FERNANDO NOBRE, VP CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT BORGHI/LOWE
During his 22-year career in advertising, Fernando Nobre has created some of the most awarded creative work in Brazil and the world. With a bachelor degree in Publicity, he started his career in 1992 and joined Borghi/Lowe as Creative Director in 2009. He became VP Creative Director earlier 2011. “I started in advertising in the beginning of the 90s. Before, in the 80s, I was a teenager who obsessively consumed television, film, music and literature, as everybody. I also liked writing, as few. To be a copywriter was a natural choice. But to really become one, demanded much more dedication, study and references”, he says.
What do you love about your job?
The advertising creative has to be one foot in the art and the other on business. That really suits me. I like it. I’m not an artist, but I love arts and entertainment, and to use them every day to tell stories that will somehow involve people makes me like this job even more.
What’s the coolest project you’ve been involved in?
I would highlight the work we have done in recent years to Anador, Boehringer Ingelheim product, a pain killer medicine, which has earned us, among other awards, Silver Lions at Cannes for the last two years, with the films Man and Dialogue-Couple. Another idea, which has an innovative implementation and also worth to be mentioned is the APP Perfect Pace created last year for ASICS. Still in the field of cool projects, I’d also like to mention the Inspiring Kitchen by Knorr, which mixes digital technology with a super careful craft work. These are recent works, but there is another special film – particularly because the execution helped to raise the quality of an idea that was already very good. It’s the film Jinxed to Kleenex that won Gold Lion at Cannes 2005.
What was your worst job?
I really don’t know. But bad works happen more than we’d like to. There are many reasons for a job to be poor. The process usually has an important role in it. Bureaucratic, discouraging and sometimes obscure processes, processes in which the person responsible for the brief is not the same who approves (or disapproves). When there is no real confidence and no maturity, the possibility of the work being poor is huge.
Is there something you don’t like (or hate) about advertising?
When there is no partnership between the parties: client-agency relationship and also agency-producer relationship. In advertising we can’t behave as if we were dealing with common suppliers. The great work is always done by four, six, eight, ten hands. And for this reason there must be a real partnership, mutual interest to make always the best. I hate the fact that there is far less than it should.
What’s the most common problem you come across when dealing with production companies?
I’m talking, of course, about my reality of producing in Brazil. In the 90s and first half of the 2000, the most common problem that I felt as creative, was the ‘Prima Donna’ effect of many directors. They were in Olympus and were all untouchable. There was no deal. The director was the owner of the film and you were in a blind flight with little ability to interfere and changing ideas, keeping creating and sharing visions. In the mid-2000 until now, there is more partnership. The Brazilian market has opened up, globalization has brought different practices and also a new generation of directors and producers has emerged in this new context. Concerning implementation, I believe the work has grown and things became better. Just to laugh a little, the most common problem we face in Brazil is the schedule of meetings with the producers. We, Brazilians, are not exactly what we would call punctual people. Our schedules are not so clear: 5.00pm is not 5.00 pm, but 5.15 pm, 5.30 pm. And the Brazilian producers and their staff impeccably run this feature (laughs)!
In percentage terms, what’s more important in advertising, the idea or the execution?
In recent years, the execution, which was always important of course, earned even more percentage weight in the equation idea/execution. The way you tell a story, what is behind the magic of the film, script, editing, effects, light, acting, casting etc. These make too much difference in a world where almost everything was already done and where it is so difficult to really innovate. The craft, the value of production, all these indicate much about the brand point of view and have much influence to increase or decrease an idea.
What is your favorite ad ever?
The film Litany, for The Independent, created by Lowe Howard-Spink in London is the first that comes to my mind. The concept, the courage, the script, the incredibly well shooting scenes which were edited and chosen according to the text, the v.o. with a unique rhythm and personality, the impeccable track, everything at all. A film that thrills me until today, that says something relevant and that has a great positioning. It is impossible to remain indifferent to it.
How did the FIFA World Cup impact on the advertising industry in Brazil this year?
There is the obvious impact on business growth prior to the World Cup and also during it. Many advertisers had been announcing a lot. This warmed up the communication segment. And there is the ‘hangover’ post World Cup, where some advertisers who invested heavily, now have to be careful. But the negative impact that I’d like to state is the jingoism almost ubiquitous in all campaigns during the World Cup selling the Brazilian victory with all the same solutions (grandiosity, pasteurization of speech and jingles, abusive image use of national team players and also Brazilian TV celebrity in the spots). If that was boring itself, uninspiring and even annoying, during the World Cup it became a huge disaster after the 7-1 to Germany. No brand was ready for that. They became paralyzed. The exacerbated optimism became into an awkward silence.
And how did the Brazilian team’s performance impact on you?
I love football. I’m a fanatic supporter. Not only for the World Cup and for the national team. I obsessively watch the games of my team, Corinthians, and also the English, Spanish, Italian and German leagues. When I heard that Brazil would play against Germany, I bet for a German victory. I knew the Brazilian team from nowadays wouldn’t have any chance with the present German players. But I’ve never imagined we could lose with a 7 goal difference, that it would be shameful, humiliating, a complete disaster as it was. Brazil has long been denying its DNA in football. Through many World Cups the national team has been a cheap imitation of the European way of playing, forgetting how to develop our skills. We’ve abandoned the Big Idea that was the football-art and it looks like we were subjected to a football strength and tactical, which we are not good and do not dominate. Years and years later, it resulted in an embarrassment at our own home. Now we have to learn with it, overcome and start it again. Germany deserved to be champion. And they were champion for believing in an idea and for improving their craft and even PR (laughs).