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Agency Life

Creating Is Always Better Together

Creating Is Always Better Together

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

March 22, 2018

Meet the powerhouse creative duo that loves creating (almost) as much as they love each other.

Starting out as interns at advertising agencies, Andreia Ribeiro and Ricardo Marques found their passion for creative storytelling during the early stage of their careers. When their internships were coming to an end, they were both asked to stay on at their respective companies. It wasn’t until a few years later that they found each other—and the rest, as you know, is history. Today, they’re both Creative Supervisors at Fuel Lisboa and reflect on their creative journeys, what inspires them, and more important, the best way to solve a disagreement.

How did each of you get your start in advertising?

AR: I got my start at DDB; they had a program called Summer Camp, where three copywriters and three art directors would have the opportunity to work in the creative department as trainees. By the end of camp, they invited me to stay; it was a great way to start.

RM:  I had a teacher who was a CD; he picked me and others to do an internship at his agency. Right out of the gate, in the first week, he gave us a dream brief: a Star Wars-themed brief for a major Portuguese communications company. The brief was given to a senior team and to all of the interns. We worked like crazy on it, and in the end, my partner at the time and I got our first campaign out with just a week in the industry.

How long have the two of you worked together?

AR: The same amount of years we’ve been together as a couple. Ricardo, would you like to answer that?

RM: I’m very happy this isn’t a live interview. I just need a second to say, almost 12 years. 4292 days, give or take. Together, 24 hours a day. Maybe I need some vacation.

"Real life. Nothing beats real life."

What does it mean to create?

RM: Nowadays it’s something that simply makes me happy. No need to complicate it more than this.

AR: Poof! Suddenly there’s something there that wasn’t there before. It is also called magic.

How is creating with a partner different than creating alone?

AR: Well, our two best creations couldn’t have been done without a partner. They are called Leonor and Inês.

RM: Probably because we spend so much time together, it’s kind of hard to think about creating alone; it never happens. In our case and after so many years, creating with a partner almost made us become real twins in our levels of comprehension and knowledge.         

What are the biggest differences between art directors and copywriters?

AR: That is a tricky question. Are you trying to make us fight so that you get a better answer?

RM: I have no idea and I really don’t want to know. In the beginning, I worked as a copywriter— that was, until my first CD said I was an art director. At the end of the day, I hope both sides fight for the best idea.

What are the biggest similarities?

AR: We both love ideas and know that’s what really matters. The rest is just technicalities.

What’s the best way to solve a disagreement?

AR: That’s easy. Just assume the wife is always right. In our case, that works both at home and at work; it’s a perfect arrangement.

RM: If one of us really cares about a point of view, the other usually trusts that feeling in the end. So, the wife is always right, of course.

Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

AR: Real life. Nothing beats real life. There are things that happen around us every day that couldn’t have been scripted by anyone, no matter how much of a genius he may be. Who could have written something like, “Donald Trump is president of the USA?”

RM: People, stories—it ends up being real life. I’m really curious about stories or things I don’t know anything about. It’s almost a mantra to get to know something new every day. Nowadays I have a brain full of meaningless things that one day—I really ,really hope—will have a good reason to exist in my mind’s storage.  

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Tell us about your signature “aha” career moment.

AR: I used to work at my family’s restaurant during school vacations and weekends. I was the worst waitress the world had ever seen. But more important, I was miserable doing it. Every morning, when the alarm rang, I thought to myself: “Not today, please, not today.” That’s when I realized how important it was to work at something you love. I know. I know. My “aha” moment was something that has been printed on T-shirts for decades: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. But that really made me stop for a moment and think about what my passion really was. As it turned out, it wasn’t spilling coffee over customers. 

RM: One year or so before I started working in advertising, I was finishing my degree and I was a triathlete. While I was in a camp with the national team, I saw a commercial for Nike with Lance Armstrong. I really felt a spark watching that commercial. I didn’t want to be Lance. I wanted to be the one who had that idea.       

If you could choose any market to work in besides Portugal or Spain, where would you work?

RM: New Zealand or Australia. Those guys do excellent work and must have a lot of fun in nature.

AR: Why did you take Spain out of the equation? We love Madrid; we both studied there for a while and always thought we would love to work there one day.

