometimes I dream of moving north, much farther north; to a Scandinavian country like Denmark or Sweden. I have visited them once and I admire their magical combination of efficiency, sustainability, creativity and good taste. Surely the freelancers there have more state aids; in Barcelona we are not a priority group at the moment.
As a businesswoman, things do not improve. I know, you will tell me that the Barcelona’s sunshine can’t be changed for anything, and I’m sure you’re right; but with climate change, the sun’s heat has become a little unbearable. Still, my husband and my two children would have to agree to move to Scandinavia, but at the moment they prefer to stay here. And without them, I’m not going anywhere. Because I haven’t told you, but first of all, I am a family woman. That’s my favorite part of my life.