Brazil’s aDvertisiNg Comes of age
print campaign for the flip-flop brand Havaianas. Almap is agency of record for
big clients including Audi, Pepsi, Bayer, Hewlett-Packard, Visa and Volkswagen.
For Havaianas, the agency created an ad targeted at Europeans suffering through
one of the coldest winters on record. The image shows the flip-flops as giant
props on a sun-drenched Brazilian beach.
“People instantly connect Havaianas to summer and the beach, so we tried to
show a little warmth and beautiful beaches, of course, and I’m pretty sure we
achieved it,” says Marcos Kotlhar, the art director of the account.
Photographer Manolo Moran, who shot the ad, says pre-production was
time consuming and difficult. “This shot took a month and a half to get done,
and that’s not common in Brazil. We usually have a little over a week to do
everything, but we wanted to have a real sunny feeling to it, so we decided to
shoot it at the beach rather than inside a studio,” he says. “I think one of our
biggest problems in Brazil is that our [prop builders] are not as good as in the
rest of the world.”
All the props were built and tested in different places and at different angles in a
studio before being set up on the beach. “Then we had to pay attention to the tide
and waves so that nothing would get knocked over or swept away,” says Moran.
Usually, time is a big constraint for Brazilian advertising photographers. While
art directors in Europe are used to overseeing around ten campaigns per year, according to Moran, things are less leisurely at Almap, where 30 people are responsible for up to 150 jobs per week—or about one job per day per person, according
to Bruno Prosperi, Almap’s head art director.
“It’s all about the deadline,” seconds Lopes from
DM9. “Here, everything is very much on the dot
and the photographer needs to be on top of things
at all times.”
Because of the time pressures, photographers
and agencies focus on keeping production com-
plications to a minimum. And that, some say, also
helps drive creativity. “We have little time, little
money and big expectations, so you learn to think
With a newly vibrant ad
industry and many agencies,
Brazil brings a diverse
visual esthetic to many
An ad for Havaianas flip-flops
(below) and Nestlé
way outside the box—always,” Prosperi says. “That’s something that a foreigner would have to adapt instantly: [just a] few days to think the campaign out
and little money to work with.”
Tight budgets are reflected in the fees agencies typically pay photographers.
“While top professionals [in the U.S. and other countries] are making $30,000
to $60,000 for a campaign shoot, in Brazil very rarely does someone get paid
more than $15,000. Art directors usually say that the pay is lower because we
have more campaigns in Brazil, but you can’t really land more than three in a
month,” Moran says.
Lanes, who worked as a model and then a photojournalist before he started
shooting big ad campaigns, says a lot of stiff competition helps keep fees down in Brazil. “I have had to lower
my price to get jobs that would be given to younger,
more inexpensive photographers, but that’s part of the
game,” he says.
The lower fees and tighter schedules pose obvious
challenges for non-Brazilian photographers who might
want to compete for assignments, but that doesn’t
mean there’s no opportunity for outsiders. “People
with talent will always be welcome in our agency,
as well as in agencies around the world,” says JWT’s
Fernandez. He also points out that, lately, JWT Brazil
has hired more film directors from other countries, because the agency is actively seeking to bring in photographers and directors “who have a different eye and
can bring something new to the table.”
© havaiaNas/Photo by MaNolo MoraN
The goal, Fernandez says, will always be to produce
the best creative ideas and executions that creative di-
rectors and art directors can find. And in that respect, he
adds, “Brazilian campaigns don’t really differ a lot from
other countries’ [campaigns]. With globalization, refer-
ences are the same everywhere.”
“We are all buying the same products, no matter
where you live,” says DM9’s Lopes. He points out that
the language of advertising is universal, and agencies
in Brazil are certainly fluent by now. “That’s why our
ads have been getting so many awards and why we
have been developing campaigns for different coun-
tries,” he says.