BBDO has a new chief creative officer, with Max Geraldo joining the agency next month. Geraldo was previously with Grey Brazil, where he was chief creative officer and co-president. He has an impressive 63 Cannes Lions on his CV, including the 2014 Mobile Grand Prix (see it below), as well as hardware from every other major global show.
Geraldo has spent most of his career in Brazil, working with a handful of agencies including JWT, AlmapBBDO, DM9DDB, Lew, Lara\TBWA and FCB. He also spent time at the Chicago office of FCB, and with Arnold Boston. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world, including Adidas, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Nivea, FedEx and Volkswagen.
BBDO president and CEO Christopher Andrews said that when he first started to review Geraldo’s background, he immediately started connecting him to different projects and creative he’s admired. “And then when I saw his book, I think I recognized eight or nine of the first 10 pieces of work in there,” he said. “I was so excited by his body of work. [It’s] really diverse work, very progressive creative thinking.”
On top of that, said Andrews, Geraldo “has a reputation as a creative leader with heart… That’s very clear to me already.”
Geraldo’s hiring comes a year after BBDO’s previous chief creatives Denise Rossetto and Todd Mackie left the agency. At the time, Chris Booth and Derek Blais took over the creative department on an interim basis. The search for permanent replacements was interrupted by the departure of CEO Dom Caruso a few weeks later, with Andrews taking over as CEO in June. Both Booth and Blais are still with the agency, reporting into Geraldo.
“I’ve always admired BBDO’s relentless focus on the work. They understand that the strongest creative work brings the greatest competitive advantage and they have the track record to prove it,” said Geraldo in a release. ”BBDO Canada’s roster of client partners and iconic brands, both Canadian and international, has gotten me especially excited to roll-up my sleeves and get started.”
Andrews said the search included Canadian candidates. “There’s tons of great talent here, there’s no doubt,” he said. “But we thought the opportunity to have someone with his experience and his pedigree was one that we couldn’t turn down.”
Geraldo also brings with him a reputation for open-minded creative thinking, tackling business problems with no pre-conceived ideas about solutions, he said. That’s the way BBDO has been focused for a while, and Andrews hopes Geraldo can improve and expand that approach.
“Max brings that really interesting perspective of finding different ways to solve problems,” he said. “So I wouldn’t say that we’re changing the direction, but we’ll continue to focus on and try and find new and exciting ways to use creativity to solve business problems. There are lots of ways of doing it. And we’ve only scratched the surface as an industry.”