Adriano Alarcon, Creative and Content VP at DM9DDB, is an art director and has 20 years of experience in the advertising market. With a degree in advertising and marketing, he studied cinematography at UCLA in Los Angeles, and has an MBA in Business Management from ESPM and a postgraduate degree in Art History from FAAP.
He’s worked at agencies such as AlmapBBDO, F/Nazca, FCB and Chiat/Day TBWA Los Angeles and has won more than 40 lions at the Cannes Lions Festival and more than 300 national and international awards for clients such as GM, Honda, Mastercard, JVC, Pinterest and J&J. Alarcon also answers for world famous cases such as Nivea Doll, Price on the Jersey for Walmart and Instagram Menu for McDonald’s.
As creative director for McDonald’s, he was responsible for many successful digital cases and led the creation of the “Heart Beats” format, a global benchmark on Facebook to this day. As a director, Alarcon directed dozens of video clips and commercials, the last one being for Ambev/PepsiCo. Today, he is responsible for the integration of all creative sectors at DM9DDB.
How did you get into advertising?
I got into photography as a child because of my father, who was a photographer. At that time, with all the analogue equipment, it wasn’t the most common hobby for a kid to have. Moving from the visual world of photography to advertising seemed like the natural next step. I started as an art assistant, working with big advertising names who encouraged me to study my other passion: cinema. I moved to Los Angeles to study cinematography and when I moved back to Brazil, I guess that’s when I really got into advertising.
Can you give us a run down of the most recent campaign you worked on?
As creative VP at DM9DDB, I tend to get involved in almost every campaign and, recently, we developed the “Instagram Menu” for McDonald’s. We identified that our customers like to post photos with our products on Instagram. Real photos that show the real connection that they have with our food. We had to use that somehow. So we published them on our digital menu boards. After all, “the best advertising is always done by satisfied, happy customers”.
The best piece of creative work around at the moment is?
Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ 30th anniversary campaign, with Colin Kaepernick. It’s such a powerful and, especially, brave campaign. It fits the brand’s personality perfectly and the message goes beyond sports.
What do you think the next big thing in advertising is going to be?
I believe that Artificial Intelligence is going to revolutionize the industry. With the evolution of AI, virtual assistants will be able to provide much more personalized services and understand everything about its customers. That means that brands and people will interact in a whole new level. Personal assistants will be able to deliver everything according to the client’s interests, from travel packages to language courses and investment possibilities. That’s why people’s relationship with brands will go from a functional layer to an emotional one. Brands will have to prepare to deliver much more than just an advertising message. We’ll need to rely a lot more on the emotional side of advertising, its fun, entertaining side. The relationship between consumers and advertising will change forever.
You are an advertising professional that also works as a film director. Do you believe that new creatives must be able to perform multiple roles?
I think that advertising creatives have always had different sets of skills. Today, more than ever, we need professionals that excel in different areas besides advertising, who are capable of engaging in any type of conversation with audiences in any type of format. Professionals capable of creating new formats. I have a cinema degree and it’s helped me out a lot, especially nowadays that YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, making video one of the most important formats for any type of communication.
What do you think the piece of advertising work you wish you had thought of is?
“Exclusive The Rainbow” from Skittles, the Super Bowl ad that was shown to just one person. A simple idea with a powerful insight and an amazing production. Playing with people’s curiosity and the sensation of exclusivity always works in the digital world. And this campaign did that impeccably.
The internet/digital tool you couldn’t live without is?
Instagram. It's the network that connects people by affinity. It can connect you with someone that's part of your social circle, or with someone on the other side of the world that produces the same type of content that you do. There is no distance, social class or any type of barrier on Instagram. It's the place where celebrities and "unknown" people interact and exchange experiences and ideas.
A word or phrase you overuse?
“Always do your best”. That’s a phrase that my father would repeat to exhaustion and that I use with the same frequency to this day. When you work, don’t think about your boss, agency or client. Think about how you can improve, how you can make a difference, how you can reinvent yourself. Because when you do your best work, it will always end up being the best work for your boss, agency and client.
What did your last social media update say?
2018 is an election year here in Brazil and lots of people don’t know who to vote for congress, one of the most important roles in the country. That’s why I posted about an app that helps you find candidates that share your beliefs. Once you get the results from the app, you can research more and understand if that really is the best representative for you.
Your dream collaboration is?
Director Edgar Wright. His storytelling is so different and the way the narrative of his films is edited is anything but obvious. Working alongside Edgar on a content project would be such an enriching experience.
I teach in an ad school, because:
I enjoy helping out and passing on my experience to those that are starting out. But, as everybody knows, life at an agency can be very time-consuming. Teaching at an ad school allows me to do so in an organized and planned manner. It’s good to take a break and put aside the expectations for immediate results that we have in an agency and focus on a long term commitment with students who are about to begin their careers.
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