The Blind Passion of Augusto Correia

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"Don't learn advertising. Learn people."

Associate creative director Augusto Correia has an ardent passion for creativity. You can easily get that from his words, and how vehemently he talks about his craft. Born a musician and grown in advertising, we can see a long way ahead of Augusto and he is definitely going to see it all, high chin, huge determination and everything. His projects have already won a range of awards even here on Creativepool, and we can definitely see why.

There are few professionals who are determined and ambitious like Augusto. For this Member Spotlight, we've had the chance to hear from one of the top members on Creativepool, a professional with good heart and much energy to shake up the world.


How did you get into the industry?

Well, I never planned to work in advertising. To say the truth I enrolled in an advertising college to be able to work with music, creating songs for campaigns. That's the only way it seemed possible to me to earn money out of music. I mean, I play rock, metal and blues and I was born in Brazil. So, that was my plan.

However, during the college course I had to choose between being a marketer or a creative. So I chose creative. And then I had to choose between art direction and copywriting. And I chose art direction because I just didn't want to depend on others to create my own stuff. That's how I fell into advertising.


Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I have worked at Grey Brazil for almost 2 years and it was great. Loved the agency and all the people. However I was called to work at TBWA\Raad in Dubai. And with that, I'd have the opportunity to acquire a broader international experience and to have a better quality of life. So I decided to take the leap. Then the pandemic messed with my plans and I wasn't able to move to Dubai yet. I'm stuck in São Paulo but I've already started working remotely for TBWA\Raad.


If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

Music. That was always the plan. Composing and playing.

Can you explain your creative process?

A lot of people say creativity is somehow untamed and subjective. I can understand that but I believe it can be controlled through reason and logical thinking. So I always try to input as much information as possible about what I have to sell and then I try to find unexpected links between pure data and emotional triggers.

It sounds complicated but take this example: let's say your goal is to make people cry. There are several ways to do that. You can find a weak emotional spot or you can even hurt those people physically. These are methods that will work, right? But how would you do it? By throwing a rock at them? By saying their pets have died? Or maybe you will tell them a joke that will make them cry in laughter? These are creative forms. When it comes to HOW you will do it you just have to find what's more impactful and unexpected to your goal, what brings more powerful emotional reactions. For me it's all about understanding people and how their emotions are triggered.


How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?

As an advertising creative, using technology for the sake of it is nothing. You're not being creative for just using it in your communication. Those who invented it were creatives. To make a good use of it we have to take a step further by using tech as a mean to an end. A creative end. I mean, you can use mobile geolocation to help your consumers find your restaurants or you can use it to mock on your competitor, like it was done in Whopper Detour. 


What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Everyone has its own method. For me it varies from day to day. Sometimes I just have to forget about everything related to advertising and just live as if it doesn't exist. Sometimes I feel energized by looking at great work done by other people. I think you have to do what you feel like doing at the moment because your brain is your machine. You have to take care of it as it demands.


What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

I'd say 'What Family Means' and 'Miles for the People.'

Some years ago a bunch of religious conservative politicians created something called "Family Statute" which defined "a family" as "man, woman and their children". This was clearly an act against LGBT, against freedom, full of prejudice. This "Family Statute" would serve as base to regulate rights and laws related to this matter. That would mean years of individual rights setback.

We couldn't fight the law but we found a breach. The law is made of text. And a text makes sense by the meaning of its words. So we figured out that if we change the meaning of a word we would change the whole meaning of a law. So we did it. We created a digital campaign for Houaiss Dictionary asking what "family" means for all kinds of people. People were able to submit their answers.

A lexicographer from Houaiss condensed all those answers in a singular meaning. Then we presented this new meaning on "Fantástico", Brazil's most important TV show. That was really a big achievement for me. Some months later we found out that some books regarding family relations used at schools were already updated with the new "family" meaning. We're talking about books there were being used at catholic schools! That was great. 

Case video can be seen here: https://creativepool.com/augustocorreia/projects/what-family-means-for-houaiss-dictionary

Then there's 'Miles for the People.' At Grey Brazil there was this client, "Reclame Aqui" (something like "complain here" in english). These guys are huge. They're the biggest consumer rights watchdog in the country. They are fearless. At some point they decided that they would look after not only "consumer" but also "civil" rights. In other words, besides fighting against big companies we'd now fight Brazilian politicians. Thinking about all the wrong stuff that happens in the political sphere we were trying to come out with something related to the ridiculous politicians' expenses. The waste of public money. Then we found something that nobody was looking at. 

Politicians fly a lot. A lot of public money is pent on their official trips. In theory, that's ok. It's their job. But guess who gets to keep the air miles generated from these trips? Yep, the politicians keep them to themselves. There were no regulations about that in Brazil. And for us if the flights were paid by public money, the miles belong to the people.

In the meantime, a lot of Brazilians that need to travel (sports competitions, health issues, science conferences) don't have money to do it. Even to represent the country abroad. Then we started a war to get all those air miles back to the people. We exposed everything and encouraged people to put pressure on the politicians. After doing this massive pressure we managed to change the law in some states. And there are a lot of bills in the way. That was pretty amazing.

Case video: https://creativepool.com/augustocorreia/projects/miles-for-the-people-for-reclame-aqui

What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Don't learn advertising. Learn people. It's like poker; don't play the cards, play the players. I think that could be helpful.

What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?

To be creative.


If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

The way creatives are treated. There are a lot of people in this industry besides the creative department and somehow these are the ones with the final words. I think people tend to forget that the outcome of an agency's work is what the creatives deliver. People don't buy excel spreadsheets, people don't buy 150 slides presentations full of planning bullshit. People buy creative work. When you go to the movies, you watch creative work. When you buy video games, you're entertaining yourself with a creative work. When you read a book, you're consuming creative work.

Don't get me wrong. Client services, planning and media people are important as hell. As long they're creative too. I was not born creative. I just chose to be.


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