Fiat’s Brazilian test drive

Aegis-owned AgenciaClick, Sao Paulo, won a cyber gold at the Wave Festival in Rio last week. It was for an anti-drink drive banner campaign for Fiat – but it wasn’t the work the agency was most proud of.
Ricardo Figueira, VP creative director for Isobar Latin America, told me about a “virtual test drive” for its five year old client that sounded a lot of fun – and effective.
Bang on target for its 20-something audience, the online campaign offers the chance for up to five people to “get inside” a Fiat Punto and embark on a virtual test drive.
Using web cams, everyone in the car is able to see each other and converse during the three to four minute ride. Not only that, text messages to passengers’ mobile phones are broadcast out loud for others to hear, causing much hilarity and prank-playing among friends, Figueira says.
Naturally, Fiat also texts its own messages into the car (having accessed mobile numbers via the online registration process), giving more information about the vehicle.
In the first month, the number of “cars” running at any one time reached 2,000, carrying 5,000 people. Impressive.
Riders are also offered a voucher to win a Punto when entered in a draw at a dealership – a mechanic that reveals 70 per cent of people who have so far requested real test drives at dealerships have taken the virtual drive. And that’s the real test.
The campaign launched the Punto in Brazil at the end of last year and “Punto. You are in command” picked up a cyber silver at Wave. It’s much more of a full internet experience” than the gold-winning banner campaign – but inevitably less emotional than one which drives a life-saving message.
You can attempt the drive at
Would it get anywhere at Cannes?

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Brazilian WLTM partner for hands-off relationship

If you are Russian, Indian or Chinese and plan on going to Cannes this year, be ready for Nizan Guanaes.The passionate Brazilian ad man is on the prowl for a new partner or several. “I have a lot of love to give out,” he says. “I am going to Cannes and I only want to flirt with Russians, Indians and Chinese.”

Guanaes, a stalwart of the Brazilian ad industry who left DM9DDB to set up his own agency, Africa, is looking to rapidly build an international network under his ABC brand (incorporating advertising, branding and content).

He was also on the look-out for new relationships at Wave. “You might be my new partner,” he told delegates.

Refreshingly, he fessed up early on in his seduction to a big temper and pledged to remain distinctly hands-off. “You won’t have to live with me every day,” he promised. “I won’t show up in your office.”

His business model is entirely decentralised, in fact, with Guanaes acting merely as “creative manager”.

“I don’t run anything,” he admits. “I find working is one of the least productive things I can do. You have no time to think or look. I want to produce a different model.”

His aim: to be one of the 10 most important agency conglomerates in the world in five years’ time. “If God agrees.”

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Surfing the Wave – festival soundbites

A quick trip through the seminar surf at Wave…these are some of the gems I have enjoyed the most:

“You only win against a poker champion if you invite him to play chess.”
Nizan Guanaes, the founder of ABC, Brazil, on changing the agency model and building a new network

“I don’t believe in campaigns, but ongoing advertising. Old-style advertising is like bowling: you send the bowls down towards the target. The new style is more like pin-ball, flipper. The ball keeps coming back to you and you keep it alive.”
Matias Palm-Jensen, creative president of Swedish digital hotshop Farfar

“I don’t think the web is in beta; the world is in beta. Everything is changing. So we have to be willing to make mistakes. We can’t see the hole – we don’t know what will score 30,000 points.”
Faris Yakob, digital ninja at Naked Communications, New York

“Advertising has gone beyond interactivity.”

Brazilian PJ Pereira on why he recently left AKQA, San Francisco, at the height of its success. “It put me in a box I couldn’t get away from.”

“To know how to charge (clients) is the field of creativity that interests me the most these days.”
Nizan Guanaes, who claims he charged a client $1m for an idea that took three days of his time to create. “The client said fine.”

“All the parameters which defined the industry have ceased to exist. There is no set form or scarcity of space any longer. It’s attention that is now scarce. We used to buy attention. Now we have to earn it. Attention has been reallocated across the world.”
Faris Yakob

“Even the cleaning women in this hotel are singing Samba. It’s fantastic – I want to live here.”
Half-French, half-Swedish, globe-trotting Matias Palm-Jensen, settling in to the Brazil tempo.

“We are living in a relationship economy. That doesn’t mean having consumers develop content for us – as a lot of people have mistakenly done. It means them informing what we do.”
Kevin McKeon, ECD, Strawberry Frog, New York

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Brazilian adland get bangs for its buck

“God has finally put on God’s t-shirt. Brazil is having a magic moment.”
With these words, revered Brazilian creative Marcio Moreira, vice-chairman of McCann Worldgroup, summed up the sentiment of a nation whose economy is on the rise and an ad market looking for a stronger voice on the international stage.

Brazil’s time has come. With a stabilized currency, its first national credit in years, and the discovery of oil off its shores, the “B” can now truly hold its place in the BRIC line-up, alongside Russia, India and China.

So, to its ad industry. It wants to expand its business overseas via international clients and campaigns, but its major export currently is its talent.

Prominent examples of those who have taken the gringo buck are Fernanda Romano, the massively networked and outspoken digital expert who has just joined JWT, London and PJ Pereira, who until recently worked at AKQA in San Francisco for several years. Even Moreira himself worked in Europe for 20 years before settling permanently in New York.

Factors to which the international demand for Latin American creatives are attributed are manifold, but a new one to me came from Brazilian Rodrigo Butori, now at TBWA\Chiat Day, Los Angeles.

Economic reasons and tight deadlines means things here have to be effective. Things might change so we are used to having to be creative in a very short time. We have a tight rhythm,”he says.

“Who wouldnt want to employ someone so hardworking and fast working, who doesn’t complain’, for not very much money?”

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DIgital Ninja caught with his trousers down

The Naked Communications Digital Ninja (“that’s what happens when you let geeks invent their job titles”) Faris Yakob is more used to his freak-out hair drawing attention than his butt. Until Rio.

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On Copacabana Beach

As the Wave Festival gets underway in Rio de Janeiro, Campaign  takes the creative temperature of Latin American advertising.The location is Cannes writ large. With the long expanse of palm-fringed beach and La Croisette-style road separating it from the  Copacabana Beach Hotel, Rio’s answer to the Carlton, the Wave Festival definitely brings to mind that certain week in June in the south of France.

Yet, something is missing. I was going to mention the expanses of empty rooms, save for legions of beautiful, smiling attendants, on hand, seemingly, to service your every whim. The elegant – but virtually untouched – swimming pool area. The acres of stunning hotel terrace, bedecked with flowers, swathes of luxuriant fabric and sumptuous sofas, which lies pretty much vacant for much of the day…You’ve guessed it – there ain’t many people here.

But to judge Wave on that would be churlish. This is its first year and 200 delegates is perhaps not bad going. Give it the 52 years Cannes has had to stick its flag in the sand, and Wave might just be topping 11,000 attendees also.

More than that, the absence of heavy networking of a morning might be more to do with the Latin temperament than anything else. In fact, the seminar hall was rammed on the afternoon of the first day, with people standing or sitting on the floor.

Wave might take heed of  Goafest, the Indian ad festival, that in only its third year attracted 3,000 delegates last month, making it the world’s second biggest ad festival after Cannes.

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