To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, our Hispanic/Latinx affinity group, GSDyM, has put together a list of recommendations ranging from hit Netflix shows in Spanish that have become internationally successful to works of literature to authentic places to shop/eat. There is an abundance of Hispanic talent out there…. Please enjoy our recommendations to help support the Hispanic community as you become inspired by our beautiful culture.


We created a selection based on our favorite award-winning movies and some “classics.” Some of these movies are great for learning Spanish. If the Spanish is too quick for you, we recommend using subtitles to follow along, or simply watch in English and know that you are supporting Hispanic filmmakers. Grab some Takis con salsa and hit play.

TV Shows 

Netflix and other streaming platforms are doing a great job bringing Spanish-language shows to the U.S. AND making them international hits. Here is our list of must-see TV shows:


Book-lovers, check out these must-read titles in English or Spanish!


Whether you enjoy music for dancing, relaxing, inspiration or nostalgia, these bands and albums have you covered!

Website/Blog/Media outlets

Rejoice, social media hounds and webbies, we’ve got your online entertainment right here.

ATX Restaurants 

Hungry? Restaurants are slowly starting to open back up, but there’s always “para llevar.”

Local Culture

Creators (artists, local craft makers, etc.)

Gift-giving season is right around the corner!

Recently, Austin was named one of the top 10 best places for the LGBTQ+ community to live, just in time for Austin Pride this weekend. Ahead of the celebration, we chatted with members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies within the agency about what inclusivity means to them and how creativity can’t thrive without it. Keep reading to learn more about how an inclusive city and work environment makes all the difference.

Kirya Francis, VP of Diversity and Inclusion

How do you define inclusion?

I like to think of inclusion to be more like a salad. You come together as individuals and you get to stay an individual, but your presence will be missed if you are not there. 

Why is it important for a company to participate in inclusive initiatives? 

A company’s primary responsibility is to be profitable so that it can stay in business and employ talent. Inclusion makes people happier to be there, and happier people make a better product.  

Kyle Nguyen, Media Planner/Campaign Manager

How have you experienced inclusion at GSD&M?

GSD&M’s culture is inherently inclusive with participation in community events like the Allies Diversity Summit and various panels where GSD&Mers share their stories. 

How does an inclusive environment benefit the work that comes out of GSD&M?

It breaks down walls. The less time we worry about how others perceive us, the more time we have to focus that energy on actually working by bringing our authentic selves to work.

Josh Andrews, Assistant Account Manager 

Why is it important for a company to participate in inclusive initiatives?

It’s important for employees to see reflections of themselves and their identities at work. Without a place to be yourself, employees risk losing themselves to the nature of putting up a guard to those around them. 

How have you experienced inclusion in Austin and at GSD&M?

There are LGBTQIA sports teams, book clubs and even Zilker meet-ups. I’m very happy to see the solidarity of GSD&M walking in Austin’s Pride parade, so cheers to that!

Ashley Davidson, Digital Producer

How do you define inclusion? 

Inclusion is providing an atmosphere of support and involvement for all people regardless of race, religion, background, abilities, gender or sexual orientation. An inclusive environment empowers, educates and collaborates so an individual’s worth is recognized by all.

Why is it important for a company to participate in inclusive initiatives? 

Inclusivity initiatives that support all groups are important for morale, productivity, safety and community-building. You build a stronger company where people both tolerate and celebrate each other’s differences.

Ana Leen, Account Leadership

How have you experienced inclusion at GSD&M? 

Through partnering with organizations like ADCOLOR, E4Youth, Time’s Up/Advertising, Austin Pride and more, we’re both impacting and learning from our community that feeds the pipeline of creativity.

How does an inclusive environment benefit the work that comes out of GSD&M? 

We will think beyond the norm. We will come up with ideas and creative that connect with people in new ways. We will give brands the opportunity to do things differently and stand out from the competition.

Companies need to push inclusion initiatives throughout the year, not just during Pride month. While we’re lucky to live in a welcoming city like Austin, we should never take that for granted. We must continuously celebrate and advocate for inclusion to better our community, our industry and the society in which we live. It’s a disservice to creativity and culture at large if we are not including and representing all voices and speaking up for those who aren’t heard. 

