The Giant Is No Longer Asleep

In new spot, giant arises from scenic Sugar Loaf Mountain

After years of hearing Brazil referred to as a sleeping giant, Diageo’s Johnnie Walker is appealing to the fast-growing market with a blockbuster spot recognizing Brazil as a colossus that has finally awakened. In “Rock Giant,” the colossus emerges from Rio de Janeiro’s scenic Sugar Loaf mountain landmark.

“We lived with the image of having a lot of potential but not really taking advantage of all the wonderful resources we had,” said Alexandre Gama, president and chief creative officer of Neogama/BBH, the Sao Paulo office of Johnnie Walker’s global agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. “[People used to say] Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be. We don’t accept that any more.”

In the spot, which broke Friday evening on Facebookand on Brazilian TV on Sunday, the earth cracks and boulders fly as Rio residents watch a giant arise from the famous rock formation. He carefully sets down the cable car that runs along Sugar Loaf Mountain and stands tall. As he takes his first steps, the words “The giant is no longer asleep” appear in Portuguese, before the campaign’s familiar “Keep Walking” global tagline, tweaked to read “Keep Walking, Brazil.”

Mr. Gama said the campaign came about after David Gates, global category director for Diageo’s whiskey brands, visited Brazil early last year and wanted to meet Mr. Gama. During their meeting in the hotel lobby, Mr. Gates, who was previously Diageo Asia’s marketing director, said he felt the kind of momentum was happening in Brazil that he had witnessed earlier in China. He said that opened the possibility to create a campaign that would tap into this change in a very Brazilian way. Diageo is also experiencing Brazil’s momentum first hand, as Johnnie Walker’s fastest-growing market with a 30% annual increase in sales volume.

On his way to Rio’s downtown airport one day to catch the shuttle back to Sao Paulo after a client meeting, Mr. Gama glimpsed Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the idea was born. He said it was important that the message about the sleeping giant awakening was delivered by a non-Brazilian entity like an international brand, so the tagline “Keep Walking, Brazil” spelled the country’s name with a ‘z’ rather than using the Portuguese spelling, Brasil.

Mr. Gama said the spot had more than 187,000 views on YouTube by Sunday night. He helped the spot go viral by sending it to his friend Luciano Huck, a popular Brazilian TV host who has more than three million Twitter followers and tweeted about the spot. The agency also bought a full-page ad in the form of a false cover run by one of Sao Paulo’s leading daily newspapers, Folha de Sao Paulo, with “Sugar Loaf Mountain was part of a giant” as the lead story.

The complex production employed 420 people.

“The challenge was how to make someone covered by birds, trees and rocks look powerful,” he said. “That was the biggest problem.”

The spot, directed by Gorgeous with post-production and composition of the giant by The Mill, required special software to be written enabling the trees to react to the movements of a giant more than a mile high. [ Source : AdAge ]

Brazilian Waves in Global Music

When Carmen Miranda first set foot in New York City for her Broadway debut in 1939, Americans experienced love-at-first-sight with Brazilian culture. The profound fascination of Americans with Samba, Bossa Nova, Brazilian-Jazz and Brazilectro has been the subject of many compilations, but now for the first time, the story is being told in detail by its main players in the documentary “Beyond Ipanema – America’s Love Affair with Brazilian Music”.

Featuring interviews, new performances and classic archival footage, the film will revisit milestones such as Carmen Miranda’s Hollywood heyday, the obsession with the Girl from Ipanema, the timeless Bossa Nova recordings by Frank Sinatra, the commercial success of Sergio Mendes, Caetano Veloso’s acclaimed American performances, the rediscovery of Tropicália and Os Mutantes by college kids, the current seduction of Bebel Gilberto, and much more. The history of America’s love affair with Brazilian music, in the words of musicians, producers, and journalists. From Bossa Nova to Favela Funk, from Carmen Miranda to Bebel Gilberto, Gilberto, the story of music that changed the world is about to be told by the ones that lived it. ‘Beyond Ipanema: Brazilian Waves in Global Music’ is a Guto Barra and Becó Dranoff film, Written and produced by Guto Barra and Becó Dranoff. Directed by Guto Barra.


Rio Brakes

Presented by Factory 25

Set against the volatile and dangerous world of the favelas, Rio Breaks tells the story of two surf-obsessed friends, 13-year-old Fabio and 12-year-old Naamã. The pair live in Rio de Janeiro’s Favela do Pavão, which is controlled by one of the city’s most dangerous drug gangs. However, their attention is focused on the waves of Arpoador Beach and on a coming surfing event that may help them become professionals and escape the world of gangs. Nominated for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival and winner of the Special Jury Mention at the San Sebastian Surfilm Festibal, this Sundance Channel co-production by Director Justin Mitchell (Death Cab for Cutie: Drive Well, Sleep Carefully,Jenny Lewis: Welcome to Van Nuys, Ted Leo: Dirty Old TownSongs for Cassavetes) and Writer Vince Medeiros (Surfing Huck Magazine) is an inspired and hugely original documentary that takes the surf film genre into never-before-seen territory. Festivals: Festival do Rio, Hawaii International Film Festval, WaveRiders Film Festival, The London International Documentary Festival

Date & Time : Aug 6, 2010 @ 7:30pm   |   Location: 92Y|Tribeca, 200 Hudson St  Directions   |   Venue : 92Y|Tribeca Screening Room   |   Code : T-MM5FA33-01   |   Price : $12.00   |   Catalog # FTF-014   |   Release date : August 31, 2010   |   Director : Justin Mitchell   |   Length : 85 min   |   2009


