Since Chicago is home to the second largest Hispanic population in the U.S., it makes sense that a production company dedicated to Spanish- language commercials would open its doors here to serve this fastest-growing of all markets.
The new spot house is El Grupo Zeta, a division of Dan Zigulich’s thriving Z Group Films.
Executive producer is Aldo Gagliardi, who had produced in Miami for Hispanic ad agency Oolala for a year, after six years of working as an assistant director. He moved to Chicago a year ago to broaden his opportunities.
After Gagliardi began freelancing for Z Group, Zigulich felt he had found the right partner to help make his long-held idea of an Hispanic spot house a reality.
The new company represents four directors? three commercial stars of Buenos Aires, and home boy Michael LaBellarte, owner/editor of Outsider editing boutique.
El Grupo Zeta formed a strategic partnership with Buenos Aires’ production companies Patagonika Palermo and Metropolis Films for representation of Gabriel Bossio (Bazooka bubble gum, Nestle, OCA credit card) and Sergio Teubal (fashion and beauty), respectively.
Independent director Picky, known for music videos, “has the potential of being our biggest star,” said Gagliardi. “He has shot more than 30 music videos for major artists, such as Julio Iglesias, and also directed commercials for Motorola, Nestle and Shell Oil.”
In casting about for representation, LaBellarte came to Zigulich and Gagliardi’s attention. “We signed him on the strength of his reel,” which includes spots for Infinity, the Chicago Fire soccer team, and spec spots for Budweiser and Johnny Walker spot LaBellarte filmed in Paris, Gagliardi said.