Black Box by J Walter Thompson Brazil

Date: May 2019
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Before Africans became enslaved, they were experts in many fields, contributing to human history with important inventions that range from the telescope to setting the basis of cubism in art. It should be in school books, but it is not.

Zumbi dos Palmares College, the only black college in Brazil, and J. Walter Thompson Brazil developed the project Black Box, unveiling this side of history in order to bring pride and knowledge to Afro-descendants, to promote a historical correction and to spread hidden stories about black people’s cultural legacy to the spotlight.

15,000 hours of work of African-Brazilian researchers, historians, journalists, teachers, and people involved in black militancy turned into a 200-page book that brings black people’s cultural and historical legacy into the spotlight. The book includes black boxes in translucent tracing paper that reveal important historical information and names of black heroes when the pages are turned over.

The map of the Palmares area was used to form every image in the book through generative design. A code was developed to transform the map into tiny particles that were put together to form the image, inserting the DNA of black history in every illustration. Also, each chapter of the book became a subject and was integrated into the syllabus of different college grades.

The Palmares quilombo was the greatest symbol of resistance to slavery in the history of Brazil and was established towards the end of the 16th century, on the border of the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco. There, under the leadership of Zumbi dos Palmares, the quilombo received some 20,000 runaway slaves.


Campaign: Black Box

Advertiser: Zumbi dos Palmares College

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Brazil

CEO/CCO: Ricardo John

EDC: Cassio Moron / Rodrigo Da Matta

Creative Director: Danilo Janjacomo

Head of Art: Talita Cardozo

Graphic Design: Dandara Hahn, Paula Bustamante

Art Director: José Oliveira, Leticia Tercini

Editor in Chief: Ariane Polvani

Co-Author: Cileda dos Santos Sant’anna, Natanael Santos, Patrícia Nascimento, Rosenildo Ferreira, Telma Cezar da Silva

Content Research: Thamara Pinheiro, Renan Damascena, Clecius Gonzaga, Vivian Zeni

Copywriting: Marcel Ares, Julia Machado, Thamara Pinheiro, Clecius Gonzaga

Copydesk and Proofreading: Camilla Savoia

Photography: Regis Fernandez

Operations Director: Thiago Segundo

Head of Client Services: Felipe Giacon

Account team: Maiara Brinhole

Illustrator: Simon Fernandes

Head of Production: Maísa Delgado

Production team: Fernanda Fiori, Flavio Colella, Leandro Lacovone, Paulo Cesar dos Reis, Ricardo Garcia, Gabriel Maria

Audio Producer: Evil twin- Andre Faria

Production: Daniel Costa, Sid Fernandez

Planning: Stella Pirani, Guilherme Paduan, Renan Damascena

Advertiser supervisor: Raphael Vicente

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