Next Creative Leaders 2019: Caro Rebello
on Nov 07, 2019
She / Her / Hers
Hometown and country:
Current employer, city and role:
McCann, New York, Creative Director
How did your upbringing, family or hometown shape you as a creative?
Growing up in Brazil and working in advertising there definitely shaped my creativity and the way I do things. The budgets there are much smaller, but the bar is high, and the turn-arounds are crazy fast. So, you are basically forced to think of ideas that are creative, effective and cheap. This makes you think on a whole different level and I’m forever grateful for that learning.
What’s your “breaking into advertising” story?
I’ve been a visual kid since I was very little. I was always drawing and painting and my favorite videogame as a kid was “Mario Paint” on Super Nintendo. I was in my first year of college when I had my first job interview at an advertising agency. I put together a portfolio of my favorite illustrations—and that’s how I landed my first internship.
What’s the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?
The work I’m most proud of is The Refugee Nation project. Impact-driven ideas have always been my passion and the type of project that shaped my career. My partner and I had the privilege of creating and leading this project for Amnesty International, where in partnership with refugees, we created the refugee flag and a refugee anthem, as a symbol of solidarity to represent 70 million displaced people worldwide. I’m so proud that the project went beyond awards, and was featured at the MoMA (the flag is part of the permanent collection) - and many other museums worldwide, at global summits such as the One Young World and at numerous refugee camps such as Lesbos and Kakuma. The flag even helped generate jobs to hundreds of refugees arriving in Europe. I’ve put my whole heart into it, and after many late nights, countless decks, blood and tears, the project came to life beautifully.
What does meaning this award mean to you?
It means a lot to me. Not only a recognition for my work, but also made me look back to where I started - in Curitiba, a city in Southern Brazil where I was the only girl in the creative department for many years. Despite the lack of female mentors in the beginning, it all made me stronger and kept me moving forward. I feel proud of where I am today and that I have the opportunity to become an inspiration for young female creatives. It was all worthwhile.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing women right now (work or non work related) and how would you solve it?
Women still face so many challenges at work, but one in particular I’ve seen little progress on: young moms not having enough support from their workplace when leaving for maternity leave, nor coming back to work. I don’t have kids yet, but I know it’ll be challenging at some level when I have. I think agencies could bring this conversation up more openly and work on a better plan for new moms, so they could feel more empowered as they come back to the game.
How do you “fill up your cup” creatively?
As an amateur ceramist, I do weird pots in my spare time. That allows me to pause for a second and reorganize my thoughts. It’s like a big breath for my brain, to give room to new ideas. Also talking to people from different backgrounds, people that work outside our industry. I usually get a lot of insights in these little moments, and this helps me a lot in my creative thinking.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to women embarking on a creative career?
Think proactively, don’t wait for the perfect brief. Find problems to solve – search on things around you, in your community, on causes you care about. I see our job more like a mission, and for me, creating ideas everyday as work is such an amazing job, so why not use this super power for good?
Next Creative Leaders 2019---Click any headshot to view their interview---