Anything that you’d like to add or feel that I missed?

You didn’t ask to see pictures of our daughters. That was rude.

Starting out as interns at advertising agencies, Andreia Ribeiro and Ricardo Marques found their passion for creative storytelling during the early stage of their careers. When their internships were coming to an end, they were both asked to stay on at their respective companies. It wasn’t until a few years later that they found each other—and the rest, as you know, is history. Today, they’re both Creative Supervisors at Fuel Lisboa and reflect on their creative journeys, what inspires them, and more important, the best way to solve a disagreement.

How did each of you get your start in advertising?

AR: I got my start at DDB; they had a program called Summer Camp, where three copywriters and three art directors would have the opportunity to work in the creative department as trainees. By the end of camp, they invited me to stay; it was a great way to start.

RM:  I had a teacher who was a CD; he picked me and others to do an internship at his agency. Right out of the gate, in the first week, he gave us a dream brief: a Star Wars-themed brief for a major Portuguese communications company. The brief was given to a senior team and to all of the interns. We worked like crazy on it, and in the end, my partner at the time and I got our first campaign out with just a week in the industry.

How long have the two of you worked together?

AR: The same amount of years we’ve been together as a couple. Ricardo, would you like to answer that?

RM: I’m very happy this isn’t a live interview. I just need a second to say, almost 12 years. 4292 days, give or take. Together, 24 hours a day. Maybe I need some vacation.

"Real life. Nothing beats real life."

What does it mean to create?

RM: Nowadays it’s something that simply makes me happy. No need to complicate it more than this.

AR: Poof! Suddenly there’s something there that wasn’t there before. It is also called magic.

How is creating with a partner different than creating alone?

AR: Well, our two best creations couldn’t have been done without a partner. They are called Leonor and Inês.

RM: Probably because we spend so much time together, it’s kind of hard to think about creating alone; it never happens. In our case and after so many years, creating with a partner almost made us become real twins in our levels of comprehension and knowledge.         

What are the biggest differences between art directors and copywriters?

AR: That is a tricky question. Are you trying to make us fight so that you get a better answer?

RM: I have no idea and I really don’t want to know. In the beginning, I worked as a copywriter— that was, until my first CD said I was an art director. At the end of the day, I hope both sides fight for the best idea.

What are the biggest similarities?

AR: We both love ideas and know that’s what really matters. The rest is just technicalities.

What’s the best way to solve a disagreement?

AR: That’s easy. Just assume the wife is always right. In our case, that works both at home and at work; it’s a perfect arrangement.

RM: If one of us really cares about a point of view, the other usually trusts that feeling in the end. So, the wife is always right, of course.

Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

AR: Real life. Nothing beats real life. There are things that happen around us every day that couldn’t have been scripted by anyone, no matter how much of a genius he may be. Who could have written something like, “Donald Trump is president of the USA?”

RM: People, stories—it ends up being real life. I’m really curious about stories or things I don’t know anything about. It’s almost a mantra to get to know something new every day. Nowadays I have a brain full of meaningless things that one day—I really ,really hope—will have a good reason to exist in my mind’s storage.  

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Tell us about your signature “aha” career moment.

AR: I used to work at my family’s restaurant during school vacations and weekends. I was the worst waitress the world had ever seen. But more important, I was miserable doing it. Every morning, when the alarm rang, I thought to myself: “Not today, please, not today.” That’s when I realized how important it was to work at something you love. I know. I know. My “aha” moment was something that has been printed on T-shirts for decades: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. But that really made me stop for a moment and think about what my passion really was. As it turned out, it wasn’t spilling coffee over customers. 

RM: One year or so before I started working in advertising, I was finishing my degree and I was a triathlete. While I was in a camp with the national team, I saw a commercial for Nike with Lance Armstrong. I really felt a spark watching that commercial. I didn’t want to be Lance. I wanted to be the one who had that idea.       

If you could choose any market to work in besides Portugal or Spain, where would you work?

RM: New Zealand or Australia. Those guys do excellent work and must have a lot of fun in nature.

AR: Why did you take Spain out of the equation? We love Madrid; we both studied there for a while and always thought we would love to work there one day.

Anything that you’d like to add or feel that I missed?

You didn’t ask to see pictures of our daughters. That was rude.

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