Renato Fernandez was senior art director at AlmapBBDO, Sao Paulo before recently becoming creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles. He tells us who he admires in the industry, the best era to be a creative and why a hunger for advertising is what he looks for when spotting new talent.
Right now I am... Working on a very cool project for Visa. I hope I can share this pretty soon. I just moved from Sao Paulo to Los Angeles, from AlmapBBDO to TBWA\Chiat\Day so I am warming up here.
The best piece of creative work around at the moment is... The cute spot from John Lewis, "Gifts You Can't Wait to Give" [below]. That is one that pops into my head, for two reasons. Firstly, the clever insight and secondly, it is advertising with no tricks, reminding us that a good piece of plain advertising can still do the trick.
I take inspiration from... The fact that advertising is like a sponge. The good ones absorb from life and turn this into advertising. The bad ones absorb from other pieces of advertising. I would rather be in the first group.
The festival I will make sure I attend is... It is hard to say. It is always good to go to Cannes, because of its diversity. I'll be jury member at some South American festivals and if I have the chance, I'd love to go to some Asian festivals. It is really curious how they can come up with such different ideas for the same problems we have.
What caught my eye at festivals last year was... I had the shock of contrast from being a jury member in Cannes and then at small festivals. The differences are huge, which I expected. What caught my attention was how great ideas can come from the places you least expect. I saw dozen which were fresh and powerful. People who do not live in the main advertising capitals usually complain about the lack of opportunities, but a good idea resists to everything.
For example, in Uruguay the basketball season was put on hold after an incident where two fans were killed by fans of a rival team because they were using their team jersey. When the league decided to start over the tournament they wanted to do a bold statement about this sad episode. The agency, Notable Publicidad, came up with a simple and ingenious idea for the Uruguayan Basketball Federation: to make all the teams who were playing that day to play wearing rival jerseys. The concept was "No Jersey is Worth a Life".
The best era to be a creative was... I am an art director, and I was raised doing Static Print. During the 90s print advertising arose, but it was during the 00s when advertising lost its naivete - the best time to work with print and outdoor. Good times.
The next big thing in the world of advertising will be... Mobility. The iPhone changed the way we see mobile phones. And I believe advertising will go in this direction. People now are really connected all the time. This is a huge potential that was not fully explored by advertising.
During my career, I've thought I could have done a piece of work better... Loads of times. Times and tools change - and the experience too. I learned how to deal with photographers, illustrators, typographers, throughout my career, but I impress myself sometimes at how I managed to do such a good work with the lack of knowledge I had. I don't spend much time thinking of this. I prefer to move forward.
A piece of digital work that makes me think: "I wish I'd thought of that!" The Virtual Grocery Store for Homeplus by the agency Cheil, South Korea. It turns a problem into a solution with a brilliant insight, and proves how powerful advertising can be.
Who would you want to play you in a film? Can I pick anyone? Edward Norton. And he would be really funny with curly hair.
The last song I listened to was... From the Black Keys album, "Brothers". Songs like "Tighten Up" and "Everlasting Light". But I love to listen to Bossa Nova. The hit in my head is "Maria Ninguem", a 1961 song from Carlos Lyra.
In my industry, the person I admire most is... Marcello Serpa, from AlmapBBDO. He brought freshness and simplicity to print advertising. I credit to him in great part the high level of quality we've developed in this field. But he also knew how to raise new talents, inspire and lead a whole new generation.
My dream collaboration is... It is selfish, but I'd love to be in the same room with Bill Bernbach and Helmut Krone, just to see them creating legendary Volkswagen stuff.
In up and coming talent, I look for... Something different. I prefer someone who does everything in a different way, even if this way is not right, than someone who plays by the rules and creates just ordinary and cool stuff. The person needs to be hungry for advertising. You can't feed someone who's not compelled to eat.
A piece of criticism I received... In the beginning of my career a client hated the yellow background of the print ad I did. My creative director told him: "You are not buying a colour. You are buying a taste. So, you don't change the yellow, you change the art director." Luckily I kept my job, and the ad ran with the yellow background.
The digital piece of work I am most proud of is... "Whatafox?!" for VW. Volkswagen was one of the sponsors of Rock in Rio and wanted to catch big attention. We decided to give tickets to the concerts in a different way. In Brazil if you want to study in a university you need to pass exams, so we decided to make exams for rock fans, exactly like the university exams. There were different exams: one for pop, one for metal, another for classic rock - it was great.