Interview with Andre Blanco from Germany

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Andre Blanco

Andre Blanco is a Brazilian art director behind HP’s Work Better 2.0 campaign that reflects the German way of life. He also likes surfing, too!

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Andre Blanco

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

Brazilian art director with 10+ years of international agency experience spanning both Brazil and Europe, I’m a creative maker and storyteller who uses design to bring ideas to life, leading projects into unexplored creative territories with a strategic and innovative mindset. My focus is on brand experience and activation, integrated marketing communications, and everything in between.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

Surfing is my passion. Since I was very young I used to spend a lot of time reading surfing magazines and tripping into the rich and disruptive editorial design of it. But the most curious part was that I spent more time looking and analyzing the print ads than reading the articles. I was so psyched into the ads that I used to cut them off of the magazines, separating every single element from it and then doing a collage, creating my own ads.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

My focus is on brand experience and activation, integrated marketing communications, and everything in between. I have been working at AKQA Berlin for almost 5 years now, and I was hired to develop the comms part of the agency.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

For me, creativity means breaking the status quo.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

A creative idea/design is all about bringing to light an innovative and unexpected way to solve a problem.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

It’s all about experimentation. I am not sure I have a scientific approach to that. It all starts with absorbing all the information I can put my hands/eyes on (I can say I am a reference hunter), from the most different areas and then crossing that with a business/client problem. The more unexpected the connections, the better.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

Every part of the process brings its own beauty, excitement, as well as challenges. For me, it’s quite hard to say which part is my favorite. I think it’s easier to say which one is the most challenging. That definitely is the beginning of it, when one receives the brief and needs to manage all the anxiety and fears of not achieving the expected greatness for the work.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

Once my ECD said I brought “systematic anarchy” to the art direction and projects I work on, and I found it such a great way to describe my work and creative approach. For me, it’s all about breaking the rules and bringing new perspectives to the table.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?


10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Thank you so much! It brings a lot of recognition (and also fuel to achieve greatness in the next projects). It somehow tells us we are on the right track, even though sometimes it can be a bit subjective.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

AKQA is a global agency based in Germany. And on the contrary to the modern, untraditional, and audacious policies of the country in politics, sometimes consumer behavior and companies' strategic approach are on the other side of that spectrum, moving towards a more traditional and cautious path. And that is the major creative challenge when it comes to disruptive and experimental concepts. Thanks to our great HP clients Jochen Ziegler and Ute Ricciarelli and their team, and the brilliant folks from Anorak, Bernd Fass, Tobias Steinhauser, and Franko Melisch, among others, we were able to interrogate and defy that scenario. I guess Markus was a son of that “systematic anarchy” we were discussing before.

12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Whenever we talk about awards, it’s important to address the elephant in the room. Is winning an award fair? Does it reflect the work the agency does? Is the investment worth it? Are we creating ghost projects that nobody cares about but the ad industry? “Awards are subjective and judges are highly influenced by the lobby.” To answer this question we would need an entire article only for it. But there is one undeniable point to it that is—awards help to keep creatives motivated, fuel the pursuit of excellence and push creative boundaries. Someone may say that there are millions of other ways to do that, and they could be right. But so far in my career, I have never seen anyone sad because they won an award.

13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

Working with creativity, through our work being able to change the world (or at least the way people see it), and bring new experiences and excitement to people’s lives.

14Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

I think it’s quite simple: advertising that doesn’t look like advertising. To be honest, nobody likes advertising. People have adblockers on their computers and it’s so painful whenever it’s needed to wait for 6 or 15 seconds prerolls to watch YouTube videos or even 10 seconds to jump to the next lesson on Duolingo. The evolution of the creative industry is on creating experiences that consumers will like to join of their own will and not because they are imposed.

15If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Just do it.

16What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

Learn everything you can. Read everything you can. Watch everything you can. Be happy and live your life to the fullest, after all, many of your ideas will come from your interaction with people and experience in the most varied situations.

17Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

I am afraid of the dark and I think The Beatles are overrated.

18Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Definitely my family. As we don’t come from a very wealthy background, their struggle and perseverance in the most severe circumstances taught me through example the courage, resilience, and discipline needed to achieve my dreams. Especially when being a brown/black person living in this world.

P.S.: Mom and dad if you read this, know I love you. <3

19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Not sure if I already found that key or if I agree with the concept of success. But I think a great way of achieving our goals and dreams is simply by doing it. We usually overthink too much and the myth of perfection freezes us. A piece of advice would be (sorry for the cliché, sometimes they are quite true) - start now with the tools that you have, it’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be pretty at the beginning, and the path to your goals and dreams will be full of ups and downs, but at the end, you will make it. Trust in yourself and enjoy the ride.

20Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Thanks for having me. I hope you had a nice time reading my stories. <3

Winning Entries

Work Better | 2022

Work Better | Martim Braz

HP’s 2020 Work Better campaign inspired German businesses to embrace new technology during the first wave of the pandemic. A year or so later, for Work Better 2.0, we meet our antihero “Markus” again as he takes us on a tour of the pandemic-altered working world. He’s taken “embracing change” to a whole new level, and he’s literally taking his more timid colleagues along for the ride. Anchored again with a 60-second TVC, this year’s…
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Andre Blanco

Andre Blanco is a Brazilian art director behind HP’s Work Better 2.0 campaign that reflects the German way of life. He also likes surfing, too!

Don’t be a bore in life! Check out pro wakeboarder Pedro Caldas’ tearing up the local swimming pool by Red Bull!