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Inside a Bronze Cannes Lion-Winning Media Campaign from a Non-Media Agency

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Paulo Areas, CCO at Forever Beta, takes us behind the scenes of Big Issue's Cannes Bronze award-winning campaign

Inside a Bronze Cannes Lion-Winning Media Campaign from a Non-Media Agency

Paulo Areas is a Brazilian and Spanish award-winning creative. He is particularly focused on innovation, technology, creative data and business transformation. He was previously CCO at Ogilvy Madrid, ECD at Cheil Iberia and LOLA MullenLowe Spain and has worked at big names such as Publicis and Loducca Brazil. Leading global brand campaigns with some of the globe's most recognised brands, including Jeep, Chrysler, Magnum Ice Cream, Ford and Fiat. Fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he is talented across multi-disciplines, concentrating on digital, mobile, performance and innovation. His impressive collection of awards include, multiple Cannes Lions, Clio, Eurobest and Effies.

Q> What does winning a Cannes Lion for this work mean for the agency? 

Paulo> This is not just any piece of work, it is a passion project for the agency. We got everyone in the office involved, crafted it for months and worked alongside the Big Issue to tackle a real business problem they had. Finding a technological creative solution for the problem was already a big moment for us. We are always trying to find innovative solutions for our client businesses, but having the work recognised and awarded in Cannes certainty… when you manage to put craft and passion into an idea, it can play at any level.

Q> And smaller agencies in general? 

Paulo> There is no way to deny Cannes is a big dog's game, with networks submitting hundreds of pieces of work. For an independent small agency it is hard to play at that level, so you need to be even sharper with the work and criteria. Finding the right ideas, picking the right few categories where you can compete and aiming for maximizing the winning rate as much as you can. Easier said than done. But this year, we were able to convert 33% of our submissions into awards, and we are very proud of this.

Q> How important is it that agencies like yourselves who aren't classically media agencies to be able to create award winning ideas in all channels? 

Paulo> I truly believe ideas go the distance when they find their own natural environment. So it is not all about the channels, but about where the idea is meant to live and flourish. When you find ideas that make an impact, they will likely come out carrying the agency DNA (in our case, technology) but it is their essence that will dictate the media and where they will live. 

Q> How do you make sure you can do this? 

Paulo> Mostly, finding ideas that are not only relevant to the brand, but mostly making sure they are relevant to the people and audience. When you get something like that, you will end up landing on a natural media space - not buying it, but earning it. 

Q> What advice do you have for other smaller agencies looking to win Cannes Lions? 

Paulo> When I landed in the UK two years ago or so and started at Forever Beta, I was amazed by the amount of talent smaller UK independent agencies had. Their work is already great and very competitive. What Cannes and other award shows bring to the table, is the opportunity to leverage the work with the best agencies in the world, and use that to attract and retain more clients and talent. I think it is important to be part of it - and to be competitive, is not only about having ideas, but to curate, explore, question and investigate every detail, from concept to production, just to make sure that what you have is the best version you can get of the idea. Be restless with quality.

Q> Why was this a passion project for Forever Beta?

Paulo> Internally we have a constant desire to explore clients' business and try to find technological solutions that bring our creative and strategy together seamlessly. Brands are built for forever, but we need to communicate with consumers in a fresh, relevant way. Always looking for something new, always thinking differently - we call this Beta thinking and it is something that defines us. This idea comes out of one of our creative sessions and the whole production process was done internally in collaboration with the client. So for us, it is more than giving birth to an idea and raising it until it succeeds.

Q> How did the work aid the Big Issue and its long-term business goals?

Paulo> The idea has performed well increasing vendor engagements and sales on the street, and we are now digging into how to expand it not only in terms of locations, but also evolving the idea to a more digital environment. That alone will help the client expand their digital vision in the future.

Q> Where did the creative inspiration come from?

Paulo> From questioning everything. Everything we see on the street. Everything we believe could be better, and insights from the team on new ways of doing things. For people, for brands. And acting upon it. We are proud to have this 'beta' mindset, believing that everything is constantly evolving, so we need to evolve alongside it all. 

Q> How did the work champion the Big Issue vendors?

Paulo> The last few years have changed the way we interact with people at a street level, making Big Issue vendors almost invisible. Strategically and creatively, we knew we had to get vendors noticed, but in a way that focuses on their humanity and makes it hard to walk past without engaging.

The idea used geolocation technology to find where vendors were at any time, and through digital OOH we can direct consumers in the vendor’s direction using larger-than-life digital versions of themselves.  These huge digital Big Issue vendors and the message that they are here trying to earn a living really captured consumer attention and the vendors the visibility they needed.

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Forever Beta, Mon, 04 Jul 2022 11:16:00 GMT