20 de May de 2015

Ana Couto, partner at Ana Couto Branding and first-time judge in the Design category at Cannes Lions 2015, has been one of the leaders of the efforts to represent and strengthen the presence of Brazilian design at the festival. Ana, who holds a bachelor’s in Design, a master’s in Visual Communication from the Pratt Institute in New York, a specialization in branding from the Kellogg School of Management, and who has recently started executive training at Harvard, believes it is strategic vision that makes the difference. She founded AC Branding in 1993, putting forth a healthy discussion for Brazil: what is the role of branding in a company’s results? She is married, has two children, and divides her time between the company’s offices – in the Gávea neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, and in the Vila Olímpia neighborhood of São Paulo. As a judge at Cannes, she says that she plans to be analytical, consistent and impersonal. “I want to share, align, and have fun. I am going to do my best; I have come a long way and I know what I’m doing.” To Ana, what deserves an award is anything that is striking, simple, daring, and that has a social impact. She spoke with propmark about her expectations for the festival. Below are some of the highlights of the conversation.

Background

“I went to Cannes for the first time five years ago, when the design category was opened. It was an important initiative by Abedesign (Brazilian Association of Design Companies) to bring companies and people that were relevant in the market. It was great!”

Awards

“Designers don’t have the aspiration to win prizes, it’s not in their DNA. I would say that we don’t concern ourselves with awards. That’s not the objective for anything we do. But we love it when we do something that ends up earning this type of recognition. Our clients and the team love to win awards. I think it’s a recognition of one or several projects that really have an impact on the area. That’s really cool, because we pay attention to award-winners and, in some way, that’s what ends up determining a trend for the whole market.

Cannes

“I think the repositioning from an advertising festival to a creation festival has been fantastic. I think the event has been able to evolve along with the changes in the market, and to keep itself relevant to people. I like the different forums with people from different backgrounds – both in terms of nationality and areas of expertise. It ranges from politics to music, and it’s that mix that produces creativity. Still, I don’t like it when it’s too full to be able to see everything I want to.”

Panels

“I’d already been a judge at other events, but this level of responsibility at a global festival with so many entries gives me butterflies. We are starting to judge now, beforehand, because of the large number of entries. It’s going to be a lot of work, and the role demands consistency with the curatorship of the adjudication, so that nothing is subjective. It has been enriching to participate, especially because of the discussions with the team doing the judging. I am an analytical judge, and I use my training as a designer who has worked in different cultural contexts as a solid base. I’ll be open to discussions and points of view from all of the countries. We need to take this into account, since each country’s culture has a big influence on aesthetics, and therefore on design. I also think it’s important to understand what social impact the project had, according to the challenge. Design has a very large power of transformation.”

Fairness

“Some good things will certainly be left out. It’s hard to be fair and impartial in a process with so many possibilities.”

Expectations

“I want to share, align, and have fun. I am going to do my best; I have come a long way and I know what I’m doing.” But the pressure is always there.”
Sharing Ideas
“I have chatted with previous judges, and we discussed a few ideas. It’s very important to be prepared. The trick is to show authority without being authoritarian. That’s challenging!”

Impact

“What deserves an award is anything that is striking, simple, bold, and that has a social impact.”

Advertising vs. Branding

“Advertising is an ever-present influence. Let’s see if this year we manage to have more criteria that are related to design, and fewer that are related to communication.”

Challenge

“I think design is a profession that is getting stronger every day, and that is having a tremendous impact on business and on society. Look at the case of Apple, which is the most valuable brand in the world from a design standpoint.”

Trend

“Investing in strategy and business. We are getting closer and closer to business consultants.”

“I went to Cannes for the first time five years ago, when the design category was opened. It was an important initiative by Abedesign (Brazilian Association of Design Companies) to bring companies and people that were relevant in the market. It was great!”

Awards

“Designers don’t have the aspiration to win prizes, it’s not in their DNA. I would say that we don’t concern ourselves with awards. That’s not the objective for anything we do. But we love it when we do something that ends up earning this type of recognition. Our clients and the team love to win awards. I think it’s a recognition of one or several projects that really have an impact on the area. That’s really cool, because we pay attention to award-winners and, in some way, that’s what ends up determining a trend for the whole market.

Cannes

“I think the repositioning from an advertising festival to a creation festival has been fantastic. I think the event has been able to evolve along with the changes in the market, and to keep itself relevant to people. I like the different forums with people from different backgrounds – both in terms of nationality and areas of expertise. It ranges from politics to music, and it’s that mix that produces creativity. Still, I don’t like it when it’s too full to be able to see everything I want to.”

Panels

“I’d already been a judge at other events, but this level of responsibility at a global festival with so many entries gives me butterflies. We are starting to judge now, beforehand, because of the large number of entries. It’s going to be a lot of work, and the role demands consistency with the curatorship of the adjudication, so that nothing is subjective. It has been enriching to participate, especially because of the discussions with the team doing the judging. I am an analytical judge, and I use my training as a designer who has worked in different cultural contexts as a solid base. I’ll be open to discussions and points of view from all of the countries. We need to take this into account, since each country’s culture has a big influence on aesthetics, and therefore on design. I also think it’s important to understand what social impact the project had, according to the challenge. Design has a very large power of transformation.”

Fairness

“Some good things will certainly be left out. It’s hard to be fair and impartial in a process with so many possibilities.”

Expectations

“I want to share, align, and have fun. I am going to do my best; I have come a long way and I know what I’m doing.” But the pressure is always there.”

Sharing Ideas

“I have chatted with previous judges, and we discussed a few ideas. It’s very important to be prepared. The trick is to show authority without being authoritarian. That’s challenging!”

Impact

“What deserves an award is anything that is striking, simple, bold, and that has a social impact.”

Advertising vs. Branding

“Advertising is an ever-present influence. Let’s see if this year we manage to have more criteria that are related to design, and fewer that are related to communication.”

Challenge

“I think design is a profession that is getting stronger every day, and that is having a tremendous impact on business and on society. Look at the case of Apple, which is the most valuable brand in the world from a design standpoint.”

Trend

“Investing in strategy and business. We are getting closer and closer to business consultants.”

Brazil

“We need to become more innovative and daring. Our design doesn’t have a global impact yet. We need to be out there more. Brazil is getting more and more competitive in Design. And, in general, it has always been strong at Cannes, and I hope that continues.”

“We need to become more innovative and daring. Our design doesn’t have a global impact yet. We need to be out there more. Brazil is getting more and more competitive in Design. And, in general, it has always been strong at Cannes, and I hope that continues.”[:]