Another year has come and gone, so it felt like the right time to reflect on all of the goodness that came out of GSD&M. 2018 was filled with game-changing work, much-needed conversations, well-deserved celebrations and, of course, so much good music. I somehow managed to narrow down what I believe to be GSD&M’s finest moments to 11 highlights and one playlist. Keep reading for a glimpse into last year.

Harry’s: A Man Like You

Breaking stereotypes and creating a cultural conversation around media’s portrayal of masculinity, the Harry’s short film was a breakthrough way of storytelling for a men’s grooming brand. The work even earned a Cannes Lions for film and a Glass Lion for change.

GSD&M Party at SXSW 2018

We gathered thousands of our closest friends, community members and partners in our backyard for the 8th Annual GSD&M Party featuring White Reaper, Durand Jones & The Indications, Pale Waves and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and we’re ready to do it again!

Time’s Up/Advertising

Alongside 200 female leaders in advertising, GSD&M’s President, Marianne Malina, was a founding member of Time’s Up/Advertising™. GSD&M helped lead the movement of saying “time’s up” on inequality in our industry and fronted a launch event across 14 cities in North America and Canada.


Winning Jack Link’s + Retaining U.S. Air Force

We took a break from our desks and gathered in the backyard to celebrate all of the hard work that led to winning our new client, Jack Link’s, and retaining our 17-year client, U.S. Air Force, for another 10 great years.

ITMAD 2018

From futurists to improv teachers and leading chocolate connoisseurs, GSD&M brought in the brightest minds inside and outside of Austin to inspire and discuss what it means to create ideas that make a difference.

Winning Pizza Hut

We welcomed our newest client, Pizza Hut, with champagne, and of course, PIZZA!

GSD&M Presents: Jared & The Mill

Arizona folk rockers, Jared & The Mill, stopped by while on tour to play some acoustic versions of their latest jams.

Free the Bid

In order to continue the mission of creating more diverse and meaningful work, GSD&M pledged to Free the Bid and put more women editors and directors on projects.

Halloween at GSD&M

As an office of creatives, we don’t take Halloween lightly. From The Shining Twins to Guy Fieri, this year’s costume contest was far from overrated.

Popeyes Emotional Support Chicken

The TSA-friendly, emotional support animal you can eat, Popeyes’ Emotional Support Chicken, took the media by storm. Appearing in Cosmopolitan,, USA Today and much more, everyone ate it up, quite literally.

GSD&M Holiday Card: Austin Pets Alive!

This year, we used our annual holiday card to give back to our local animal shelter, Austin Pets Alive! Including an 18-foot “wishlist tree”, donations from employees, a takeover, and a card sent to our favorite family, friends and clients, our holiday initiative raised tons of awareness, funds, and shelter necessities, and gave every animal a blanket to keep warm this winter.

And to top it all off, here’s a comprehensive playlist featuring every song from GSD&M’s monthly playlists in 2018.

If last year is any indication of how 2019 will go, I’d say we have a lot to look forward to.

ADCOLOR exists to establish a community of diverse professionals to support and celebrate one another. Every year, those diverse professionals attend a conference full of the brightest, diverse and innovative minds in the industry. This year, a total of nine GSD&M employees attended, and they returned with meaningful, game-changing insights and inspiration. Along with our attendance, we were an incredibly proud sponsor and as such, wanted to create something as a little reminder of the change we have the power to make. These pins were sent home with every attendee:


I caught up with the folks who attended to see what they learned, so I’ll let the people at the forefront of diversity and inclusion do the talking.

How can the ad industry influence and inspire more work toward diversity in other industries and beyond?

What was your personal most important takeaway from ADCOLOR?


This industry has the power to cultivate change—and it must start where the work happens. These conversations must continue to take place inside and outside of agencies and brands, and although we have a ways to go, we should be incredibly proud and excited to have minds like these fighting for diversity in our industry.

Until next year, ADCOLOR. Here’s to progress.

Every year for the past 30 years, Adweek’s Media All-Star award has honored the most trailblazing media executives in the business. And this year, with little surprise to us, Carmen Graf was named an Adweek Media All-Star. Ask anyone who has worked with Carmen Graf, executive director of GSD&M’s media department, and they’ll tell you why she’s one of the 12 executives in the country to be honored this year.

Adweek saw no oversight into her many achievements such as being named a Media Star of the Future by Newsweek, earning a Silver Effie Award, being named a media finalist at Cannes and being part of the BMW/Graffiti campaign, which Forbes named one of the best social media campaigns of all time.

