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LePub APAC’s Henrique Lamenha: “What happened in Vegas will definitely not stay there”

23 November 2023

LePub APAC’s Henrique Lamenha recently returned from LIA, where he was one of the lucky few selected to take place in the on-site Creative LIAisons program.

Every year, LIA invites creatives from around the world to take part in its on-site mentorship program, Creative LIAisons – a global coaching initiative to develop, educate, inspire and nurture emerging talent.

Campaign Brief Asia spoke with Henrique Lamenha, Associate Creative Director at LePub APAC in Singapore, about what it’s really like to attend LIA and survive a week in Sin City.

You’re originally from Brazil, what made you curious to move to Asia?
No matter how far you go, you will always find a Brazilian creative. If your agency doesn’t have one, you’re doing it wrong. OK, just kidding, back to your question: I travelled to China and Hong Kong in 2017 and fell in love with Asia. I wanted to explore and get to know more about the region. So, when you get an opportunity to work for brands like Heineken and Tiger Beer, in a place like Singapore – a hub of the APAC region, it becomes really hard to say no.

What were your favourite parts of the Creative LIAisons programme?
(Apart from Meow Wolf and free-flowing drinks on LIA’s tab…) my favorite part of the program was being in the jury room, witnessing priceless discussions from kick-ass people in the industry about brilliant advertising. It was amazing to see how each piece of work is discussed, how every idea is debated, and what really makes a difference in award-winning work.

What’s the biggest lesson you took home with you, or that you think is a big revelation that’ll take your career to the next level?
What happened in Vegas will definitely not stay here. Well, at least what went on during business hours. I feel my creative criteria has been raised to a much higher level, and I made friendships that will last a lifetime. The biggest revelation to me was that no matter where you’re from, a really powerful idea will always speak to you. Creativity is a universal language.

Did you meet anyone who left an impression, and what did you learn from them?
From the young talents whom I had the pleasure to share this experience with to the advertising icons, they all left an impression, really. Susan Credle had an amazing presentation about creative leadership, Tara Mckenty and Merlee Jayme helped shine a light on diversity, Brian Collins kept us on the edge of our seats with thought-provoking ideas, Guan Hin Tay showed how collisions give birth to new ideas. Just to name a few. But what struck me the most was bumping into Mark Tutssel at a cocktail party and receiving free career advice for 30 mins straight from such a legend of the industry. A really down-to-earth, cool, helpful guy. I mean, where else would I have access to these people?

Not to mention the jury experience. Sitting in an LIA jury room and witnessing all the discussions that happen about the world’s most brilliant ideas is a priceless experience. PSA: don’t underestimate what you write in your entries. They really read everything.

For anyone who thinks LIA is one big party, are there any misconceptions of LIA and Vegas that you can dispel?
If you think Vegas is one big party… well, you’re actually right. But it’s not only that. Everywhere you look there are conferences, meetings, seminars… You can see people with credentials around their necks from left to right. And the Creative LIAisons program was no different: whatever people decided to do with their free time at night, they would show up every single morning, coffee in one hand and a pen in the other, eager to learn and improve their careers. And when you sit in a jury room for 11 hours straight, you can only call that a party if you’re an advertising nerd like me.

You joined Publicis in 2021, moving to LePub this year – a new agency model where brands meet culture at the intersection of data, creativity, and tech. How are things going in APAC so far? Any favourite campaigns you’ve been involved in?
Things are very exciting around here (and busy!). From all the stuff that we put out, I’m really proud of the 22:31 idea for Tiger Beer because of the collective effort in a super quick turnaround to make it happen. And a special mention to “The Brewery” film that gave us the opportunity to work with such a classic like Eye of The Tiger.

In terms of this year’s LIA winners, is there one campaign that you loved most? Why?
Tough question. It’s really hard to choose just one. Unbranded Menu, Apologize The Rainbow, Papa, Prêt à voter… But the one that I thought was really interesting is called “The Most Beautiful Sound”, in which they captured the sound of cancer cells dying for the first time ever and played to patients undergoing treatment. I think it’s a fresh approach and a really touching idea.

How do you feel about the entire experience overall?
It was an amazing opportunity to be at LIA with so many talented people, breathing creativity and making connections with awesome brains from all around the world.