Cafe Bustelo
“Esta Aqui” Campaign

In the Summer of 2022, I was approched by Publicis to Creative Direct the new animation campaign for Cafe Bustelo, a series of spots for broadcast and social media, inspired by my personal illustration work. This was a huge honor as a Domina-Rican artist who grew up in the Bronx and around the Bustelo brand. It was also a joy to feature the type of female protagonist I love including in my work. You can see call-outs to my pieces "Jump", "Summon Witch" and the like throughout the campaign.

The main stories are connected and follow the main character named, Lina. Short for Angelina and named after her grandmother, she is a skateboarding Dominican woman in her 20s who works at a coffee shop and aspires to be a filmmaker. The campaign spots celebrate her and her friends and the Latinx community she is a part of and in turn how the Bustelo brand is interweaved within that world.

I tried to be as authentic as I could and pay homage to aspects that make our culture great. But I also put myself in there as someone who loves anime, street culture  and of course Coffee.

“Planters” - Inspired by hot summer days in NYC. The Bustelo magic Spills from Lina’s apartment into the streets. We see a callout of the Bustelo can be used as a pot, Something Latinos and regular Bustelo drinkers are all too familiar with.  

“Salon” - Dominican Sailor Moon vibes! Salon is an homage to the Dominican hair and nail salon, where the gossip and coffee are served up fresh and hot. From the woman holding court in the bigging of the “Brick” to clutch transformation and Y2K Chunky sneakers, Salon is a favorite.  

“Domino” -  From a bodega in NYC to a domino table in Miami. Domino highlights the connection Latinos have on every coast to the game domino. Lina’s pushing of the dominos not only represents her strength physical but also a cheeky callout to her mastery over the game.

“Music Car” -  Music cars are incredible and already feel larger than life. We wanted to sell the idea of an impossible transformation of the van by mixing hard cuts and crops from animes such as Macross and Gundam. I still can't believe this made it to the final. Good fun all around.

Socials / Motion / Stills



“National Hispanic Heritage Month”

Lia Kim

“Dia de los Muertos”


Mercedes Affleck

Phase 01 Selects

For the first phase of the project, we created animatics for testing. At this step, we had a whole different look for the project which pushed the visuals to feel a little more detailed. During this phase I wanted to push the colors to have more pastels, in my mind this made the Cafe Bustelo primaries pop. I was a massive fan of the pinks and overall everything had a much more Latinx Anime Vibe.

What is the Bustelo magic?

The bustelo magic was created to give a physical form to the magic one feels when pouring and drinking a fresh cup of Café Bustelo coffee. Inspired by the liquid of the coffee itself as, well as the main 3 hero colors of Bustelo. It acts as an influential entity which brings fun and intrigue to the world around it. There's a playful spirit in the way that it moves and flows around the characters in the Bustelo world.

Lina Exploration - Pitch -

Esther Lalanne / Nick Iluzada 

Lina Exploration - Production -

David Saracino

Brand Extensions

One facet of the project that sadly never came to fruition was merchandise exploration for a Cafe Bustelo pop-up shop in Miami. The idea was to have a viewer see the items in the spots and then be able to buy them at the event. Owning the Lina jacket would have been dope, or favorite, the Chancla Gold Chain.

First Drawing of lina,
The one that started it all

- Credits -

Creative Director & Lead Artist:
Andres Rivera
Associate Creative Director: Jeff Bryson
Designers: Mercedes Affleck, Abi Go, Nick Iluzada, Lia Kim, Esther Lalanne, Jelly Wei
Illustrators: David Saracino, Glenn Thomas
Animation Director: Gerald Mark Soto
Cel Animators: Sachio Cook, Jay Nelles, Diego Ferrero, Taik Lee, Jane Liu, Xinhui Ma, Casper S Nykopp, Blake Patrick, Luke Toth,  Oliver Wee
2D Animators: Anthony Kim, Liz Lukens, 
3D Animators: Yeop Sim,  Mike Costabile, Abigail Fairfax,  Mantas Gr
3D Artists: (Dela) Chris de la Guardia,  Shalinder Matharu,  Jun
Storyboards: Simon Ampel William Rosado
Assistant Editor: Ryan Twyford-Rigley
Producer:  Josh Syx
Managing Partner: Devin Brook
Executive Producer:  Johnna MacArthur

Chief Creative Director:
Jonathan Notaro

Made at Brand New School

     2023 NYC -> ATL
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