Facts Based On Lies.
English adaptation from the original here.
Rosfran Duarte, mixed name of his mother Rose and his father Francisco, was a pretty cool kid. He was born in an humble family in a neighbourhood called “Cascadura” (Hard Shell — Free translation) on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He grew up in the neighbourhood and knew and got along well with everyone there.
He has been an average student, but he really liked to make fun of everything and everyone. When he speaks, everyone laughs. He was the funniest guy in the school. When he finished his studies, he just wanted to work. He didn’t want to go to college because he needed money to help with the family.
He found a work position for an administrative assistant, whatever the hell that means, in a company in the neighbourhood of “Botafogo” (Set fire — Free Translation). He made the interview and got the job. It was an advertising agency.
In a couple of weeks he was getting along with everyone in the office. He was super funny and full of suburban slangs, and that leads him some credits on some ideas that agency created. Everything informal. The ideas came out during coffee breaks.
One of the Creative Directors asked him if he could write a funny story for a radio spot for one of their clients. In four hours, he wrote five options. All great stories. The creative director liked it so much, that he offered him a job as a junior copywriter.
“But you need to change your name, dude! Rosfran does not sound good. What about Ross? Sounds much better! “.
Rosfran, now Ross, accepted without arguing. In six months, from delivering mails to the people, he became a junior copywriter working on scripts for radio and TV and writing funny headlines for prints and outdoors. His popularity grew up and he became a legend in the agency.
“Our suburban star!”, used to say the agency owners.
It looked like he was living on another planet. His agency colleagues used to tell him to get out of the suburbs.
“Move closer, man! Suburbs are so end of the career! “
He didn’t listen. He liked the life he had.
In one year he produced his first commercial for television. He even had a barbecue party with Samba at his house with the whole family to watch the commercial on Sunday Night national TV. He was proud and wept after seeing his mother getting emotional.
In the beginning of January, he was called to the Creative Director’s office.
“Ross, do you ever thought about winning a Lion in Cannes.”
“What the fuck is a Lion in a “can”?!”, he thought.
“So, I’m choosing the teams to create only for Cannes and I want you in this team! Are you in?”
Ross accepted. He didn’t even know what he had to do, but seemed to be a good deal.
The next day, he arrived early at the agency and went to the part with the separate teams for the Cannes Lions task. He met his partner, one of the most awarded art directors in town. He sat on the beanbag and they began to chat.
“So where are the briefings?” asked Ross.
“LOL! Dude, you’re really fucking funny! We took the best job in the world. There are no briefings. We just need to have great ideas for any of our clients or could be even that bar on the corner. “
Ross doesn’t get it. What was the reason of that? He wondered, but did not care much because he had just received a raise. He was happy and creating with his partner.
In the end of March they had all set. Case Videos, Presentation Boards, texts and all the details for Cannes entries. Ross and the whole team were extremely excited. They could not wait for June to see the results.
Ross had to apply for his passport urgently. He had never even traveled in a plane in his whole life and now he would fly to France!
Arriving at the festival, he was trying to fit in with the people from the other agencies, but everyone looked at him with the expression of “Who the hell is this guy?” Ross dressed like an average Joe. He had no jeans shirt or checked shirts. Everyone thought he “didn’t look like an ad person” and everyone asked him the same questions:
“Are a real copywriter? Where did you work before? Only one agency in life?”
He doesn’t get the tone.
On the first day of the results he was extremely happy. He managed to be in the shortlist with that Sunday Night commercial. He remembered his mother. Almost wept there.
Some other guys from the other agencies were kind of sad. And Ross wondered what would be the reason.
“Fuck! I only won 5 bronze lions and 2 silvers so far. I wanted at least one gold, man! “
“WHAT!?”, Ross thought with himself.
“Dude! You guys entered 7 campaigns and won a Lion with each one of them. You have to celebrate!”, told Ross.
“No, man. All Lions were with the same campaign. “
Ross was a smart guy and began to observe the movements. He looked carefully to all the people and their badges. He saw that all his agency colleagues were going out to have a lunch with someone who called themselves as recruiters or headhunters.
He began to wonder about everything, but really wanted to see the winning campaigns. He went downstairs in the Palais des Festivals and went to see all the winners one by one. He admired and tried to learn from each one of them. Wherever he was, he overheard some group of Brazilians, mostly just men, commenting about the winners.
“Bro! This campaign it’s a scam! I know the guys who made it!”
“Off record, guys. This idea was ready in our agency about one year ago, but we had no customers yet! Hahahaha! We are happy as hell with all the 6 Lions we got from this one. “
Ross, just wanted to be Rosfran again. He was no longer feeling part of that environment. He was isolated and with no friends. For the first time in his life he wasn’t smiling at all.
He just wanted to go home. In one year working in an advertising agency, he could not understand what that was about. What some of those people really wanted. What were their motivations?
He get on board in the plane to Brazil without any Lion in luggage.
One of the agency’s art directors traveled beside him. The guy talked the whole trip about all the parties and how he was hangover everyday. Off the record, he told Ross.
“Dude, don’t tell anything yet, but with all the 8 Lions I won, I get an offer to move to the United States! Just need to go back to Rio de Janeiro and start the visa process!”
He landed in Galeão Airport in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday evening. He took two buses to get home and could not wait to meet his family. After four days, he smiled for the first time.
In the next day he woke up, drank his coffee with milk, ate his ham and cheese sandwich and went out to buy the newspaper.
He came back home and separated the newspaper in sections. Took a pen, sat down on the couch and opened the job ads.