Rio – The Movie

From the creators of Ice Age, Rio is an upcoming 3-D animated film from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. It is directed by Carlos Saldanha – the Brazilian director of animated films, and written by Don Rhymer. The characters are voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Rodrigo Santoro, Kate del Castillo and Bernardo de Paula. The film is expected for release on April 8, 2011. Click here to go to the official Rio – The Movie website

Brazil is calling you

Seu Jorge + Almaz @ Terminal 5

Details  | Location : Terminal 5 ( New York City )  |  Date : Friday 7/30  |  Notes : All ages  |  Doors: 7:00 PM / Show: 8:00 PM  |  $40 advance / $45 day of show  |

Brazilian musician and actor Seu Jorge has often taken the road less traveled, even when most other people in his shoes would choose an easier path of instant gratification. Fans of the cult classic film City of God will recognize Jorge for his portrayal of the character Knockout Ned. Sadly, Jorge holds something in common with the fictional Ned — street violence killed his brother.

But instead of turning to revenge as Ned did, Jorge chose a more positive path. While still running the streets, he learned to play guitar and harness his vocal chops, and in turn became one of the most revered Brazilian musicians of the past decade.

Born Jorge Mario da Silva in the favela Belford Roxo of Rio de Janeiro, the 40-year-old singer has released four solo albums. They range in sound from the soulful samba of his first LP,Samba Esporte Fino, to the acoustic rock of Cru, to the critically acclaimed Portuguese David Bowie covers on the soundtrack to The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. (Jorge also portrayed the guitar-playing deckhand, Pele dos Santos, in the film.)

However, it’s his latest record, Seu Jorge & Almaz, that brings him to Terminal 5 – in New York City – and on this Friday, July 23, to the Fillmore Miami Beach on the first stop of his summer tour. The album takes yet another musical tack, although again it tackles covers. The 12 tracks rework songs by Brazilian mainstays such as Jorge Ben and Noriel Vilela as well as artists including Michael JacksonKraftwerk, and Roy Ayers.

Jorge adds his unique gravelly voice to the psychedelic stylings of Almaz, a loosely formed group made up of drummer Pupillo and guitarist Lucio Maia — originally of the band Nação Zumbi — along with bassist/composer Antonio Pinto. “This is the music we love, the music we grew up on,” Jorge explains. “We didn’t worry about the lyrics; we just made the music having fun.”

Produced by Beastie Boys engineer and longtime friend Mario C. (Mario Caldato Jr) and released on Stonesthrow subsidiary Now-Again, Seu Jorge & Almaz seems to be another new introduction to Jorge for music lovers worldwide. The crowd-pleasing scope of the project wasn’t intentional at the outset, though. “We all had come together to record a song for Walter Salles’s film Linha de Passé and had such a good time, so we recorded more music, maybe 16 or 17 songs right after, which became the album,” Jorge says. “We want to show that Brazilian music is more open, not just drums and bass.”

On the album’s first single, a take on the Roy Ayers classic “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” the group hits a home run with Jorge’s dark, laid-back vocals riding spacey synths and electric strings that bring to mind a hazy, late-summer Rio afternoon. The B-side, a cover of Martinho da Vila and João de Aquino’s “Cirandar,” is a more stripped-down samba groove met with well-placed psychedelic effects and cuica sounds.

Each track on the album seems to represent a different influence of the group, with the result a fresh, unmistakably Brazilian-rooted interpretation. “Growing up with music in Brazil — especially black people — everybody grew up with American music: Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Chic,” Jorge recalls. “Most of the people, especially the poor people, don’t get an opportunity to read a book, and the music replaces this. Music is very important in Brazil. Samba, it’s like a food for us.”

He is quick to reference Brazilian artists including Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto, and Gilberto Gil as influences, but looming above them all, for Jorge, is the late King of Pop. “To be honest, my big, big idol is Michael Jackson because he’s done so many things: singing, acting, dancing,” he says. “I never imagined I could make music and act at the same time, but now I have the opportunity, and I would like to thank Michael and other American artists like Gene Kelly for the inspiration.”

The inspiration really struck some 20 years ago, during a sad time in his life. After his brother was killed, his mother had to sell his home to raise money to survive, and Jorge found himself on the street. He picked up the guitar and soon was playing anyplace that would have him, even for free. “Music was fun — emotions, talking about the city, the people. It was never about the money,” he says. “I still have the same feelings now.”

With his first band, Farofa Carioca, Jorge wrote most of the music for the group’s debut album, 1998’s Moro no Brasil (I Live in Brazil), and subsequently appeared in a Brazilian music documentary by the same name. This led to his introduction to the film industry after a few years in musical theater, and eventually that breakout role as the cool bus-driver-turned-avenging-brother in City of God. Since then, Jorge has gone on to play roles in a handful of movies, including the British prison break feature The Escapist, and Casa de Areia, a film about white Portuguese settlers who try to move in on a “quilombo”— a runaway slave community in which Jorge plays the quilombo’s leader.

As the conversation switches back to Brazil, Jorge’s tone becomes noticeably more excited, speaking about the upcoming presidential election, Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016, and his country hosting the World Cup in 2014. “Brazil is one of the best countries in the world. The food, the people, the samba,” he says. “If they don’t know, the rest of the world needs to see!”

Sources: Bernard Hacker, Terminal 5, blog Seu Jorge