AKQA: Idea for further development

Cannes 2023 – Opinions of the winners

AKQA / Diego Machado: Idea for further development

(09.08.23). The 2023 Digital Craft Cannes Grand Prix “Never done evolution feat Serena”, a campaign for Nike signed by AKQA San Pablo in collaboration with AKQA Portland and AKQA Melbourne, is much more than an award-winning case that turns 50 years old. It’s also a powerful message about the need to keep evolving and was inspired by the recent career of Serena Williams, who has been one of the best in world tennis for 20 years. To do this, the agency used artificial intelligence arms that modeled her playstyle of every era – decision making, shot selection, reaction time, recovery and agility – based on archival footage and created a matchup between Serena Williams in 1999 when she won her first Grand Slam title. . and Serena’s victory at the 2017 Australian Open. The simulated matches are not just an opportunity to look back on historical achievements, but also to demonstrate Serena’s determination, decade after decade, to never stop there. AKQA São Paulo also created the most awarded Brazilian idea in the country at the Map of Transparency festival for Congreso en Foco (1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze), whose proposal is to get information about the speeches of politicians participating in the competition. elections. In this LatinSpots interview, Diego Machado, AKQA Global Commercial Director, details how the winning campaigns were developed and shares his experience as a member of the Creative Business Transformation jury.

LatinSpots (LS): – How did you come up with the idea to develop “Never Done Evolution feat Serena”, which won the Grand Prix in Digital Craft?
Diego Machado (DM): – This Nike project started at the end of 2021. As we approached the 50th anniversary of founding (January 1964) of one of the most iconic brands in our culture, we began to think about how to celebrate it. legacy with so much to say. We called on all AKQA offices to develop a global project, with each AKQA agency raising Nike’s profile in their country by connecting with the legendary athletes of each country.

In Brazil, for example, there are many football-related moments, with Ronaldinho and, more recently, Raissa Leal (a Brazilian figure skater known for winning national and international tournaments at just 12 years old). On the other hand, in the US, the focus has been on NBA athletes like Michael Jordan and the best in tennis like Serena Williams, Andre Agassi. We realized that each country has something different, and we had to filter the topics we wanted to cover in this holiday campaign. I participated in the selection of 50 great moments in the history of Nike, but without reference to the past and without nostalgia. The goal was to bring something relevant from the past into the present and at the same time look into the future. Thus was born the case of Serena Williams, perhaps the only athlete who managed to remain among the best for so long. Serena has spent 20 years winning titles in an individual sport, which is very difficult. Everyone goes through trauma, the body changes, the competition develops, and it continues to improve. Just as Serene has reinvented itself, Nike has reinvented itself countless times to stay on top. When we came up with this concept of looking at her entire career, we thought about inspiring new athletes and giving them the tools to develop, just like she did. Serena didn’t have to participate, but she did. Along the way, her retirement was approaching, so we put the project up, waiting for her to announce her retirement from competition. Later, she was a Vogue cape along with her daughter. The next day, he launches a campaign celebrating his legacy as an athlete that goes beyond the mark he left on American culture. 1.7 million viewers watched the grand finale between the two Serens on YouTube, a 1082% increase from regular views compared to other Nike content.” Never Done Evolution feat Serena” broke all Nike records for organic YouTube views.

I think this is a very special job, Nike has been a partner for many years. In fact, the last AKQA San Pablo Grand Prix in Cannes was also with Nike (“Air Max graffiti shops” recognized as the maximum prize in the media in 2019). Digital Craft is a very complex and difficult category. Looking at all the jobs they have received, I am even more proud of this achievement. We know that when voting, the jury is very meticulous in choosing the winners of the Gold, Silver, Bronze or even Grand Prix.

LS: – How did you formulate the work between the AKQA offices in San Pablo, Portland and Melbourne?
DM: – All offices took a fundamental part in bringing this idea to life. Concept art was developed by AKQA San Pablo, an Australian technology team was tasked with executing the AI, and Portland brought its expertise to the production and strategy part. It was great to have this global collaboration. To make all of this happen, a huge amount of work has gone into both AKQA and Nike. After seeing the product, the consumer may not determine the complexity of the product, which took us months of work. The consumer sees Serena only younger, older, a little of her evolution, but does not notice the degree of complexity of the technology for performing work.

LS: -Besides the Grand Prix, they won other metals with “Transparency Map” and “Neo Icarus”…
DM: – AKQA did a great job at Cannes, especially for the São Paulo office, with “Transparency Card” (1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze) as well as “Neo Icarus” and “Becks 70+” which They were in shortlist. With the Transparency Map, the idea started with a fairly simple premise, which was the ability to track the spending of Brazilian representatives and senators. We have created a tool that has become the core of Congreso en Foco, not only as a brand, but also as a society. Thinking of a journalism industry that is undergoing so much change, an initiative like this is not just a campaign against corruption, but a tool that will remain forever. We should all be able to monitor how public resources are being spent, after all, the money belongs to the citizens. In the case of “Neo Icarus”, a promotion by Brazilian rapper Abebe Bikila, which was a success on Spotify and won 1 bronze in the Design category.

