2 Minutes With ... Daniel Correa and Bruno Trad, CDs at Alma
Daniel Correa and Bruno Trad are creative directors at alma, where they craft culture-focused work for global brands like PepsiCo, Google and Molson Coors, as well as local non-profit groups including Change the Ref and Tobacco Free Florida. Most recently, their Better with Pepsi print campaign that launched on National Burger Day became one of the brand's most shared campaigns of all time. The iconic trio of images went on to become the agency's most awarded campaign in its history.
We spent two minutes with Daniel and Bruno to learn more about their background, their creative inspirations, and recent work they've admired.
Daniel and Bruno, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
- Daniel Correa (DC): I grew up in a small town in Brazil called Varginha in the state of Minas Gerais. Fun fact is that the city is globally known for its "alien" appearances that happened back in 1996. I used to tell everyone I was the alien, but now that I live in Miami, I am actually an "alien" per the U.S. Government description of an immigrant.
- Bruno Trad (BT): I was lucky to have grown up in cities with very different lifestyles. I was born in the countryside of Sao Paulo, and then I moved to a small, beautiful town called Holambra, which was a Dutch colony with only 8,000 inhabitants at the time. After that I moved to Sao Paulo, which is one of the world's most populous cities. I spent ten years there with a crazy and chaotic life, amazing culture and gastronomy. And then almost five years ago I was transferred to sunny Miami.
How you first realized you were creative.
- DC: I think it was the day when I came up with the idea of putting several lockers on my high school gates so they would have to cancel class. And they did. With an investment of a couple of dollars, this bold move generated tons of good impressions with the girls and deeply connected with all the back row slackers.
- BT: Maybe in school. I was always trying to find different solutions, and I found myself enjoying building things with my own hands. A good challenge really excites me, and the search for new ideas is what I'm passionate about in advertising.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
- DC: Oliviero Toscani was always a reference to me. I think he was a visionary and a true pioneer in connecting brands to social causes. He was very criticized back then, but today we see most brands already embracing his approach.
- BT: To be honest, it's difficult to pick one. When I was a kid I used to look at both of my grandmothers' artwork. Vases, sculptures, paintings, all with care and a delicate craft, even in calligraphy. At the same time, I would spend hours listening to my mother playing the piano. And my grandpas were kind of life coaches for me, always there guiding me with the wisdom and patience of a lifetime. How I miss those conversations. And professionally, Marcelo Serpa and Erik Vervroegen were some of the guys that inspired me when I started in advertising. Their amazing visuals and different styles got my attention.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
- DC: Definitely when I came up with the locker idea.
- BT: Changing schools and cities a few times showed me so many different perspectives, experiences and styles of life.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
- DC: I would say Banksy but I don’t like talking about my own work, so another artist that I admire is Kurt Cobain. He was kind of an ambassador of Generation X (now you know my age) and his rebel style combined with his deep lyrics really connected with people tapping into discussions of personal reflection and social issues.
- BT: Elvis Presley, Pearl Jam and George Ezra.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
- DC: A friend of mine recently recommended the "99 percent Invisible" podcast and I can't get enough of it. The podcast talks about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about. It has a journalistic approach with great storytelling that investigates how design influences everything in our lives. I highly recommend it if you want to have your mind blown.
- BT: Movie: King Richard
Series: When They See Us and Vikings.
And for all the adland parents out there, lately I’m finding peace with the new CoComelon episodes.
Your favorite fictional character.
- DC: Tony Montana. The cool thing is that I now live in Miami and like him, I also sell drugs, I mean products.
- BT: Indiana Jones and Rocky Balboa.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
- DC: I'm really enjoying the Miles Fisher (@milesfisher) page. He does an incredible job using deep fake to impersonate Tom Cruise. This is as real as it can get and also a little scary. But for sure it's a lot of fun.
- BT: @colossal and @dulk1.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
- DC: Covid-19 changed the way I perceive life. It gave me another perspective on the real important things. I think only when we are facing our biggest fears that we can really appreciate what we already have. So today, I try to live a life full of gratitude.
