• D&AD Awards 2018
    Extended Deadline 28 Feb
  • Extended Deadline
  • 28 February
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Fabio Fernandes: Nothing is as Beautiful as a Beautiful Film

CEO and Creative Director of F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Fabio Fernandes has worked in the creativity industry for almost three decades. He’s been awarded numerous prestigious awards, collaborated with global brands and, in 2017, will act as Film Advertising Jury President at the D&AD Awards.

Ahead of this, he shares pearls of wisdom earned over his thirty years career, and writes about his love for film advertising that thinks outside the box. 

"Consumers have changed. Advertising has changed. We, ad people, have changed with both.

We have re-examined our core, questioned and challenged ourselves and we have lost our self-confidence. We almost gave up, surrendered, believing in the Apocalypse, in the end of everything we know.

We pretended, perhaps, for a short period, that we would know how to adapt, that we would overcome so much rejection for the way we worked yesterday, reinventing ourselves.

Times have changed, they would say, write, and proclaim through articles, editorials, chronicles, conferences, and in meeting rooms.

Clients followed the same logic. Not all, but a majority.

Who wouldn't follow along?

Specialist companies appeared, separatists, formed by experts more intelligent than the rest of the people, tuned, millennials, researchers, new world gurus, people who break down consumer segments into clusters, people who label consumers with names such as “the lonely fighter”, “the aspirer”, “rebel agglutinator.”

Advertising budgets were broken down, shared, disfigured. Experience, vision, opinion, were banned.These were words that couldn't even be heard from marketing professionals in advertising companies; let alone coming from an advertising agency.

Consumer surveys became the final word. Definitive.What they want, or their opinion will always make more sense than any lack of sense that the final message will now have.

They don't have any time. Consumers. They are skeptical, tired, lost in this myriad of information, in this inhuman amount of devices and platforms available.

We must be in social networks, in chats, in debate forums.

We must be alert, leading the conversation about our brand, changing the perception about our product.

We need to convince, sell, generate experimentation, bring consumers to our side.


Someday, some unsuspecting, disobedient individual may have produced a film.

One of those things that have one frame after the other, with movement, sound, cast, spoken lines, soundtrack.

A film.

The client paid for this film.

And aired the film.

The first consumers who saw the film, who weren’t even aware of how they had been labeled, nor to which cluster they belonged, were touched by this film. 

And shared the film.

Through WhatsApp. And people who also loved the film posted it on their timeline on Facebook.

Others did the same

Others only saw it on TV or in the movie theaters.

But others saw it together with a group of friends on an iPad.

Mothers were moved. Fathers cried. A girl laughed.

The off-duty traffic cop in a bar having a beer at the counter also found the message beautiful.

Without realizing it, many commented about it, complimenting it, and in elevator chats commented on one or other more interesting passages, talking about their feelings and reactions about that film.

And obviously, changed the subject afterwards, because life is more than just that."


If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.

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