With her intuitive and creative approach, Carmen exemplifies the quality of charisma required for her capacity of work, and in her 24 years at GSD&M, she has channeled that energy, creativity and forward-thinking to make serious moves for the media department. You’re an all-star, Carmen! Congrats. Learn more about the honor right here.


Artwork by GSD&M designer, Laura Guardalabene

Here it comes. The big game. Super Bowl 50. Super Bowl L…uh, okay, 50 sounds better. It’s been the big game for football for 50 years. It’s also been the big game for advertising almost that long. But what is so big about the big game for advertisers and marketers? Is it the inflated media budgets? The staggering number of eyeballs watching? The opportunity for pull-out-all-the-stops celebrity spots? Perhaps… 

When you think about it though, the big game is only as big as we want it to be. After all, it is just a game: a bunch of guys playing catch with a ball, a four-hour time-suck in front of a screen, dozens of commercials trying to get you to buy something.

Or maybe something different. Something bigger and better: athletes who have worked their entire lives honing their skills, strengths and accuracy to prove themselves on the biggest stage of their lives; a worldwide moment when fans and admirers alike can ride the emotional rollercoaster of the scoreboard and join together to will their favorite to win; and brands who are working to become less of an interruption in your programming and instead a welcomed guest in your home.

And for us, as GSD&Mers and stewards of great brands, that makes it no different than what we try to do every day. We as a team strive restlessly each and every day to get great creative, mind-blowing and groundbreaking work out the door. We are always striving to do what’s never been done for our clients or for any brand before and discover and capture unique insights that lead us to create something truly worth seeing, and worth speaking about before, during the game…and long after.

Sure, it is nice to have a media platform that will reach 114 million viewers, which we do this year with another fantastic Avocados From Mexico spot. But after it runs and the hype of the Super Bowl fades away, we still want to speak to the one. The one person in our sights who genuinely wants the product we are sharing. To the one it will actually make a difference for.

So here’s to the big game. Here’s to being dreamers, doers and storytellers. And here’s to every other big game we play every day in this crazy business we love so darn much. And finally, here’s to every single GSD&Mer and beyond who works so hard as a team to make great work happen. Enjoy it! After all, you made it.

“I remember thinking ‘Wow, I wish I heard some of these insights when I was first getting started in this business,’” said Shannon Moorman, GSD&M’s VP of talent acquisition.

I recently returned from the 3% Conference, which focused on championing creative female talent and leadership in the advertising industry. Inspired and energized by the message shared at the conference, I took a moment to reflect on our ever-changing advertising industry by focusing on a set of guidelines to help young—or any—women in this business thrive.

Appoint your own “board of directors.” You should include a broad swath of advisors—men and women, young and old—with various backgrounds to help guide you in your career and personal life.

Speak up and use your voice. It was said that many women won’t speak up in meetings for fear of not sounding smart or insightful enough. The advice from the panelists: speak up. Even if you don’t think it’s important, contribute your voice and your POV. Your contribution is as important as anyone else’s in the room and is the only way to reach a level of comfort in sharing your own thoughts without continuing to run them through the “fear filter.”

Own your brand. We are in the business of building brands, and you are your brand. The more effectively you can establish and own your personal/professional brand, the easier it will be to compete in this male-dominated industry. Decide what you want your brand to be and be strategic in how you work to build it.

Presentation is key. Learn how to present your thoughts and ideas in an organized manner. It will not only evoke confidence from those who work around you, but it increases your degree of influence. Often women avoid presenting due to the critical voice within. Take an improv class, sign up for Toastmasters—do something that will help you increase your confidence in communicating and presenting.

Purposefully seek out mentors. Look to women who inspire you and ask them for advice on how they arrived at where they are. This can create a pathway for you to reach your goals and offer helpful, experienced guidance on how to surpass career hurdles.

As women, we are a team and should stand as a united front. Clear on our purpose, women should mentor and champion other women in the business, create a culture of advocacy and advise all their female peers to be thoughtful and intentional about the direction of their career.

