Headshot: Martha Ramirez
When Daisy Expósito-Ulla (B.F.A. ’75) realized there was very little communication—in Spanish—around the COVID-19 pandemic within Latino communities in the United States, she felt an urge to do something. Utilizing her advertising agency, d expósito & Partners, she created and funded a multichannel public service announcement campaign, Lucha vs. Virus, to reach the Hispanic community and raise awareness. It was inspired by the pomp of “lucha libre,” or Mexican wrestling, and the sport’s use of masks.
Arriving in the United States at the age of 10, Expósito-Ulla has always been in touch with her Cuban heritage. Over time, her connection to Latino culture broadened, stretching across all Hispanic subsegments. She also expanded her portfolio of successful ad campaigns targeted toward Hispanics, serving clients like Amica Mutual Insurance, AARP, McDonald’s, the NBA, Tajín Mexican Seasoning, the U.S. Army, and many more.
Expósito-Ulla graduated magna cum laude from New York Tech’s communication arts program, acquiring the tools she would need while studying at the New York City campus. “This nice girl from Queens made it to Manhattan,” she says. “I loved the experience. It wasn’t too big. It wasn’t too small. It was just right.”
Always fascinated with television, Expósito-Ulla would trek into Manhattan as a teen to watch live tapings of The Dick Cavett Show or grab tickets to The Merv Griffin Show. Post-graduation, she became an associate producer at PBS, overseeing the network’s first Latino series and profiling different communities around the United States. “That experience awakened a sense of identity in me,” she says. “I saw beyond the Cuban experience and gained a better understanding of how other Latinos were living in the U.S.”
Later, Expósito-Ulla leveraged her PBS experience to pursue a career in advertising, working for WPP’s Young & Rubicam/The Bravo Group for 24 years. Today, she is CEO of d expósito & Partners LLC, an award-winning, full-service multicultural communications firm.
Expósito-Ulla, a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, is a recipient of the New York Women in Communications’ Matrix Award and is on the board of the Association of National Advertisers’ Educational Foundation.
Still thrilled by a “great campaign,” Expósito-Ulla is fascinated by why people react to a certain message or need. When COVID-19 hit, she says, many of her priorities shifted. “I always did well because I was passionate about what I was doing versus being driven by personal, monetary gain. Years would go by, and I was doing what I loved and what I thought was the right thing to do. Now, we all have to become less focused on material things and place more emphasis on deeper, meaningful love and empathy.”