2 Minutes With ... Bernardo Romero, CCO of The Bloc NY

Telling more meaningful stories, from 'Instant Doctor' to 'Skindeep'

Bernardo Romero has worked as a creative leader at numerous ad agencies running global brands such as ESPN and Gatorade. His diabetes diagnoses 10 years ago led him to shift his creative focus to pharma and healthcare advertising, and as chief creative officer at The Bloc was able to help the agency achieve unprecedented business growth and creative recognition

The Bloc was named 2021 Clio Health Independent Agency of the Year and has earned creative acclaim for projects such as "Instant Doctor" and "Skindeep."

We spent two minutes with Bernardo to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.

Bernardo, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in a beautifully diverse area called Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I'm currently living in in a beautifully diverse area in New York called Queens.

How you first realized you were creative.

Through my father. He's an amazing photographer and illustrator who has encouraged me since forever to be able to express myself through art.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

The late Tim Maia, one of Brazil's most soulful and exciting artists.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

During college, the moment I met my good friend Marcos Almirante (currently at AMV BBDO). He basically convinced my old graphic-designer self that I would tell more meaningful stories through advertising than through branding.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

The Weeknd.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Mano a Mano. A Brazilian podcast hosted by Brazilian rapper and poet Mano Brown. If you speak Portuguese, you don't want to miss the episode with former president Lula.

Your favorite fictional character.

Saci Pererê, a character in Brazilian folklore.

Someone or something worth following in social media.

@shortoftheweek, a curated list of very engaging and fresh short films.

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.

I'm a hopeless optimist. The pandemic gave me an opportunity to be closer to my family and re-engage in exercise and sports.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

"Instant Doctor." A short film about innovation and humanity in healthcare. The film has won more than 80 international film awards and almost got an Oscar nomination.

A recent project you're proud of.

"Skindeep." A short film co-written with Dr. Robert T. Carter, Ph.D and professor of psychology at Columbia University, that brings for the first time ever race-based trauma to the surface.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

Basquiat. I've always been obsessed with how raw, transparent and honest his paintings were.

Someone else's work you admired lately.

Can I mention two?

Wagner Moura's Marighella. A film about resisting in times of intolerance, so important to the horrible political moment Brazil is going through right now.

Save Ralph. A short film by Taika Waititi. A masterclass in craft and storytelling. It's impossible not to care about that rabbit.

Your main strength as a creative person.

My Latin "paixão"/passion.

Your biggest weakness.

I have a very short attention span. If it's boring, you've lost me.

One thing that always makes you happy.

The Masked Singer reveal moment.

One thing that always makes you sad.

When the revealed Masked Singer is a celebrity I don't know.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

Zumba teacher.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder and a contributor to Muse by Clio.

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