The International ANDY Award Student Competition has a history of changing the trajectory for up-and-coming creative talent in a variety of ways. From brand-specific internship initiatives to almost immediate job offers at top agencies, it’s no surprise that when a team of Miami Ad School Brazil students found themselves as finalists in the 2019 competition, they were excited. Except they didn’t know the work had even been in the running. Here is Adriano Sato, Matheus Endo, Diogo Bueno and Felipe Pinheiro‘s story on their rise to earning the Glenn C. Smith Award and Scholarship through doubt, spotty wi-fi and language barriers.
Burger King is one of those brands that virtually every creative dreams of working with. So when Raphael Taira, our advisor, said he had a student competition with a BK briefing and asked if we wanted to participate, the “yes” was instinctive.
The concept is ready: fire is better. So we started to make the good old word map looking for fire-related words. And so came ‘Flame Grilled You’, which proposed the following: choose to be cremated when you die and get free Whoppers for life. Then we sent the case and earned the equivalent of one gold.
A few months later, we discovered that the Miami Ad School had entered the idea in the ANDY Awards student category and ‘Flame Grilled You’ was a finalist. What’s more, we would participate by videoconference of the LIVE broadcast on Meta. Our first reaction was “Wow! That’s awesome” and the second was “are we going to have to say anything? Our English is horrible.”
The cold in the belly increased, even more, when we learned who was on the jury:
Nick Law, Hugo Veiga, Monica Moro, Andrew Keller, Olivier Apers, Jaime Robinson, AJ Hassan, and many others.
Finally, the evaluation began. There were 5 ideas including ours, of which 3 were films with an extremely high production craft level.
We thought, “Wow. Is this possible for students to do? Do we have any chance here?”
When it was our turn, our lousy English and an equally lousy delay in the connection made us misunderstand whether the first judge was talking good or bad about our work. But from Jaime Robinson and especially Monica Moro, we began to realize that yes, we did have a chance. And it was magical to see a work of ours being praised and recognized by the high level of international advertising leaders. Of these compliments, the phrase that most struck us was from Andrew Keller.
He said, “I hope Fernando [Machado] is watching … c’mon dude. Make it happen. ”
By the time they announced that we had won, we couldn’t hold back: we screamed, jumped like idiots and hugged each other, grinning from ear to ear. It was very rewarding.
Yes, ‘Flame Grilled You’ helped us get a lot of job offers and that was great. But what has changed the most in our lives is showing our creative potential for ourselves and inspiring us to do something like that, but now for real, in real life.
And Fernando, C’mon dude.