LOLA MullenLowe Madrid art director on making the move from Brazil to Spain and his Cyber Lion-winning Voice of the Drought campaign
Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Pedro Sattin is, in his own words, a “Brazilian who does not play soccer, who does not dance samba, but who knows how to make caipirinhas.” After a few stints at DDB Brasil and W+K Sao Paulo, Pedro found himself infected with the travel bug, and decided to make his way to Spain, where he now works as an art director at LOLA MullenLowe.
LBB’s Liam Smith sat down with Pedro to browse his impressive portfolio and gleam some insight into Spanish advertising.
LBB> Where did you grow up, and how did creativity impact your formative years?
Pedro Sattin> I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and lived there for 23 years, before moving to Spain last year. There’s always something going on in Sao Paulo, it’s a city full of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, people and really good pizza! The city definitely had a huge impact on my view on creativity, it makes you want to be up-to-date on everything. Although my parents do not work in creative-related careers, they used to take me and my brother to museums, movies, fairs, expositions, parks and concerts on the weekends. It was a routine for us and I guess it made me grow a taste for it.
LBB> What made you want to study advertising?
PS> It’s a total cliché, but I guess it all started when I was a child. I was very interested in drawing and painting. And a great-aunt of mine used to paint and it always amazed me. I even made a few paintings – that are currently hanging on the wall of my parents’ beach apartment (I’m sorry for whoever sees it). So, the years went by, my dedication to school took over my drawing time, and I lost that skill completely – nowadays I can barely draw a stickman. But that gave me an interest in the visual universe, which led me to studying advertising in college back in 2011.
LBB> How and why did you end up becoming an Art Director?
PS> When I was about 15 I started experimenting with Photoshop and learning from online tutorials. At some point I began designing posters for my friends’ band’s concerts, flyers and websites. After a while I started having my first small clients. And I felt that was something I could do for a living, and during college it was clear that I wanted to work with art direction. So I started aiming for it. Firstly I joined my college’s experimental agency, then I spent some time working on my portfolio, and in my third year of college I was hired by DDB Sao Paulo.
LBB> What drew you to move to Spain, and to join LOLA MullenLowe Madrid?
PS> The best agencies in Brazil are in Sao Paulo, so everybody from the rest of the country moves there to work. But in my case I already had spent my whole life there, so I guess I just wanted to see what’s outside of it. Then I started to consider moving abroad. I felt it would be a great personal and professional experience - and the fact that I’m a creative would make things easier, as Brazilian advertising is well-known abroad. Then I started talking with friends living abroad, reading about it, and the idea of moving to Spain started to grow on me. LOLA was already an agency I admired, so I got in touch, sent my portfolio, and ended up with a job offer.
LBB> How does the advertising climate in Spain compare to your homeland of Brazil?
PS> Actually, both markets feel very similar to me in many ways. That’s something that helped me during my first few months. It was easy to adapt, we’ve got similar culture. People are passionate about it. And LOLA’s team is very welcoming and open, which helps a lot to blend in. From my point of view, the thing that I feel is most different in the advertising world here is that there are lots of independent agencies with big clients and good creative work – meanwhile in Brazil almost all big accounts are centred in a few big agencies.
LBB> Your Voice of the Drought project won a Cyber Lion back in 2015. The way you turned dry soil cracks into typography is super cool. Can you tell us a bit more about this project?
PS> Sao Paulo was going through its worst drought. The whole city and its almost 11 million inhabitants were being affected daily by it. The city’s main water reserve was almost dry, houses went for hours without water… It was the most talked about topic at that moment and to raise awareness about it, we made up this dry-soil typography that could be used on Twitter, giving a voice to the earth. And happily, it worked well, people used our typography to talk about this topic and we got a lot of media exposure on it.
LBB> I also really love the cards you worked on for Old Spice. What inspired the bold, bombastic designs on them?
PS> Thank you! It all started because Old Spice was promoting a Truco (popular trick-taking card game) championship between some universities. We thought, “they can’t just use a regular playing cards deck. After all, it’s Old Spice!”. So we proposed designing a weird crazy deck of cards, and the client liked the idea. My goal was to play with random, funny and ‘macho’ elements on it, making it as bold as the brand. So the cards ended up filled with guns, knives, bombs and… some things I can’t even name!
LBB> What other pieces of work are you most proud of and why?
PS> I really like one of the most recent projects we made at LOLA for Pescanova, a Spanish fishing company. They were launching a new product - a ring of shrimp - and we thought, “what if we pretend these shrimps are fished in rings?”. We don’t know how, but the client bought it! So we made up a 5-minute-long fake documentary telling its story. It turns out lots of Spanish people believe in fake news, so we played with it and put these people to a test, to see if they’d believe our documentary or not. The documentary is an interactive video on YouTube, so people can learn more about the shrimp ring (if they believe it) or jump straight to the truth (if they want to miss the fun!).
LBB> Who and what are your inspirations?
PS> That’s a tricky question for me! I actually find it very hard to answer this one. I guess I get impacted by everything that surrounds me. I think the one thing that inspires me the most is travelling, which I gladly do a lot. But if I had to say one person, I guess I’d probably pick Stefan Sagmeister. I really like how he uses design in a fresh way, mainly his use of typography. And recently my creative partners and I had the honour of being featured on his Instagram. He does some design reviews, and he posted a personal project we did – a series of posters using Trump’s quotes on propaganda-like art (check out the Instagram here).
LBB> What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about living in Spain?
PS> Really nice people. Seriously, I did not expect anything like this when I got to Spain. Brazilian people are known for being nice and open, so I always had the idea that moving abroad would mean living with cold people. And that’s exactly what the Spanish are not. I can’t tell you the amount of great people I’ve met here, and definitely can’t tell you the amount of beer I’ve had either! People are super open, welcoming and they’re always up to something.
LBB> When you’re not working, what do you like to do with your downtime?
PS> I’m really into photography. I enjoy travelling with my film cameras; I own a few of them and I love how film gives me some unexpected results in each photo. I like to experiment with film. For example, I’ve cooked film, reversed film and double-exposed film. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it gets awful, but that’s what’s entertaining about it. And of course, I really like Instagram.