By Rachel Swaldi, Account Leadership Intern

My name is Rachel Swaldi and I am an Account Leadership Intern for the Chipotle and Zales teams. CHIPOTLE AND ZALES! When a female college student is told that she gets to talk about burritos and diamond rings all day, she does not hesitate to sign up. The first time I interviewed with GSD&M, I unfortunately was rejected due to my lack of experience, but I quickly decided that wasn’t going to stop me. After getting two more internships under my belt, I came back and knocked on GSD&M’s door. And now, here I am, working for the same company that created the “Baby Back Ribs” song for Chili’s, “Always” for Walmart and “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

My advice: Do not ever give up and always be resilient.

Within my first three weeks working at GSD&M, the Chipotle team entrusted me with the opportunity to research and create a montage of competitive work that would be displayed and shown to the CMO of Chipotle. Not only was I incredibly honored, but at that moment I realized that I belonged and contributed to a fierce team of innovators and creative leaders.

Since then, my team has continued to trust me with projects and tasks that the typical coffee-run intern could never dream of. I have learned how effective time management, communication and dedication to clients can lead to radical creative work and ideas.

I have learned how to transcribe focus groups, generate informative newsletters and analyze competitive spots to make sure we always stay ahead of the curve. In fact, I am fortunate enough to continue working for GSD&M as an Account Leadership Intern in the Spring!

I am inspired daily by the community, freedom and responsibility, curiosity, integrity and restlessness of my team and how they incorporate these core values into their work each day. Specifically, my two supervisors, Cat Snyder and Jodi Bucciarelli, who work their butts off every single day of the week to create groundbreaking work for their clients. They are restless in their efforts to build revolutionary campaigns and they lean on their community at GSD&M to help bring visions to life. Most importantly, they carry out their jobs with inspiring integrity and kindness. With leaders like these, there is no doubt that GSD&M is the place to be, and I am extremely thankful to be here.

rachel swaldi FINAL

I ran to the grocery store after work last night to pick up items for a volunteer opportunity today—the Backpack Coalition. It’s only fair to admit that the grocery run came after a lengthy internal conversation about how I was “too tired” from a long day at work to go pick up groceries. Luckily, my conscience took over that conversation and I was quickly reminded of my purpose: not live for myself, but rather for others.

As some background, the Backpack Coalition is an organization that provides food to underprivileged children in Austin. There are a lot of kids who eat only when they’re at school—breakfast and lunch—and won’t eat until they return to school the next day. So, when they leave school on Friday, they will have little to no access to food until they return to school the following Monday. This hugely hinders their ability to learn as it takes the brain two to three days to recover full cognitive ability—meaning they won’t begin learning again until Wednesday.

I imagine these kids sitting in a classroom surrounded by students who are dressed in new back-to-school clothes, barely worn sneakers, with a backpack full of school supplies and homemade snacks to last them the day—and much further than that. Meanwhile, these students are hungry—hungry—and the thought of learning is near impossible when they’re distracted by the sound of their own stomachs growling.

I kept this thought in mind when I was at the grocery store last night, hesitating on how many groceries to buy for the kids. And when my cart was maxed out and food was dropping in the aisles, I still felt like it wasn’t enough. And it wasn’t because at the end of the day, I’d still go home, open a full fridge of food, and prepare a warm—and let’s be honest, underappreciated—home-cooked meal.

Today, a group of us volunteered at the Backpack Coalition; we packed backpacks full of food for these kids to have this weekend and over the holidays when they’re out of school for a week and looking for something to fill their stomachs. As if that experience wasn’t “real” enough for us, we heard stories about the children we were impacting. One in particular was about a mother who received a grant to go to college, which would ultimately ensure that she could provide a better life for her children. But, that grant meant that she was no longer eligible for food stamps. So, she had a decision to make: short-term or long-term wellness for her family. But because of the Backpack Coalition, she didn’t have to choose; she was able to go to college, set an example for her children, and ensure her kids were fed.IMG_3956 copyIn reality, though, it really doesn’t matter how much money we spent on groceries to donate or how much time we spent packing backpacks. What matters is that we took a few hours out of our day to give back to othersto people with stories like that motherand do our part to make the world a little better of a place than it was last night when we went to bed and this morning when we rose.IMG_3967 copyBut this opportunity to better ourselves and our planet wasn’t a solo effort. At GSD&M we are encouraged to volunteer. Now, there are a lot of companies out there that say that. We’ve all heard it—“we encourage our employees to do their part.” But GSD&M doesn’t just talk, it walks. Each month, we are given four hours to volunteer and not only are we given this time away from our desks, but we’re paid for it too. And further than that, the employees work together to make each other aware of how they are volunteering, and even go as far to share it in the internal news so it’s easy for anyone to jump on the train and volunteer. Just this week we had a box set up in the lobby so people who didn’t volunteer for the Coalition could still donate food.

