Fernando Machado didn’t name his first son Leo as a reminder of the Cannes Lions he had won and his seemingly insatiable appetite for more awards. Still, Anselmo Ramos, founder and chief creative officer of Gut, jokes that Machado’s firstborn was named after one of the industry’s coveted awards.
“When I met him he was a very sad client with only four Lions,” deadpans Ramos, who was approached by Machado in 2012 during the Cannes Festival of Creativity. “And now he has 160 Lions. How do I know he has 160 Lions? Because he told me, of course.” Their first campaign together, when Machado was at Unilever and Ramos was at Ogilvy, was the Cannes Titanium Grand Prix-winning Dove Real Beauty Sketches.
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Burger King’s marketing has been reborn since Machado joined in 2014, with campaigns tackling everything from rival McDonald’s to issues such as bullying. The “Proud Whopper” campaign in support of gay marriage was hard to get approval for in 2014. “He wouldn’t stop selling the idea internally,” says Ramos. “He said ‘I don’t care if I get fired.’”