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Value-Driven Culture: AKQA São Paulo's Success with Google, Netflix, and Usher featuring Co-Chief Creative Officers Hugo Veiga and Diego Machado

Hugo Veiga & Diego Machado

Hugo Veiga & Diego Machado

40 minutes

Mar 31, 2024

Value-Driven Culture: AKQA São Paulo's Success with Google, Netflix, and Usher featuring Co-Chief Creative Officers Hugo Veiga and Diego Machado
Interview Highlights

In the fast-paced world of advertising and design, where every brand seeks to stand out, the culture within a company can be the secret ingredient to success.

AKQA, born in São Paulo in 2013 from the minds of Hugo Veiga and Diego Machado, isn't just any agency – it's a creative powerhouse fueled by a unique culture that treasures human connections, innovation, and pushing boundaries.

These things form the cornerstone of the remarkable journey of AKQA São Paulo, as shared by its Co-Global Chief Creative Officers, Hugo Veiga and Diego Machado.

Cultivating Loyalty through Culture

At the core of AKQA's triumph lies its robust organizational culture, directly impacting its employee turnover rates. Unlike many workplaces where dissatisfaction is rife, AKQA nurtures a culture that resonates with personal values, keeping its team deeply committed. While 9 out of 10 workers in poor culture conditions ponder quitting, AKQA boasts a workforce invested in the company's vision.

Promoting People-Centric Culture

Hugo Veiga reflects, "When you start a business, everything is just a vision." At the heart of AKQA's growth lies a profound commitment to nurturing a culture where people flourish. It's more than just accomplishing tasks—it's about finding individuals whose values resonate with the company's vision. By fostering a sense of belonging and trust through actions, AKQA São Paulo ignites a flame of loyalty and commitment that repels thoughts of seeking opportunities elsewhere.


Creating a Home Away from Home

From its inception, AKQA São Paulo aimed to break away from the sterile corporate vibe, opting instead for a cozy, homely atmosphere.

This vision permeated every decision, from selecting an architect specializing in creating warm, inviting spaces to embracing the buzz of an open kitchen.

Their guiding principle, "Work of our lives through the happiest process," underscores the importance of a joyful work environment.

People First Approach

AKQA's hiring philosophy deviates from the norm, focusing on individuals rather than titles or departments. This approach fosters a sense of community where everyone's unique talents are valued, eliminating the divisive patterns often seen in workplaces. Their commitment to assembling the best talent has attracted prestigious clients like Netflix and Google, drawn to AKQA's emphasis on quality work over sheer growth.


Cultivating Creativity and Collaboration

AKQA's culture isn't confined to client projects; it's a way of life within the company. They host events that fuel creativity, from intimate dinners to collaborations with renowned artists like Usher and Lady Gaga. These partnerships extend beyond traditional boundaries, reflecting AKQA's commitment to exploring new avenues of creativity.


Innovation as a Hallmark

AKQA's dedication to innovation has garnered them prestigious awards, including two Grand Prix at Cannes for their groundbreaking work on "This is America." But what truly sets them apart is their focus on creating meaningful experiences. Whether it's through cutting-edge websites or immersive virtual reality, AKQA consistently pushes boundaries, reshaping the digital landscape.


Small Acts, Big Impact

Diego Machado highlights the transformative power of seemingly small acts. Whether it's flying the entire team to a prestigious event or hosting collaborative dinners with artists and architects, these decisions shape the culture and mindset of the organization. The spontaneity and authenticity behind these gestures lay the foundation for a vibrant creative ecosystem, where every individual feels valued and inspired to contribute their best.

A Bright Future Ahead

In essence, AKQA's culture serves as the driving force behind its success. By prioritizing human connections, fostering creativity, and daring to push boundaries, AKQA has cemented its status as a leader in advertising and design. As they continue to innovate and inspire, the sky's the limit for AKQA and its team of creative visionaries.

In a world where creativity knows no bounds, AKQA stands as a beacon of innovation, redefining what possible one project is at a time.

Official Transcript

In this captivating interview, we delve into the profound impact of organizational culture on employee turnover rates, guided by a remarkable statistic derived from a  SHRM’s Global Culture Research Report: “Nine out of 10 workers who rate their culture as poor have thought about quitting.”

This statistic compels us to unravel the intricate dynamics that shape the retention landscape. A strong organizational culture possesses an enchanting allure, weaving a tapestry of shared values, beliefs, and norms that captivates employees within its embrace. Within this immersive environment, individuals find solace and purpose, their personal values harmoniously align with the organization's vision and mission.

This fusion fosters a profound sense of belonging, igniting a flame of loyalty and commitment that repels thoughts of seeking opportunities elsewhere. Thus, a robust culture becomes a barrier against turnover, cultivating sustained engagement and tenure.

In the exciting interview that follows, we embark on an impressive journey with Hugo Veiga & Diego Machado. Veiga and Machado are founding members and Co-Global Chief Creative Officers of the renowned AKQA São Palo office in Brazil, a WPP company. Recognized as the world's most-awarded copywriter and art director at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Hugo and Diego won a record 23 Lions for five different projects last year.

Their work for Dove Real Beauty Sketches earned Latin America's first Titanium Grand Prix, and has become the most-watched branded film of all time on YouTube with more than 165 million views. Time magazine named it the best commercial of 2013.

Hugo, Diego, thank you so much for being here. Welcome.

Diego Machado: Hi, Felicia, thank you so much for having us.

Hugo Veiga: It's a pleasure. Thank you.

How did you get started when you founded AKQA, São Paulo? Can you share the story behind its inception?

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