2019 Press Releases

5 Minutes with Borja Borrerro

22 August 2019
Interbrand’s Chief Creative Officer speaks with LIA about liquor packaging and how design strategies are built for long term.
Borja is responsible for managing and raising the creative quality and reputation standards for EMEA and LatAm and thus is responsible for managing and raising the creative quality and reputation standards for those regions.
Why is liquor packaging so beautiful? Are all designers heavy drinkers as well?
Alcohol is a category that usually relies on status, heritage, tradition and craft aspects among other ideas. I think that’s why we find the best quality paper, aluminium, glass, wood and other materials with luxurious finishes like embossing, lamination, reliefs, die cuts, stamping, etc. Materials and design come together at play to reinforce a sense of uniqueness.
As consumers, we get strongly seduced and identified with these brands as we shape our personality around them. These packs are usually placed in prominent places like our living, dining or kitchen rooms or bars and restaurants. This challenges designers to offer best in class creative solutions that make the consumer feel confident and proud of showcasing these brands.
When you walk into a typical store, are you usually excited or angered by what you see in there?
Personally, most of the times I feel overwhelmed. It depends on the store design and the way products are arranged but I tend to like shops with less references, so choice is streamlined and simplified. Traditionally, there was this idea that a pack should shout at you somehow, but now more and more consumers are looking for other messages and meanings on packs (dietary, functional, environmental…). As I said, retail design has a lot to say in the way we perceive packs and its arrangement on shelves. I also see more and more people getting attracted to products that offer experiences within the shop, promotions or try-outs. In my opinion, properly curating the specific experience at PoS adds a lot of value.
Do you think that clients respect design firms more than they do ad agencies? If so, why?
Design relies on strategies that are built for the medium for long term, so it needs to last longer, sticking to our minds at a deeper level, becoming part of our culture and heritage. I wouldn’t call it “respect” but rather “value” for the exposed reasons. Also, because designs can have an organoleptic aspect beyond the visual, they stick to all senses; we can see, smell, touch, taste or hear them. We tend to define our personality around design. Advertising sometimes feels a bit more tactical, ephemeral, but is also true that more and more we see agencies and design studios working together to build lasting, holistic and creative propositions.
Tell us why you think LIA has become one of the top international award shows?
I feel LIA has been one of the first festivals of its kind to acknowledge all media and methods from around the world to be judged by such a diverse global jury. The fact that this has been built consistently along more than 30 years with an iterative and open-minded nature makes LIA valued and attractive to all creative communities around the world.  
What about LIA do you think makes it better than some of the other shows?
Every festival has built its own and unique personality. Regarding LIA, it feels less like a business on itself and more like a true competition towards awarding the best work, with a commercial aspect always on mind.
Creative LIAisons, LIA’s fully funded program for young creatives, is one of the most sort after invites. How much do you know about this program? What do you think makes it different from young creative programs at other awards?  
I know few things about LIAisons but what I know sounds really exciting. It’s important to open the work and judging process to new talent. I really envy these types of initiatives and hoped I had the chance to access them when I was a student or junior employee. Good job!