THIAGO
CRUZ



Hello! My name is Thiago, and I’m a creative leader currently based in the US.

I love my job. It allowed me to tell the story of a transgender nun, turn a business-killing consumer behavior into a business driver, create a wearable device that helps people chill, make a global fashion collection that empowers people against online hate, help the colorblind see color for the first time, poke fun at the current influencer craze, help convince a giant tech company to discuss issues of mindless phone usage, among many other things. It also allowed me to spend the last decade working for major creative agencies in five different cities, in four different countries, in three different continents. All this while collaborating, leading, and learning from people that are way smarter and more talented than me.

Below you’ll find a small sample of the kind of stuff I like to do: work that aims at positioning brands somewhere in the intersection between culture and commerce. If you’d like to know more, feel free to reach out, or visit my LinkedIn profile.



For Successful Living



Client:   Diesel
Product:  Global Platform 2020
Role:     Concept / Creative Direction / Art Direction


We started 2020 with a big shift back to Diesel’s heritage in denim and storytelling. It was time to give some love to the line that guided almost 30 years of Diesel communication: For Successful Living.

This short story dropped during Pride Month 2020, featuring the model and activist Harlow Monroe.




And the one below was launched during Superbowl LIV weekend.






Enjoy Before Returning



Client:   Diesel
Product:  Global Platform - Fall/Winter 19
Role:     Concept / Creative Direction / Art Direction

   
Wardrobing - the act of buying an item with the intention of returning it after wearing it- is a huge consumer phenomenon. People buy stuff, keep the price tag tucked in, look instagramable for a day and then move on to the next thing, and it’s quickly becoming the fashion industry’s latest nightmare. Diesel’s take on it is, if you’re going to do it anyway, why not fully enjoy it in the process?




Check out some of the content we produced to promote this idea below. The track in the film was made using parts of Diesel’s return policy as lyrics.




And we also pasted Diesel’s real return policy, in full, directly onto our print campaign and static digital/social assets.










Free Range Humans



Client:   AB Inbev / Corona
Product:  Global Branded Entertainment Platform
Role:     Creative Direction / Art Direction


Corona found out that most people spend 90% of their time indoors. So at a time when the whole planet is forced to rethink how we live, we set out to tell inspiring stories of people who decided to flip that number and pursue a life outside the cage. The first season of Free Range Humans premiered globally with eight episodes about eight different people from all corners of the planet, marking the launch of our new branded content platform Corona Studios. Check out the trailer below:




Below is a small sample of some of the episodes. Feel free to watch all eight of them on Corona’s YouTube channel.








And just like any show, a lot of content was created to tease and promote each episode, as well as extra content for those that wanted to do a deeper dive into the free range life. My favorite pieces from the promotional materials were the episode posters below, featuring architecture inspired by each subject’s home country:





Haute Couture



Client:   Diesel
Product:  Global Platform - Fall/Winter 18
Role:     Creative Direction

   
Just like any other brand out there, Diesel gets a lot of hate online. And just like any other brand out there, we could hide it, or simply ignore it. Instead, we decided to not only embrace it, but turn it into our entire F/W collection. Because the more hate you wear, the less you care.

Full case study here:




Check out below some of the content we created to promote it, as well as some images of the collection itself:











The  Inactivity Tracker



Client:   Kmart
Product:  Joe Boxer Pajamas
Role:     Concept / Creative Direction / Art Direction


We created the world’s first Inactivity Tracker, for Joe Boxer Pajamas. Like the FitBit, the Inactivity Tracker is a wearable device that connects to an app. Unlike the FitBit, it rewards users for doing nothing, allowing them to reach levels like "Couch Commander", "Cryogenic" and "You Rock!" The Inactivity Tracker was launched with an event at a Kmart store in NYC and it was also available for purchase online.



       

To promote it, we launched an hour-long film with some pretty epic inactivity.







Be a Follower



Client:   Diesel
Product:  Global Platform - Spring/Summer 2019
Role:     Concept / Creative Direction


Our Instagram feeds make us think that an influencer’s life is a dream life. But is it? The Be a Follower campaign is about taking back what rightfully belongs to all the followers out there: The effortless art of successful living.












We also created a lot of stills and other social content, in collaboration with Toilet Paper. Here’s a small selection:




And, because it’s 2019, we decided to walk the walk. Diesel’s instagram followers now have the power to become virtual shops, and reap the benefits that were once exclusive to influencers:







Phone-life Balance



Client:   Motorola
Product:  Global Brand Platform
Role:     Concept / Creative Direction


Forty years ago, Motorola invented the cell phone. Cut to 2017, and mobile has changed the way we eat, bank, shop, learn, consult our doctors, and connect to loved ones. Yet while the smartphone can enrich our lives and bring us closer to those who are far away, it sometimes separates us from those who are right in front of us. In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, more than 91% of us have a phone within arm’s reach 24 hours a day. So we launched the Phone-life Balance campaign, asking people around the world to examine their smartphone behavior.

