Fernando Vallejo was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and through his veins runs Castilian blood on his father’s side and Brazilian on his mother’s. And to make things a bit more confusing, he is also a Spanish citizen, courtesy of King Juan Carlos I after living in his Kingdom for 15 wonderful years.
He was a promising professional football player, a frustrated law student and a not very good piano player. At the age of 14 he saw “Funeral”, a classic Volkswagen commercial and fell in lovewith the world of advertising. A few years later, driven by this love, he climbed on a bus and traveled 2000 kilometers just to meet his idol, Washington Olivetto, one of the stars of Brazilian advertising.
A little later he arrived in Barcelona, carrying a humongous suitcase and a tiny, almost imaginary, portfolio. With the help of wonderful people he soon became copy editor and then Creative Director at some of the top agencies in Spain: DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi and Slogan Madrid.
He won many major awards throughout the world, including the Grand Prix in San Sebastian for his campaign for the Spanish Organization for the Blind.
When everything seemed to be perfect, he went nuts and resigned his position as creative director and partner at the most important agency in Madrid of the time in order to start directing commercials. He may have been nuts, but he was no fool and realized he would need specific training. He then applied to the New York University for Filmmaking.
In December 1999 a jury of 12 selected by LatinSpots chose him Best Latin Director in the US. In June 2002, he was included in the New Directors Showcase at Cannes, where his “Baggy Pants” commercial for NutraSweet was shown. In November 2003, his campaign “I see” for Nikon was aired in 21 countries and voted the Best Commercial of the year in Germany.
Fernando now splits his time between the West Village in New York and Buenos Aires.