Director Luis Gerard, now represented in both the General and Hispanic markets by bespoke NY-based production company Easy Mondays, imbues each commercial with the subtlety and depth of an arthouse feature. 

As a viewer, you relate to the characters and get to know them, their joy, their pain, sometimes their embarrassment, and often their victories. While these are branded stories, most often under a minute in length, you have been swept along by the patient strokes of a lifelong cineast. 

“From the start, it was instilled in me that ideas mattered,” Gerard recalled of his beginnings in advertising. Gerard grew up in his father’s arthouse movie theater in Puerto Rico. There, he not only developed the skills to operate the equipment, but also earned an appreciation for independent cinema. “Good scripts were more important than genre,” he said. While studying at the University of Puerto Rico, he shot his first successful project, a 35mm black-and-white silent short that earned a finalist position at the Venice Film Festival. Through the years, Gerard has developed a love for  photography, taking pictures on a variety of subjects around the globe, hoping to eventually publish them in a book.

Fast-forward to 2021, as Gerard’s new assignment for Easy Mondays, a comedy campaign for Tax Act, is enjoying the frequent airplay one might expect during tax season. Created via Hawkeye, the spots craftily employ humorous scare tactics (i.e., a man being chased by a real Kodiak bear) to show viewers how to take the fear out of filing their taxes. “I love visual storytelling, and I have a good sense of humor, I suppose,” he said, “but the story dictates the tone.” 

By way of example, The Wake, the new short film Gerard wrote, produced, and directed, is a complex drama involving two brothers, murder, an escape, and a gun. Currently in postproduction, “It shows a different side of me,” the filmmaker asserted. 

Easy Mondays Founder/EP Asori Soto went further. “Luis has the range, comedy, drama, cars, documentary, even fashion, to tell stories across multiple genres,” he said, rattling off a list of notable spots that run the gamut, beginning with Ponds Power of Gold, an epic set piece that could be taking a page from Bertolucci or Lean. Also in the mix: Trident Sniper (action/suspense), Loto Joy (emotional), Orbitz (wacky), Stride Heirloom (touching and smile-inducing). Interestingly, Gerard wrote Heirloom and co-wrote Sniper

He has brought his powerful cinematic signature to projects for such agencies as Wieden+Kennedy, BBH, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO New York, TBWA Toronto. His clients also include Volkswagen, Bud Light, Ikea, and Axe, to name a few. Gerard has garnered numerous international honors, including Cannes Lions, London International Awards, New York Film Festival, and Clio Awards.

“I have deep respect for Asori’s intellect, and the things he has accomplished in such a short amount of time, coming here from Cuba as he did,” Gerard related. Both he and Soto have worked extensively in Hispanic and General Market advertising, and the expanded representation reflects a natural evolution. “When Easy Mondays launched, I already had an affiliation for commercials, so I aligned with Asori for Hispanic work. Now, the synergy is such that it just makes sense to be at Easy Mondays across the board. In addition to our cultural connections, we really share a creative vision.” 

Part of that vision is an expanded presence in New York, home to both Soto and Gerard. “As we hopefully emerge from the seclusion of the past year, the Easy Mondays agenda includes building a broader creative New York community and getting to know our East Coast agency neighbours better,” Soto affirmed.   

Easy Mondays is represented by Carl Forsberg and Justin Lasoff (Apostle) on the East Coast, Sarah Gitersonke (SG&Partners) in the Midwest, Veronica Lombardo (VLM) on the West Coast, and Marta Burga in the Hispanic market.