2 Minutes With … Pedro Americo, ECD at McCann Germany
With 15+ years of experience, Pedro has worked in different parts of the world, including the U.K., Romania and Brazil. He now serves as executive creative director at McCann Germany. His career client portfolio includes Mercedes Benz, Ford, Nike, Opel, Volkswagen, o2, Katjes, Ikea, the German Red Cross, Coca-Cola and L'Oreal.
Pedro emphatically categorizes himself as a punk rocker.
We spent two minutes with Pedro to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.
Pedro, tell us ...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I am originally from Rio de Janeiro. I moved to Europe in 2007. After living in different cities, I ended up in Berlin.
How you first realized you were creative.
This was 100 percent my art teacher's realization. She was the first person to push me into using my drawing skills so that my creativity could flourish.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be a cartoonist. My biggest idols were Ota, who used to draw for Mad Magazine in Brazil, and Mauricio de Souza, responsible for the most famous characters in Brazil.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
During my last year of high school, I wasn't sure what I was going to do after graduation. When I spoke to my art teacher about it, she asked me if I ever heard anything about art direction. She thought this could be something for me. Advertising has always been part of the pop culture in Brazil, but I never even thought about going down that path. So I started to research it. And many years later, well, here I am.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Ian MacKaye. He was a pivotal character in the punk scene, helping to shape its development. First with Minor Threat, being the frontman and lyricist. His lyrics inspired people to change their lives for good—"Straight Edge" is a song from 1984, and it still inspires people. After this, he formed one of the most powerful bands to date, Fugazi. He was not only one of the singers, but he also played guitar. Very edgy and complex, it is one of these bands that influences so many other artists, even today.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
It Chooses You by Miranda July. The book is super fun and tells magical stories of people who are selling products via Penny Saver, the classifieds paper in the U.S. She started reading the classified ads and began to wonder who the sellers were. She then went out and interviewed them. For me, it's a big lesson on how creative minds work—and never stop—and how much inspiration you can get from having time for yourself.
Your favorite fictional character.
Darth Vader. No need to say more.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
@matteolane is an amazing comedian from the U.S. Incredibly funny.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
The rebranding campaign of Katjes. To relaunch it in the German market, we used the most important selling point: the fact that it didn't contain any animal gelatin. This is a product for everyone who chooses to eat vegan, no matter the reason (health, religion and so on). We chose three models and one of them was wearing a headscarf. The campaign triggered a massive discussion about integration in Germany and, most importantly, it disturbed the extreme right-wing populist party AFD in such a manner that they started their own campaign on Twitter to boycott the brand. If our campaign could irritate the AFD, for me it's a massive victory.
A recent project you're proud of.
"The Glitch" for the Alzheimer Forschung Initiative. It's an emotional film, designed to shed light on Alzheimer's from a very authentic yet modern perspective. The use of the glitch technique was the perfect choice. It's not only a fresh visual, but also a very accurate representation of the effects of Alzheimer's. The visuals were developed with AFI and a neurologist. The result is touching, especially for those who already have been in touch with the disease in their lives—which is the case for me.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
"World Cup Delivery" from GUT Buenos Aires for Pedidos Ya. It's pure brilliance.
Your main strength as a creative person.
Fast thinking. Having the ability to solve creative issues quickly in our business is an advantage.
Your biggest weakness.
Getting emotionally attached to ideas. I try to keep it cool, though.
One thing that always makes you happy.
One thing that always makes you sad.
When I run out of battery on my headphones. I can't live without music.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.