2 Minutes With ... Eduardo Tavares, ECD at Dentsu Health

On Lil Sugar, Saul Bass and more

An artist by training, Eduardo Tavares has held senior posts at agencies worldwide for the past 20 years, a journey taking him from Brazil to Europe to NYC.

Eduardo is the executive creative director for Dentsu Health, working on global projects throughout the creative network. Earlier, he ran the Refinery, Area 23's craft and design division. He has also served at consumer agencies in Brazil and Portugal, including FCB and BBDO, producing campaigns for domestic clients and global brands.

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

Eduardo, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Grew up in Curitiba. The capital of Paraná, a state in the south of Brazil. Right now, I am living in Brooklyn, New York.

How you first got interested in health.

I was always fascinated by the possibility of working with products that not only do the ordinary stuff (tastes better, improves your credit, or drives faster) but with products that can save your life. And that’s the main thing in health. It doesn’t matter what the treatment is, the end goal is the same: that product will somehow save your life. So, there’s no market more re-compensating than this.

One of your favorite projects you’ve ever worked on, and why. 

Lil Sugar. This project was an actual labor of love, where I was able to work with so many talented people and with such an important client, and with so many elements I love (illustration, design, lettering, storytelling, music, and entertainment), that it will always be the first one to jump into my mind.

A recent project you’re proud of and why.

My good friends Renata Maia, Thiago Fernandes and Widerson Souza invited me to participate in The Unwearable Collection. It was a project developed for Boehringer Ingelheim to discuss the impact of Generalized Pustular Psoriasis, a devastating disease. In partnership with the fashion designer Bart Hess (who created one of Lady Gaga’s famous outfits), we developed a collection based on the main symptoms of the disease. The overall level of craft achieved – with photos made by the talented fashion photographer Juliana Rocha and the sensitive film directed by JP Lasmar – made me very pleased.

One thing about how health is evolving that you’re excited about.

I love how health advertising has been transforming itself throughout the years in the perfect communication match between technology and craft. It’s hard to see an industry push the boundaries in those two elements as much as we have seen in health during the last few years. It’s inspiring.

Someone else’s work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

That’s tough. There are so much amazing people doing fantastic things all the time. In health, Tim Hawkey, Tim Jones, Collette Douaihy, Nick Capanear, Joe Capanear, Renata Maia, Thiago Fernandes, and Widerson Souza.

In consumer, my good friends Marco Pupo, Fernando Pellizzaro, Rafael Rizuto, Dedé Laurentino, and Bruno Regalo. And obviously, Fred Levron.

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

If the subject is design, I have some books that I constantly revisit Saul Bass's A Life in Design, Blue Note Records book, and any graphic novel by Bill Sienkiewicz. For management and leadership, I suggest the book by Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti's Quiet Leadership.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I am not a big music person. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I don’t think my taste is exquisite enough to suggest things. And I am not a connoisseur. On visual arts, even though I will sound repetitive because of my last answer: Saul Bass and Bill Sienkiewicz. Huge masters. In contemporary field I worked with two artists that blew me away with their talent and ability: Daniel Liévano and Armando Veve. Such ability and refinement.

Your favorite fictional character.

Spider-Man. By far. “With great powers come great Con Edison bills. And responsibility”.

Someone worth following in social media.

Raul Arantes. He makes great art and design suggestions on his LinkedIn all the time.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

I am adaptable. I am good at doing more with less. Something I learn from my tough times in Curitiba. When I look back, I see how many resources I have within my reach now, and I wouldn’t say I like doing less than I did when I had much less. Besides, I think I am a good person. And that’s the main strength anyone should have.

Your biggest weakness.

Delegating. I have a weak spot there. I think I improved much in the last couple of years, but it’s still hard sometimes for me. A great leader once told me, “Let it go and see what comes back. Won’t be what you wanted, but maybe it will be even better.”

One thing that always makes you happy.


One thing that always makes you sad.

Neymar and Brazilian Football (sorry, I can’t write socc*r, I am forbidden by contract).

Something people would find surprising about you.

I am a decent barbecue maker. And when I say barbecue, I don’t say putting hamburgers and sausages on an electric grill. I am talking about the real deal.

What you’d be doing if you weren’t in health.

Much probably be doing consumer advertising and or being a comic book artist. One day, who knows?

Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.

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Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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