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Agency Profile: Almap BBDO

Posted on June 13, 2012 and read 6,325 times

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ignacioadc60 Agency Profile: Almap BBDOIgnacio Oreamuno
Executive Director
Art Directors Club

A few minutes into interviewing Chief Creative Officer Luis Sanchez and Creative Director Marcos Madeiros, I realized that the Almap BBDO Agency Profile was going to be short, very short.

When I go to agencies— and I’ve been to a lot— many times they echo the same tiring quote, “Here, it’s all about the work,” but at Almap BBDO I finally faced a real ‘only about the work agency.’ In fact, there’s not much to say about the agency other than it’s full of people that spend their days crafting great ads.

Almap BBDO is most definitely not about the furniture. Waiting in reception, you would never know you are in one of the world’s most awarded agencies. In fact, there’s just a sofa or two. And it’s white. The walls of the agency are adorned mainly by white paint. The big conference room has a white table surrounded by white chairs enveloping white walls. The only objects around me were paper clips, pencils and recycled paper. I honestly could not tell if Almap BBDO had just moved in, was planning on moving out or if that really was its space. Some agencies look like a toy store, some hit hard on the other spectrum, looking like an insurance company. Almap looks like a clinic, or perhaps what an engineering room at BMW must look like.

Almap BBDO really is all about producing great work.

If you talk to any creative director in Brazil they are likely to mention Almap BBDO for the simple reason that Almap BBDO seems unbeatable. Even the #2 contender, Ogilvy Brazil, which won a whopping 11 Cannes Lions last year is still several felines away from Almap BBDO. According to the Gunn Report, Almap BBDO was the most prized agency in the world in 2004, 2005 and 2010. It also won Agency of the Year at Cannes 2000, 2010 and 2011, Agency of the Year at CLIO 2010, and #2 Traditional Agency and #5 Digital Agency in the Gunn Report 2009 – the first time an agency achieved both sides in the top five. In short, they might suck at interior decorating, but as their creative leader Luis Sanchez explains, “We’re just good at doing work. No fancy rooms or pinball machines.”

Almap BBDO is about getting clients that want to do great work.

International clients include G&E, Proctor and Gamble, PepsiCo, VW, Audi and more, but Almap BBDO doesn’t increase their roster by pitching. “We don’t give away for free what we sell to our clients.” To them, an idea— a good idea— is a partnership between agency and client and “in a pitch, it’s not a partnership.” While romantic at best, not pitching is of course a luxury that only top players like Almap BBDO can afford, but most definitely something they can and will do for some time to come.

Almap BBDO is about Marcello Serpa’s work.

If you’ve heard of Almap BBDO, you’ve heard of Marcello Serpa, who is probably the most famous Brazilian creative in the world, and who at 45 years old was awarded a Clio Lifetime Achievement Award. While day-to-day creative leadership has been passed on to Luis Sanchez, Marcello is still the soul of the agency and in Brazil, his reputation and name always command respect. As a young creative, Marcello ended up in Germany where he mixed a Latin passion in art direction with the regiment structure of German design, and that it shows in the work because looking at their reel it’s clear that the devil is in the details and that all the art direction is good enough to lick.

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Almap BBDO is about people that love to work.

The lucky souls that work at the agency hardly ever leave since turnover is really low, in fact “almost nothing,” according to the guys. When I asked them what kind of people they hire, there wasn’t a real formula. Instead they admitted that they hired people with good potential. “You just feel it, you feel the spark,” says Luis Sanchez, who says, “We like people who don’t care about money and just want to do great work.”

What kind of great work do new hires do? A good example is “From Love to Bingo,” a recent and impressive campaign done for Getty Images, which took six months to create and involved taking 873 shots, all from Getty Images’ archive. The images were jammed all together into an impressive film that sells the product by showing the product in an incredibly creative and beautifully crafted way.

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I keep trying to rack my brain about what else to write about, but even though we talked for over an hour and I did my best to dig out secret recipes, there really is nothing interesting to say about Almap BBDO other than wow, these guys make great work. So, let’s stop talking and watch the work.

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Print Tela inteira EPA EN 04 Agency Profile: Almap BBDO

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Zezinho ING Ok Agency Profile: Almap BBDO






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