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About

 

- Journalist and Advertising Executive.

- Professor for 30 years at the Federal University
of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), in the fields of Marketing,
Advertising Design and Film.

- Founding partner of Martins & Andrade Comunicação.

- Graduate Degree in Film and Television from the
University of Texas/USA.

- Specialization in Social Marketing at the WHO
in Washington DC.

- Consultant for Unesco in the field of Higher Education.

- 30 years experience in Marketing and Advertising
in Porto Alegre, São Paulo and Paris.

- Judge at the Lions Advertising Awards in Cannes.

- Curator of the project Itaú Cinema Live more.

- Consultant for Marketing and
Communications companies.

- Fluent in English, French and Spanish.

 

The founder of traditional advertising agencies in the Rio Grande do Sul market, Laerte, with 40 years experience in the industry is, above all, an expert in living life. He knows how to enjoy life and sample its many flavors. Films, music, wine, travel, food. In his own words, “that’s where life really happens and we can observe human behavior, which is so important in our profession”.

Many of his friends affectionately refer to him as a “bon vivant”, but every glance, situation, gesture and experienceawakens his “almost obsessive” drive for his work, applying everyday practices to breathe life into major brands and living life to the full.

 

Expertise

 

  • Marketing and Communications Consultant.
  • Digital Intelligence.
  • Special projects for consumers over the age of 60.
  • Sales Consultant.
  • Corporate Image
  • Brand Strengthening.
  • Designing Market Research.
  • Endomarketing.
  • Sustainability Projects.
  • Social Marketing Projects.
  • Institutional and Public Relations Projects.

 

A professional driven by change

www.coletiva.net – 06/03/2009

The will to change to world. This was the driving force that led Laerte Cafruni Martins to choose Journalism in the 1960s. After all, he spent his childhood surrounded by journalists at the home of his uncle Alberto André, the long-
serving president of the Riograndense Press Associations (ARI). His uncle’s home also brought him into contact with all manner of books and newspapers.

Today, Laerte says it was this contact with communication that led him to consider participating more in community life. Influencing politics, behavior and people’s lives is what led me to this medium”. After taking an entrance examination for Medical School and studying law for six months, in 1967 he enrolled in the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

(UFRGS) to study Journalism. At the time, Advertising was only one module of the course.

Of Lebanese descent, Laerte Martins was born in Porto Alegre on December 18, 1954. He nostalgically recalls playing football in the streets without any cars to interrupt play. From humble beginnings (his father Cecim was a shirt-maker and his mother, Naza, a housewife), today the grey-haired executive would like to contribute towards breaking down the barrier between Rio Grande do Sul and the rest of Brazil, and the world: In his understanding, the dualism of right or wrong, blue or red (the colors of two local rival football teams), chimango or maragato (opposing sides during the Farroupilha Revolution) has contributed to distancing the South from the rest of the country.

One professional, three careers

The same year he started college, Laerte got a job at TV Piratini, where he worked for free. Later on he realized that by getting sponsors he could make money in television. Which is exactly what he did: for one year at the broadcaster, when he produced a weekly program centered on news, literature and poetry. In 1968, while still a student, he began working at the Porto Alegre branch of the Jornal do Brasil.

He graduated in 1969 and was invited by his former professor to teach the Advertising and Propoganda module. He joined the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul as an adjunct professor and subsequently became full-time after passing a civil service examination. In addition to Advertising, he also taught Marketing, Film and Television. While working as a professor and journalist, Laerte began providing copywriting services for an advertising agency.

It was at this agency that he met Ezíodo de Andrade, who would become his business partner in 1972, when they founded Martins e Andrade Propaganda. “It was a winter morning and we were about to present a campaign to a client when we asked ourselves: why don’t we open our own advertising agency?”. The partners rented an office in the Coliseu building in Porto Alegre, hired some employees, and the agency was born. It was then that Laerte made a definitive decision: he would dedicate himself exclusively to advertising.

The agency became one of the most creative in Brazil, rivaling the most famous firm at the time, MPM Propaganda. For Laerte, it was a wonderful phase: “What I experienced in the 1970s was a period of immense creativity, incredible openness and plenty of rebellion”

Glory at Cannes

In 1979 he was invited to join the panel of judges at the Cannes Festival, which he considers a moment of great satisfaction and recognition in his career. The Rio Grande do Sul native was the only Brazilian professional from outside the Rio-São Paulo area to serve as a judge of advertising material at the event. On his return from France he was invited to do undertake graduate studies in Film and Television in Texas. Following negotiations with his partner Ezíodo, he left Martins e Andrade, and UFRGS, to study in the United States for two years.

