Cannes Jury Spotlight: Rafael Pitanguy

Rafeal Pitanguy's headshot

At Cannes Lions, the world’s premier festival recognizing creative excellence, thousands of entries pour in from countries worldwide. Behind the scenes, a carefully selected panel of judges reviews the work that will ultimately take home a coveted Cannes Lion.

Joining the ranks of the industry’s most recognized and respected creative professionals, Rafael Pitanguy, CCO at VMLY&R Sao Paulo, is serving as a juror for Entertainment Lions for Sport. 

As one of the youngest CCOs in Brazil, Rafael leads the creative and production department of the biggest agency in the country. This gives him the challenge and the opportunity to work with the most important advertisers in Latin America, including Telefônica Brasil, LG, Danone, Bic, Honda, VISA, Santander Bank, and more. 

He started his career in his native Rio de Janeiro before moving to Portugal, where he did some of the country’s most awarded and celebrated work. In just two years, he became the most awarded creative in the country and at Fischer America, the country’s most awarded and celebrated agency.  

Back in Brazil, he worked at TBWA and served as a vice president at Africa, Omnicom’s Group biggest agency in the country, working on award-winning campaigns for Telefônica Brasil, Mitsubishi, Ambev, and Banco Itaú. During his years at Africa, the agency was elected as International Agency of the Year by Ad Age.  

With 45 Cannes Lions, including Brazil’s first Gold on Radio; Pencils at D&AD and One Show; and two Grand Prix at Clio Sports, Rafael is also a screenwriter, having worked for Paramount Pictures on a Sundance-nominated feature film.  

Recently, he was nominated as one of the most admired professionals in the industry and elected the top creative in 2018 by the Brazilian Association of Advertisers. He’s also part of the board of CONAR (the Brazilian Council of Ethics in Advertising) and a Miami Ad School tutor.

How do you spot Cannes-winning work?   

Great work is the one that can inspire and make you jealous at the same time. 

Describe creativity during the pandemic in one sentence.   

The hard task is inspiring consumers without knowing where to find your own inspiration.  

Is there anything you are looking for in the entries of the category you are judging?  

Last year, athletes, teams and sports associations really took a stand against racism. How brands could be part of this movement without being opportunistic was something I really wanted to see.   

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