Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio, Co-Founders & Creative Chairmen, GUT

Cannes Focus 2024
Created with shots Treatments

“The first time we met,” Anslemo Ramos told shots in an interview last year, of his initial introduction to Gaston Bigio, “was in Cannes. He tried to fire me.”

An inauspicious start, maybe, but Ramos went on to say that, “We met a couple weeks later, in my office in Brazil. He looked at all my advertising annuals and said; ‘Someone with all these annuals cannot be that bad. Let's work together’.”

They’re back in Cannes this year and have been working together ever since and, in the many years since that introduction, the two Co-Founders and Creative Chairmen have built an agency in GUT which puts creative bravery at the heart of everything it does.

With offices in the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and, from last year, a first European outpost, in Amsterdam, GUT is so named because those who work there follow it. They say they are a brave agency for brave clients and that shows in the output they have created for brands including Coca-Cola, DoorDash, Google and Tim Hortons, among many others.

At last year’s Lions GUT Buenos Aires was named Agency of the Year as well as Independent Agency of the Year, while GUT also topped the Network of the Year charts. Here, Ramos and Bigio tell us how awards are important because they can tell clients that ‘bravery means business’, and why the industry needs to fall in love with the advertising profession again.

What’s your favourite piece
of work from the last 12 months?

AR: I like Pop-Tarts Edible Mascot because it's so simple and stupid. We need more stupid ideas.

GB: Mercado Libre Ballboards.

How long have you been coming to Cannes, and what’s your fondest memory of the festival?

AR: I've been coming to Cannes since 1995, when I drove all the way from Lisbon. I paid for the pass myself. I slept on the floor of a friend's hotel room. And I won my first Lion ever, a Silver Lion In Film for Telecel Shepard. I thought I had to dress up so I borrowed an oversized beige suit from my dad and I bought a Mickey Mouse tie to look creative. I was hooked forever.

GB: It’s 20 years since my first time. I have been every year since then. The fondest memory will be always the Martinez hotel table that I shared with Anselmo when we decided to buy, through Godaddy, the dot-com of GUT to start our own agency.

Are awards important?

AR: Yes. Because it's a confirmation and a validation of what you're doing. One thing is for your mom to say you're great, the other thing is when your competitors say you're great - that's the last thing they want to say. There are several studies that show the correlation between awards performance and market performance over time. Which is a confirmation that bravery means business. That said, awards should never be a goal, but a consequence. If an idea wins people's hearts, it will probably win a juror's heart as well. Most jurors are people.

GB: Awards are a good metric for the industry to know how competitive you are in that field. They are just that, and deserve the weight they have, as awards can help a lot of brands to develop through the years based on those evolving metrics.

If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?

AR: I think ad people need to be less cynical about our industry. We need to fall in love with our profession again. We get paid to think and produce brave ideas for some of the best brands on Earth. We need to have more gratitude and confidence. I also think we need to do a better job at capturing the value of our ideas. Okay, that was more than one thing…

GB: Awards. I think there are too many. In sports, for example, there is a much clearer path for the main, global competitions. In advertising there are just too many tracks.

Who or what has most influenced your career?

AR: Since I'm a writer, Tom McElligott in the US and David Abbott in the UK were probably my two biggest influences. My dream was to write like them one day. I'm obsessed with books, so almost everything I've learned came from my collection of One Show and D&AD annuals from the time when I could barely afford them or understand what was written in English.

GB: Creating a creative council in my Ogilvy days generated a completely new dynamic in the way that talent could play together. That was the conceptual DNA of the actual creative network that we now have. The accumulation of talent is a concept that defines my career.

What piece of work makes you think, ‘I wish I’d made that’?

AR: The Tango Orange Man advert [Tango Slap shown right]. It was so fresh when it came out. It still slaps me on my dreams.

GB: Cadbury Gorilla. I still envy that execution and concept a lot.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.

AR: I can knit a pullover while watching a Jean Claude Van Damme movie.

GB: My first name is Eduardo. And I was born with six toes on both feet.


Celebrates some of the people who are at the heart of advertising's creative landscape, those who - whether creatives, directors, producers or other craftspeople - have made a lasting impact on the business.

Alongside specially commissioned portraits, taken by photographer Julian Hanford, we will be asking our subjects about the work they most admire, both new and old, what Cannes means to them, and what they might change about the industry if they could.

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Icons + Innovators. Anselmo Ramos & Gaston Bigioshots