2021 is ending and I’m sure of one thing: at some point you came across the video of “Pifaizer”, by Esse Menino, on social networks.
The slogans of the humorist from Minas Gerais such as “are you past it?” and “vaccinations are so high”, took over the internet in July and inspired posts by brands, platforms and celebrities.
Today, managed by Mynd, the comedian and screenwriter is a poster boy for brands such as Sallve, Vanish, Beefeater, Skol Beats and Continental, collects millions of followers on his social networks and is hired by Multishow, where he ran a program called EsseMenino.mp3 , streamed on Youtube.
“I like advertising in a real and authentic way. I try to find ways to talk about the product as it is and not so much about the company”, said Esse in an exclusive interview with PROPMARK.
What was it like for you when the video went viral and you became the face of various brands?
It was never my intention, you know? I never considered myself a very popular artist. I’ve been working with comedy for three years and I’ve never seen myself doing something for Brazil, I’ve always done something more niche. All of a sudden it happened and while I feel like I didn’t plan it, I felt very prepared. There were many great opportunities, such as the program on Multishow, presenting things on Instagram etc and even with a little fear, I said “that’s it, let’s go”. With that, the advertisements also arrived and I already had the intention of showing how I would like to do it, and that was happening.
Did you imagine the video was going to rock the way it did?
At the time, I was running the promotion campaign for my special, Poodle, which I recorded a week before the Pfizer video. I thought that for the special to reach a good number, I would post a video to reach more people, because it worked that way: I would post a video and gain a thousand followers, five thousand and then it became a million with the Pfizer video.
My mind was elsewhere when I released the video and going viral is something that is not your choice, it’s the audience. There are things I wrote there that I thought was very good, like “the vaccines are so high”, but there are things that I don’t even remember I said and people liked it.
How was the contact with Mynd?
Preta Gil was already following me from other works, from my videos on the internet, but I never imagined that she would pull me to Mynd. When the video went viral, the day after I posted it, my brother and I had to print some 240 e-mails of proposals that were arriving and separate them as “this can be done” and “this can’t be done”. When Preta arrived, I told my brother that I would target Mynd and on the third day we had a meeting, closing the contract.
How do brands come to you? Do they look for you directly or do they go to Mynd?
Mynd gives a filtered. In the beginning, I broke my face because I ended up attending several meetings that I didn’t need to and I did some things I didn’t need to do, so today they give it a filter and when it comes to me, it’s already to decide whether or not to do it, decide the price and what the company wants. It’s a team effort, they make it easy for me to get in touch.
How is your way of advertising?
I like to do it in a real and authentic way, for example: a drink brand not talking about making out, about people weighing their hands etc. it doesn’t make sense, because the public knows what that product’s function is. I try to find ways to talk about the product as it is and not so much about the company.
There were already some impasses with some companies because the briefing was very “this is the best product in the world” and I think people are not convinced by that, you know? I think the point is to show how this product will work in your daily life, as it is already in your context and you don’t realize it. People like that honesty. I did an ad for 99, reading by hand, which I say I’m closing a pub even in my hand and I do it in a very honest way, you know? Because people know I’m earning money to do that.
Do you produce everything yourself or do you rely on someone’s help?
I do everything myself, 100% me. The projects I do with other writers are not about advertising, they are audiovisual projects. I find it difficult to delegate because I like to do my thing. There are days that I deliver the video at the last moment because of writer’s block, but an hour comes out. Sometimes my brother does the Chroma Key because I’m kind of bad with this technology thing.
Have you ever scripted a campaign and the customer doesn’t like it?
Straight and straight, but there’s a limit to the “redo the job” thing. We have a script approval beforehand, so that no one works harder than they need to. In fact, sometimes it is quite clear in the briefing what cannot be included in the campaign, but it has already happened. I remember bringing up some ideas at first and people being kind of scared, but I asked them to do it anyway. The one by Avon, 15 years old, was an advertisement that really rocked at the time, but I had to insist on doing it the way I did. Today, brands already know how I work, so they are more open to my ideas.
How was it for you to enter this world of advertising?
I remember when I started at Mynd, I said that I wanted to capitalize and seize the moment to make money. Sometimes, proposals come with very high values for a Reels, three stories and interacting on the company’s profile. People have no idea how this makes a difference to us artists. Advertising is what makes money for us, especially with the situation we have been facing in art, with the pandemic and everything else.
What was the first company that hired you to advertise?
To Salve. On Valentine’s Day this year, they asked me for a Reels and, look how crazy, I didn’t know how much to charge and I charged a very low amount. Vivian, who works at Sallve, told me that that was not the amount we charged in this market with the delivery number I had and gave me directions.
Is there a brand that you dream of advertising and that you haven’t done yet?
You know that I do not know. I’ll describe to you the perfect brand for me to work with and, if it fits, she gets in touch: a brand that understands what I do, thinks it’s cool, thinks it will add to their roster, that gives me the space to put the my vision there and that it is a company that does not take itself so seriously.