Many of the great creative minds started their careers in advertising after the age of 20. Not Fabio Seidl (Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Brazil) who has been working in advertising since he was a kid. Back then he was frequently featured in the Brazilian TV ads as an actor. Maybe steadfastness is the key to success, because Fabio is still a presence on TV, but now through the campaigns that he creates and that never miss prizes at the most important international creativity festivals. We invited the ad man that works his magic close to the most famous beaches of the world, in Rio de Janeiro, to tell us more about the road that lead him to becoming the head of the creative department of the agency that produced a lot of memorable campaigns in the last years, including Dove – Real Beauty Sketches and Immortal Fans. Fabio Seidl is behind projects such as Red Balloon – Celeb Grammar Cops (Gold Lion for Promo & Activation, Cannes 2013) and Doctors Without Borders – Mianmar (Gold Lion for Press, Cannes 2013).
I grew up on the streets of Rio de Janeiro playing soccer, going to the beach and working as an actor in commercials (that's how everything started) and dreaming that one day I would be behind the cameras, creating those funny commercials I was in.
Adolescence is the time during which I started a rock band and played and toured around the country.
In high school I used to be the guy that made the teachers crazy and the craziest thing I have ever done was to be send to detention, but for a lot of stuff I was never responsible for. People accused me because they knew the principal would buy it. Like when someone made a 500 year old church bell at my school explode.
In college I used to study and work with my dad, who is a photographer.
I feel young and old whenever I am with my daughter.
I got my first paycheck from working with my dad and I used the money to buy some heavy metal and punk records.
I decided to get a job in advertising because I made commercials as an actor when I was a kid, but also because advertising in Brazil is pop culture, thanks to geniuses like Nizan Guanaes (DM9, Africa) and Washington Olivetto (W/) with whom I had the privilege to work.
The first campaign I ever thought up was a guerrilla activation for the Olympics and it got an award. Back then nobody used to do guerrilla. Now I still think it is funny. I guess.
The best campaigns I’ve worked on so far are the latestt ones, the campaigns for Red Balloon - English School for Kids or the new Doctors Without Borders and both won Gold in Cannes recently. But I have to say the next one. Always.
The projects I really wanted to work out (although they didn’t) are all in my drawer and still breathing.
In order to better understand what the client wants, I went so far as to be one of them :) But I still have the habit of studying their business a lot.
The best piece of advice I have ever received from someone in the advertising industry was: “So you created a campaign that everybody loves and won an award? You can sit on that or do something better than this - and something better for yourself." - Nizan Guanaes told me that once. Anselmo Ramos has this David Ogilvy philosophy of being "Divine Discontent". It is the same thing but in a British way.
A lesson I learned the hard way was that people in the advertising industry think they are much more important or relevant than they really are. And they take it seriously.
Everything would run smoothly in this industry if only we thought more about the collective inside the agencies and created more for the audience.
I look at the advertising juniors nowadays and I think to myself: No, I am not that old.
I hope to get to work as often as possible with clients who trust me, and trust creativity and entertainment. If they don't, it's my job to make them believe.
My mother probably thinks that I direct films or something. Until a couple of years ago she was still sending me notes about job opportunities for the government and stuff like that.
The change that messed up my entire day was my daughter's birth.
The brands that have the best communication strategies are my clients, of course :).
My favorite campaigns are:
TV: Bud Light - Real Man of Genius. It's stupid with brains. Fantastic copywriting, it's impossible not to laugh at it, and it has a great execution.
Print: The whole The Economist series.
Outdoor: Apple's "Think different". Two words one image, a lot to think.
Digital: Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice. It turned social media upside down.
Ambient: I am a big fan of a simple, powerful idea from Ogilvy: Sprite Shower.
Integrated: As a gamer, the Halo's Believe. It made fantasy got real.
Unrelated to my job, I also write and direct films and music videos. Two music videos, two shorts and a documentary so far. It's a hobby and also a relaxation therapy.
Weekends are the period during which I want to disconnect. But it's impossible.
The book I’ve read a lot of times is “A Biblia do Caos” (The Bible of Chaos), from the Brazilian author Millor Fernandes, . It's a shame that his work was not translated and made known around the world. He is one of the best thinkers ever. Died last year.
I turn up the volume whenever I hear a song by Elvis, Sinatra, Ramones and The Clash.
I will never grow tired of watching Godfather I & II. Saw them a million times. And it gets better every time.
I try not to miss any episode of Seinfeld. I used to like 2 1/2 Men with Charlie Sheen and still watch The Big Bang Theory.