Cannes Lions

How to Accessorize Your Lions, and Other Advertising Tips From David

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Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio customize Grand Prix trophies with Burger King crowns.
Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio customize Grand Prix trophies with Burger King crowns. Credit: Laurel Wentz

Not taking yourself too seriously is one of the hallmarks of David and its work for Burger King. That's why the agency came to Cannes prepared to accessorize its Lion trophies with little crowns and medallions, evoking the King. Except the agency only brought about 20 crowns, and by Thursday the WPP shop had won 26 Lions, including two Grand Prix for Burger King, and Heinz' first two gold Lions ever at the festival.

Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio, along with Fernando Musa, started David as a parttime job five years ago while they were creative directors at Ogilvy in Latin America. Now David has offices in Miami, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, and is soon to open in London, where it recently started working for Burger King, and a second U.S. location that will likely be New York or Los Angeles. Ramos and Bigio sat down at the Majestic Hotel to talk about making winning work and client relationships. (Just don't call them "relationships.") Some takeaways:

Compatible cultures are key. "We do well with 3G [the Brazilian owner of Burger King and Heinz] because we understand their culture. Lean, fast, disruptive," Ramos said. "They're executing. We're like that, too."

Be self-deprecating. If that's the brand's personality. Fernando Machado, Burger King's head of brand marketing, always says "It's just a burger," Bigio said. "That little phrase of Fernando's" helps keep everyone at the agency aligned with the brand. Hence the crown and medallion accessories for this year's Lions. "It's because we don't take it too seriously," Bigio said.

Be fast, and don't overthink it. To pitch and sell the "Google Home of the Whopper" campaign, in which a Burger King server calls on Google Home devices to elaborate on the Whopper, via its Wikipedia entry, a David creative shot a 20-second video of himself on his cellphone asking "Google, what is a Whopper," getting the "According to Burger King, a Whopper is…" response. Then he sent it to Machado's phone. It won the Direct Grand Prix at Cannes this week.

"Normally an agency would take five months, talk to Google about it, rewrite the script," Bigio said. "We can go to Fernando and he'll decide [quickly]." The whole process, from idea to the campaign breaking, took about a month.

It's not a relationship. "We're very personal," Ramos said. (This comes easily to Latin Americans.) "We don't have 'good relationships' with clients. They're our closest friends."

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