Watch the case study:




Below are some of the individual pieces that were part of this global effort.

To begin, we raised awareness around the issue by filming real people on real vacations mindlessly scrolling their trips away:




Then, we released a social experiment that examines our mobile behavior in the real world:




We also scanned people’s brainwaves and turned the data into artistic visualisations, so everyone could see the difference between virtual experiences and real ones.






Online, we asked everyone to take the phone-life balance quiz: www.phone-lifebalance.com





Color For The Colorblind



Client:   Valspar
Product:  Valspar Paint
Role:     Creative Direction / Art Direction


Valspar is one the world’s largest paint companies. But we found out that more than 300 million people in the world are colorblind. So we started asking ourselves, what if there was a way we could make colorblind people experience color for the first time? At first, it seemed impossible. Until we partnered with EnChroma.


Case Study:


Documentary:






The Ultimate Collaboration


Client:   Diesel
Product:  Bread&&Butter Activation
Role:     Creative Direction / Art Direction


Ah, fashion collaborations! When cool brands want to partner up with cooler brands, who only want to partner up with even cooler brands. When Diesel went to Bread&&Butter in Berlin - one of the world’s most important street-style festivals in the world - we decided to create the ultimate collab. We partnered up with a true icon of Berlin’s street culture. The guy who attracts the biggest crowds in town.





Below a few images of the capsule collection designed with Diesel’s style department.








Go Small or Go Home



Client:   Lenovo
Product:  Yoga Book
Role:     Concept / Creative Direction / Art Direction


Trade shows are usually seen as an opportunity for brands to do something flashy and loud to attract major retailers. But that’s not our style. Lenovo as a brand believes that different is better. So in a trade show setting, where all other brands were trying to go big, we went small.










Hollywood Is Running Out of Ideas



Client:   IndieLisboa 
Product:  IndieLisboa Film Festival
Role:     Concept / Art Direction


We all enjoy watching a superhero movie every now and then. But let’s face it, at some point we’ll have to start asking ourselves: how many Fast&Furious sequels does the world really need?











Chicken Corsage



Client:   KFC 
Product:  #HowDoYouKFC
Role:     Concept / Art Direction


KFC wanted to reach a younger audience. But the truth is, young people couldn’t care less about KFC. The brand simply wasn’t even on their radars anymore. So as part of the big #HowDoYouKFC campaign, which spanned everything from package and store design, to TV, to social, we also created this film:




I know what you’re thinking... “So?”... The thing is, as soon as the video was posted, we also made real Chicken Corsages available for purchase online. Next thing we knew, people were talking about KFC again.

Check out the whole story here:







Taste the Feeling posters



Client:   Coca-Cola
Product:  Global Brand Campaign
Role:     Concept / Art Direction


We designed these posters as part of the launch of the new global campaign, Taste the Feeling. The campaign strategy was to move away from the grand gestures of the “Happiness” era, and instead compare the feeling of drinking a Coke to the small feelings we all experience everyday.









Daydreaming in the Life Artois



Client:   AB Inbev 
Product:  Stella Artois
Role:     Creative Direction


Stella Artois decided to skip their traditional superbowl campaign in early 2020, opting instead to focus on making a big splash later that summer. It was meant to be a big celebratory moment for the brand, but then... well, 2020 happened. Still, the campaign had to be the US launch of the Life Artois - even though everything about that life suddenly felt out of reach, to say the least. Enter Daydreams. With all summer plans canceled and everyone stuck at home, we wanted to take our audience on a journey to the Life Artois, if only in their minds.

We started by creating a weekly audio series on the first weeks of quarantine, penned by established authors and narrated by Andy Cohen, to transport listeners to the summer we all longed for. Episodes were launched on friday evenings, to help the audience transition from their working-from-home lives to the weekend in the Life Artois. After each episode, Andy hosted that week’s author for a live chat on the brand’s IG channel. The full series is available on Spotify, but these are a couple of my favorite episodes:






The campaign culminated with the launch of a branded music video. We created a cover of the classic summer tune Daydream, in partnership with M. Ward (of She&Him fame), to show that with the right mindset, we’re never too far from the Life Artois







Contact



     thi.cruz@gmail.com
     +1 646 233 7001 
     www.linkedin.com/thiago-cruz

       thiagocruz




Thank you for stopping by.