2 Minutes With … Luiz Sanches, Chairman and CCO of AlmapBBDO

A Brazilian's adventures in the family business

Luiz Sanches has been with Brazilian agency AlmapBBDO for 26 years. He was trained as an art director, became agency partner in 2013, and is currently chairman and chief creative officer. He is also a member of BBDO's international board. 

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

Luiz, tell us …

The town where you were born, and where you live now.

I was born and bred in the city of São Paulo, where I still live today. Now, during this quarantine period, my family and I are self-isolating in our country place.

What you wanted to be when you grew up.

Since I was a kid, I've always wanted to be in adverting. My father was a gifted art director, and that was a huge influence on me.

How you discovered you were creative.

After my father passed away, which happened quite early, when I was only 10, I was greatly disillusioned. Then I was given an arts course as a gift. That was when it dawned on me: Advertising—and my father's memories—made me happy and brought me a great deal of peace. I started off at 15, at a local community newspaper, until I got an internship position at an ad agency.

A person you idolized creatively growing up.

Brazil has always fostered great creative talents—Washington Olivetto, Nizan Guanaes and Tomás Lorente, just to name a few. But Marcello Serpa, with whom I worked for years at AlmapBBDO, has always been a friend and a great idol. 

The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today.

I love rock and I play the guitar. Music is a part of my life. The first band I fell for was KISS. They performed in Brazil in 1981, but I wasn't able to see them. So I got the chance to go to the first Rock in Rio Festival in 1985. I saw the live shows of Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, AC/DC and Scorpions. My favorite band is Dream Theater, because of the musicians. I am also a big fan of Van Halen and Iron Maiden.

Your favorite visual artist.

My favorite visual artists are Lou Dorfsman (CBS), Milton Glaser (School of Visual Arts), Alexey Brodovitch, Herb Lubalin, George Lois and Saul Bass.

Your favorite hero or heroine in fiction.

Batman, no question about it.

The best book you've read lately.

A New Earth and The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, which I am reading now and enjoying a great deal, and When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin.

Your favorite movie.

Braveheart, which inspired me to take a trip to Scotland, Star Wars (especially the first one) and the Rocky Balboa movies.

How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally, in recent months.

Personally, the experience of spending 100 percent of your time with family, each of us recreating our own space, our own time. Professionally, being able to notice changes in society and being sure that place means not only where you are physically.

Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on, and why.

I don't have a favorite one. The joy of our profession, and what never makes us bored, is being allowed a new experience at each new project. The stories that stay with us are always far more interesting.

Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.

"Whassup," the iconic Budweiser campaign from DDB Chicago. It became a reference to an entire generation. It is a product at the center of history. Dazzling.

Someone else's creative project that you've been envious of lately.

A project by architect Ronald Rael and designer Virginia San Fratello. They installed pink seesaws on the U.S.-Mexico border. Why haven't we thought of that before? 

Your main strength as a creative person.

The ability to inspire my team and keep my clients' confidence in me.

Your weakness or blind spot.

I'm very passionate about what I do. Sometimes I let other things in life go. No need to do that.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Being with family, engaging in my hobbies, and doing this job that brings me so much pride.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Every time my football team, Corinthians, has a bad game and loses. Or when I see our profession become trivialized, put into a box and made worthless.

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

I'd find a way to get a job in what I do.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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