- BT: Like many, Covid-19 left scars in my life since I lost my grandfather last year. He was someone that most encouraged me to follow my dreams. Working from home also had a big impact in my daily life, as it gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my family in different moments of the day, and simultaneously be connected with more projects at work. Somehow it made my agenda busier, more flexible and sometimes crazy all at the same time.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
- DC: One of my favorite recent projects is Ballots Against Bullets for Change the Ref. The project shines a spotlight on politicians who could've prevented mass shootings from happening had they supported stricter gun laws. Being a fan of true crime, it was interesting to incorporate an investigative approach to uncover real information about U.S. shootings, and connecting them back to politicians during the election.
- BT: Hit Song for Tobacco Free Florida because I was able to meet Tony and tell a little bit of his powerful story: a singer who got throat cancer due to second-hand smoke. It was emotional work teaming up with him and a composer to create a full song called "When It's Gone," based on his personal experience.
A recent project you're proud of.
- DC: A very recent project that I'm most proud of is the Better with Pepsi campaign. In an era of technology and innovation, this project shows that you don't need A.I. or millions of dollars to create a campaign that really connects with the consumer. A simple and well-crafted idea can be hard to find, but it also can be the most rewarding one.
- BT: Our campaign Better with Pepsi. And there is a special reason why I picked this one: Pepsi is one of the reasons why I decided to get into advertising. I can still remember early-on watching classic Pepsi commercials with superstars and huge productions. That really got my attention. And now having a campaign for this brand that spread all over the world gives me goosebumps.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
- DC: Definitely most of Alex Bogusky's work. Coke vs Coke Zero is one of the projects that really opened my mind to a completely different way we could approach creativity in advertising. It basically taught me that an ad doesn't need to look and feel like an ad to connect with people, especially nowadays.
- BT: Be Stupid for Diesel, OptOutside, Brewtroleum and Gatorade replay, among so many others.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
- DC: I really admire the work that Liquid Death is putting out there, like Loving Homes for Plastic and their 2022 Super Bowl ad. We see a lot of brand purpose work today but it's really refreshing to see a water brand doing it with such an audacious and humorous approach. It works so well that I only drink Liquid Death now. Of course, I had to cut some costs to be able to afford it but it's definitely worth it.
- BT: Coors Light Flashlight by Mischief. A great idea with a nice way to poke the NFL. So simple and so good.
Your main strength as a creative person.
- DC: I would say it's my passion. If you're talented but don't have passion, then that talent is kind of wasted. On the other hand, if you're incredibly passionate with just a little talent, you can change the world… or maybe just create amazing ads.
- BT: Resilience, passion, and positivity. I'm a half full glass guy. Good energy is contagious, and I believe the right atmosphere has the power to bring out the best in people.
Your biggest weakness.
- DC: I still have a hard time saying no, but I'm getting better. The other day I received a call saying that I won a brand-new Ferrari and I needed to give them my credit card details in order to get the car. After giving it some thought, I finally decided to say NO, mainly because I'm a Maserati guy.
- BT: Anxiety. Seeing cool ideas come to life is what motivates me. But sometimes when the wait is too long it's a little bit painful for me.
One thing that always makes you happy.
- DC: Saying YES (JK)! One thing that makes me happy is coming back to my hometown. I've lived abroad for a long time so it's always inspiring to reconnect with my roots and appreciate the journey I chose. Also, pizza and my cats make me really happy too.
- BT: The little things in life, like my daughter's happiness when she spots me picking her up from school, and my son's smile when I teach him a new trick. Or a letter saying, "this is not a bill." And professionally when I'm able to help a nice idea come to life.
One thing that always makes you sad.
- DC: I've been vegan for four years and vegetarian for seven, so animal cruelty is really something that makes me sad. Especially because today we can get all the nutrients we need from other sources. We aren't cavemen anymore. I think in 100 years or so, generations will look back to our behavior and say "WTF were those humans beings thinking eating dead animals?"
- BT: Injustice and disrespect. Or if someone hits play on the song "Hurt" by Johnny Cash. I'll be emotional right away.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
- DC: Do you mean what will I be doing when I leave advertising? (JK again, or maybe not). I think I would still explore something related to creativity like music, art or cinema. I can also see myself being a FBI or CIA special agent, using creativity to solve problems, but life threatening ones.
- BT: I have a dream to one day work with my brother. He is doing an amazing job in his greenhouses as a grower and working surrounded by nature sounds good to me.
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.