While I’ve just written many, there are few words to explain what it feels like to be part of a company that has a strong sense of purpose and community and continues to evolve to ensure that this purpose and “sense of self” is never lost.

Today’s opportunity to give back to the community felt less like a gift I was giving and more like one that was given to me. And I am 100 percent confident that this gift wouldn’t exist if my company wasn’t pushing me forward, and strongly encouraging me to take four hours out of my day and put it to good use.

It’s one thing to develop our own sense of purpose. It’s not easy, but we spend our lives attempting to do and fulfill it. But how often do we get to say we stand with a company that has it’s own sense of purpose, and a damn good sense of purpose at that?image1[1] copy


GSD&M is an agency built on big ideas. These big ideas have a huge impact on our people, our agency, our clients and our community. We pride ourselves on creating ideas that make a difference and fostering an entrepreneurial culture and environment. For some of our entrepreneurs, their ideas have the power to transform our industry and the world. One of our very own, Creative Director, Will Chau, is an example of someone who did exactly that. He turned a vision into action, which is impacting the lives of local Austin students and providing tools to propel them forward.

Will has been part of the GSD&M family for 10 years. Originally from Los Angeles, he credits an old high school teacher for helping him discover his love for advertising and design.

Prior to working at an agency in L.A. and then joining GSD&M, Will taught at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Although teaching became a strong love for Will, his experience with academia quickly came to a halt when he was rejected from a teaching position because he didn’t have a master’s degree. In response, he decided to create his own vision of what he believed higher education should be in Austin—The Austin Creative Department.

The school’s model offers apprenticeships that help students receive hands-on training, set professional goals and create successful portfolios. In addition, the business model encourages students to take courses à la carte based on what fits them best. It can also help students determine if their passion is to work at an agency, with a specific type of client or brand, or start their own business. Ultimately, The Austin Creative Department’s goal is to help students realize their own purpose through creative problem solving by utilizing real, paying clients with authentic problems that need to be solved.

The first night of class, instructors brief the students on the assignment—here, the clients are present. The students spend the semester working to solve the problem with multiple solutions. Whether it’s a digital or social campaign, tagline write-up or logo design, the work they produce provides them with an in-depth understanding of going from problem to solution. At the end of the semester, the students pitch their work to clients. This experience creates a real-world scenario for the students—except it isn’t just a faux scenario: the clients pay a professional fee to the student(s) whose work is selected.unnamed-1Will’s motivation for teaching was also driven by underprivileged students who were very talented but lacked opportunities that would help them grow and succeed. Each year, one full-ride scholarship is provided to a student with a strong, diverse background and not a lot of opportunity. GSD&M’s Cofounder Tim McClure has been extremely supportive throughout the process, having acted as a mentor and advisor to Will, and offering advice on how to select scholarship recipients. McClure encouraged Will, “Give it to the person who has the most creative potential—not just the person who needs it most.” Because of this advice, the school’s first scholarship student, Elizabeth Perez, graduated from The Austin Creative Department and is now an art director at Leo Burnett in Chicago.

The success rate of The Austin Creative Department’s students has been remarkable. Alumni have started to build amazingly successful careers. Students who have taken two to four courses have gone on to land art director jobs in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Other students have gone on to join the internship program here at GSD&M. One alumnus, Victor AbiJaoudi, joined the startup company Primal 7, that was originally a client for his class. A year after joining Primal 7, Victor became its CEO.

“In order for change to happen, it has to be grassroots,” said Chau. “Our goal is not to crank out students in volume, but rather to take small steps, and eventually when students graduate, they’ll help other people—it’s a snowball effect.”

As this snowball effect continues to expand and propel students like Elizabeth Perez and Victor AbiJaoudi forward, the industry will continue to experience growth not only in talent, but also in diversity and inclusion of those entering the industry. Will’s big idea was simple: to create a higher education program that provided creative students with the tools they need to succeed.

It’s with entrepreneurs like Will that GSD&M continues to have the tools it needs to grow and thrive. By creating a space for restless minds to visualize and put these big ideas into action, we’re able to make a difference, and in our own way evolve the industry.