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‘Simply put, diversity is profitability’: Beyond the Brief featuring Bianca Guimaraes, BBDO

Bianca Guimaraes

Not even a full decade ago, BBDO associate creative director Bianca Guimaraes graduated from university with the same aspirations as any other hungry creative.

Fast-forward a bit, just past the chance encounter with an agency exec that brought her from Sao Paolo, Brazil to New York City to JWT New York. For some, just getting hired off raw talent and high potential by a historic agency in the home of advertising would be enough. You would think, but if you’ve ever read The New York Times, Mashable, Gizmodo, or Buzzfeed, watched ABC News or CNN, or taken a glance through any major award show annual today, there’s a pretty high possibility that work from this rockstar creative has shown up.

Let’s talk about the work. Guimaraes has helped make kids smile at their boo-boos for Band-Aid brand. She helped deliver one of the largest wins in industry history for the AT&T and DIRECTV merger and made their users feel more powerful—even when listening to Paula Abdul Muzak. She’s brought us into the world of a brilliant boy on the autism spectrum, and made 10,000 unique works of art from others who have the genetic condition. The work that Guimaraes has worked on has launched her into superstardom: Young Guns, Clios, Effies, Webbys, Cannes Lions in shades of bronze, silver and gold, One Show pencils, ADC cubes, et cetera. It’s almost an annual holiday to find her work in Communication Arts, and Business Insider has named her one of the 30 most creative people in this industry not once or twice, but four times. Just this year, Shots magazine placed her on their inaugural Rising Stars list, only proof that she’s only just begun.

But this is the real impact of the work—Guimaraes has become one of the most impactful young faces that this industry has, both as a female creative and as a Latina. She’s been a presence as a juror for the Lisbon International Advertising Festival, AICP, FWA, and AdFed. The 3% Conference has had her as a portfolio reviewer (and one of their Next Creative Leaders). The One Club has had her mentor college students at their annual Creative Boot Camps. And (somehow), she finds time to teach at Miami Ad School (and play volleyball, go figure). Wherever there’s a chance for her to elevate others and even the playing field for women and people of color, Guimaraes answers the call, and always with a smile.

Enough cannot be said about Bianca Guimaraes. She delivers quality content for her colleagues and clients, ensures that the future of the industry is brighter than the trail she’s blazed, and in doing so, has become a stellar example of living beyond the brief.

Who or what influenced you to get into advertising?

I’ve always been a visual person and couldn’t see myself fitting into the traditional corporate world.

It made sense for me to look for something where I could express myself using my creative ideas and visual language. Something that gave me the opportunity to work on a variety of subjects, with different mediums and technology, and for different clients. Most importantly, something that didn’t require dressing up every morning.

What’s the biggest issue the industry faces? How would you solve it?

Gender equality is a big one. Women make up 85% of all consumer purchases. If the people creating ads don’t represent or understand the marketplace, the work won’t be effective.

Simply put, diversity is profitability.

I’m part of many online groups and communities of women in advertising where we talk about gender equality and how to overcome it. I also get a lot of emails from female creatives asking for advice on how to navigate these issues. I pride myself on making sure I never miss answering a single message.

Teaching at Miami Ad School, participating in portfolio reviews and mentorship programs from organizations like the One Club, the 3% Conference, Pratt, FIT, among others, are some of the ways I try to make an impact on the future of the industry. Ultimately, I hope my achievements can encourage more young women to consider advertising as their profession, and inspire women already in the business to see hope for progress and a sustained future in it.

What’s a hobby that you love or would like to start?

I like to play volleyball as a way to distract my mind. It’s a mental reset that helps me stay creatively fresh.

Where was the last place you traveled to? What did you learn from that trip?

Traveling greatly inspires me. Going to countries whose cultures are different than mine, and learning about people who experience the world differently than I do is the best way for me to learn about myself.

I just came back from Peru and I was inspired by the people there. We visited a floating village with little infrastructure, yet the people who live there were so happy. It’s easy to let our problems be the focus of our lives but that helped remind me of what’s really important.

To celebrate its 100th Anniversary, the 4A’s has partnered with us at The Drum to pull back the curtain and look at an industry full of problem solvers, creative types and analytical minds. But what keeps them going once the briefs are written, the campaigns executed, and the pitches won (or lost)? We’re interviewing 100 people at 4A’s member agencies — across all disciplines, levels, regions, and agency types — to get a glimpse into what drives them at work and what fuels them in life.

To pitch someone from a 4A's member agency for Beyond the Brief, please complete this linked form.