LS: – You were a judge in Creative Business Transformation. What do you think of the experience?
DM:Very special, I’ve already been on the jury at other festivals, but this was my first experience with a global jury. You see a lot of jobs, from different parts of the world. It is interesting to see how, perhaps with the same briefing, each country solves this problem. It was intense, with very intense discussions, because it was a category with several filters: was it a creative product, did it work for business and, at the same time, what kind of transformation did it bring in terms of impact. on sales, brand, segment or society as a whole, as was the case with the Grand Prix (Adlam – The Alphabet for Cultural Preservation, McCann, NY, for Microsoft 365).

LS: – How do you evaluate the work of the agency?
DM: In addition to the awards, at Cannes you sealed a special moment for AKQA. I remember 10 years ago I met Ajaz Ahmed (CEO of AKQA) who defined AKQA for me as a single agency with offices around the world, not a network. We see cooperation between offices as something real. I spent 1 year personally meeting with all the professionals of the agency and their clients. This year in particular, with work developed in a global collaboration, has been one of the best for AKQA. We believe in global cooperation, and in this sense, the pandemic has made us more assertive. We share briefs, clients always focused on final delivery. The most positive thing that remains is to see the proximity of offices despite the physical distances.

LS: How is AKQA organized today?
DM: – There are 33 offices in the world, which we call studios, as well as design and architecture divisions in the US and England. We have about 80 people in Sao Paulo and we have a joint venture with Coala.Lab that has a lot of music, entertainment and design work. The Neo Icarus project, for example, was developed jointly with Coala.Lab. With them we won the 2019 Entertainment for Music Grand Prix with “Bluesman” for Baco Exu do Blues. San Pablo is also the only office where we not only develop many projects, but also provide space for parties and recitals.

LS: – How do you share the position of global commercial director of AKQA with Hugo Veiga?
DM: – I’ve been working with Hugo since 2009 when I joined Ogilvy San Pablo. We are the happiest people in the world YesWe are very grateful for what happened. Of course, this is the result of a lot of work, but there are things that cannot be controlled. Most special were the people we met along the way, from whom we learned a lot. One of the most important people was Ajaz, who helps us a lot, not only guiding us as creative and professional leaders, but also as people. This is a very disturbing industry, it never seems to be enough. Ajaz has always been a very human person who offers to aim for happiness. He always says that if you are not happy, the work will not go well. First you need to make people happy. Also, I’m very fortunate to work for a company that understands that you don’t have to sit in a chair in New York to play a global role. Few brands, agencies, and clients have this stance, but it makes perfect sense when it comes to a global campaign. When we won the global Netflix account, one of the first things they said was that they were looking for people with a global mindset, not just in Hollywood.

Diego Machado – AQKA – Cannes 2023
We share the words of Diego Machado from AKQA, who gave an overall assessment of the festival and how he saw the Latin American creative industry.

Never Done Evolving feat. Serena Williams (Cannes, 2023). Advertiser: Nike Tennis. Brand: Nike. Product: Nike 50th Anniversary – Never Done Evolving feat. Serena Williams. Advertising agency: ACKA Saint Paul. Audiovisual production: Hefty Sao Paulo / Sao Paulo immigrant studio. A country: International. Category: Institutional and corporate image. Patronage and sponsorship. Cannes Awards: Grand Prix Digital Craft Cannes 2023 / Bronze Creative Data Cannes 2023.

Never Done Evolving feat. Serena Williams. Advertiser: Nike Tennis. Brand: Nike. Product: Nike 50th Anniversary – Never Done Evolving feat. Serena Williams. Advertising agency: AKKA. Audiovisual production: Hefty Sao Paulo / Sao Paulo immigrant studio. A country: International. Category: Institutional and corporate image. Patronage and sponsorship.

Transparency Map (Cannes 2023). Advertiser: Congress in focus. Brand: Congress in focus – transparency map. Product: Congress in focus. Advertising agency: ACKA Saint Paul. SC: Global Creative Director: Diego Machado and Hugo Veiga // Managing Director: Louise Baffa. Chief Creative Director: Matias Menedes, Renato Zandona. Account Manager: Camila Machado. Responsible for the client: Founder: Silvio Costa // Managing Editor: Edson Sardinha // Operations Director: Marcelo Zagon // . Audiovisual production: PAY4BRAIN Sao Paulo. Sound: Jamut. Art Director: Felipe Petroni, Lucas Andrade, Leticia Terchini. Editor: Carolina Pineiro. A country: Brazil. Category: Image. Cannes Awards: Gold Digital Craft Cannes 2023 / Silver Creative Data Cannes 2023.

Board – Never Done Evolving feat. Serena Williams. Advertiser: Nike Tennis. Brand: Nike. Advertising agency: ACKA Saint Paul. A country: International .

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