Once back in Brazil, the advertising executive began working as a freelancer producing commercials and returned to lecturing at UFRGS. Combining his experience in advertising with his graduate degree in film, in 1981 Laerte founded Sabiá Produções Artísticas, which passed to his friend Ênio Lindenbaun in 1985. That same year, he was invited to work at the Módulo agency, where he remained for two years.

In 1987, together with Günther Staub and Valdir Loeff, Laerte set up SLM Comunicação & Marketing (now SLM Ogilvy). He worked there for five years, alongside professionals like Mauro Dorffman and Vitor Knijnik, who started as trainees and now own Dez Propaganda.

“I’m driven by change; when things start getting too bureaucratic, I feel an intense need to change.” It was with this mindset that, in 1995, Laerte decided to leave SLM and set up LM Multicom, a company that provides consultancy services in marketing and communication. Until then, he had continued to work as a professor at UFRGS, retiring in 1999 after 30 years in the profession. “I felt it had been long enough and it was time to stop.” Today, the executive focuses solely on his company, which also creates opinion poll and endomarketing projects.

Social Responsibility

When they first started out at Martins e Andrade, both Laerte and Ezíodo felt the company should also operate in the field of social and cultural responsibility. From the outset, they supported cultural and artistic movements, including theater, music, art and ecology.

Based on this principle, the partners created the “Adopt a Tree” campaign for the Porto Alegre City Hall, which
distributed 500,000 seedlings ready for planting. The campaign continues to this day, and in the year it was launched
Laerte received an award from the World Wildlife Federation. Although he has received many awards throughout his career, he doesn’t give them great importance. “To me, getting an award is the same as my dentist winning the Best Dentistof the Year award. What difference will it make to me?”

One of his goals for the coming years is to participate more in society through non-governmental organizations and pressure groups. “The little that we do to change things will make a difference to our children and grandchildren”.
He feels there is a lack of cultural support on the part of companies in Rio Grande do Sul. It is based on this idea thathe foresees working towards forming a group of people interested in the environment and culture. Another point he would like to change is the influence of the media on the culture of gauchos (denomination for natives of the state of Rio Grande do Sul), generating a movement to revive the opinion of those living in the state. “What we have today is like a military dictatorship that orders people to go to the coast in the summer, to Gramado during winter and to go into battle on Sunday afternoon Gre-Nal football derbies”.

Retirement is not an option

Being well informed is one of the obsessions of the executive who has never considered retiring, but rather sees himself always working and seeking out new horizons. He inherited this tremendous will from his father, who worked up until the day he died, last year, at the age of 97. “This is my heritage; I really enjoy what I do because I deal with so many different areas of knowledge. I’m not thinking about retiring”.

From his first marriage came his sons Lúcio (40), the father of six-year-old Martina, and Daniel (38), father to six-month-old Lila. Eighteen years ago Laerte married Inês, the mother of his third son Laerte (17) who, according to his father, is “a great film enthusiast” and studies Computer Sciences at PUC-RS. Laerte and Inês met “after exchanging glances” at a Japanese restaurant in Porto Alegre. The ceremony took place at the New York City Hall and was later validated in Brazil.

Not only does Laerte take the weekends off, but he sometimes drops everything on a weekday afternoon to enjoy one of his great passions: cinema. At the same time, he also enjoys spending time at home with his son. “Since he learned how to download movies from the internet, I haven’t gone to the movie theater as much. We’ve already watched all the Oscar nominated films at home”.

Gastronomy is another particular passion. On Saturdays Laerte can always be found having lunch at the Public Market, where he has been a regular for 40 years. He considers himself an experimental cook and dares to say that he makes a wonderful veal. “It’s really very good. At least that’s what people tell me when they taste it.” Music-wise, rock, blues and popular Brazilian music (MBP) are the order of the day. Some of Laerte’s favorites include Rolling Stones, Franz Ferdinand, Buddy Guy and “a little” Skank, but his great passion is Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen To keep in shape, Laerte goes to weekly pilates and weight training sessions. Fascinated by travel, he goes somewhere different whenever possible. He prefers not to visit touristy places, but rather truly experience every city he goes to. Some of his favorite destinations include Paris, New York and Boston, with Lebanon and India next on his list.

The mission of this advertising executive from humble beginnings is to ensure that communication is not an asset of the few, but the difference for many. Throughout his career, Laerte has been shaped by many life philosophies, and has learned that “life is the greatest asset we have, while we’re here”. To him, every day is a new beginning that life itself provides, you need only pursue change. “Every time I get up I think: it’s time to start again.”