Manuel Borde on childhood, clichés about the Emirates and what makes him happy


Manuel Borde, ECD TBWARAAD Dubai – Agency & The Network of the Year at Dubai Lynx in 2018 – was born in Miami, USA, but has Colombian roots. He is the living proof that cultural cross-pollination works, since he used to work in Panama and Puerto Rico before he got head hunted for an agency in UAE, less than 5 years ago.

What would make your soul sing?

Tough one. My soul is regularly singing hehehe, but I would say most of that music comes from my wife.

A childhood story that announced the creative person you are today?

I never learned to ride a bike, so I spent most my childhood recreating movies I had seen on TV or inventing my own.

Best context ever for inspiration was: 

The shower. It’s strange, but nothing beats a good shower thought.

The project you loved most:

#CamelPower for Nissan

The project others loved most:  

Pril One Drop Bottle.

The best thing about Creativity in UAE is:

It hardly ever stops in the UAE.

Best statement of UAE humor:

Radio spots – most of them are so badly written and acted, they ended up being fun.

Advice for international head hunters, related to UAE creatives:  

Well, if you’re gonna hunt here, really good creatives are scarce, but you can find them. If you do, they will for sure know a thing or two about resilience and not giving up on ideas.

Best place in Dubai:

Anywhere outside the queue to the Burj Khalifa.

Best Place in the Emirates:

I have to admit, I have been pretty bad at exploring.

Most disturbing cliché about the Emirates, in the media outlets of the world is:  

Ohh there are so many! The culture is not as restrictive as outside people say.

UAE should be known for:

Incredible safe. As a South American, it is an actual relief.

Do you think the Burj and the Mall ski’s slopes are relevant for UAE today?  

People still come for it, but Dubai is so much more. The Burj Khalifa is a city Icon, the slope is just snow in a mall.

Manuel was born in Miami, USA and he has been working in advertising since 2006. He is currently Creative Director at TBWA\RAAD Dubai, former Creative Director at DDB offices in Puerto Rico, Panamá and Colombia and Copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather Colombia.

He has created and led work that has been awarded and shortlisted in Cannes Lions, D&AD, Clio Awards, One Show, Dubai Lynx (Including 7 GPs), Ojo de Iberoamérica, Fiap, London International Awards, New York Festivals and Epica.

He served as a juror in New York Festivals and Fiap. In 2017 he was part of the first TBWA\Master Gunners and he is currently the number one Creative Director in the MENA Region according to the B&W Report and the Big Won Rankings.

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