True creatives do more than create great work. They define eras, advance new trends, dynamite the logjams holding back their industries and inspire a new generation along the way. Each year, Adweek identifies today’s advance guard of innovative professionals and honors them in the Creative 100, celebrating those who are energizing fields like advertising, digital innovation, art, literature and cinematography. Prepare to meet the icons, rising influencers and multitalented craftspeople behind some of today’s most inventive creations.
For children with cancer, the experience can be especially upsetting because, in addition to the pain and disorientation, there’s an overwhelming sense of confusion about what’s happening.
Thanks to an RPA team led by creative directors Mike Van Linda and Fabiano “Tatu” de Queiroz, kids now have an incredible resource that speaks their language: the Imaginary Friend Society. Working with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and animators around the world, the team created 22 films, with characters inspired by real kids’ imaginary friends, to help children understand how cancer works and how it’s treated. An AR app even brings the campaign’s vibrant characters to life right in the hospital room.
“The Imaginary Friend Society is the most important project we’ve ever been a part of,” Van Linda says. “The utility of the campaign makes us incredibly proud, as does its longevity. It will be around long after we’re gone. However, while we love the campaign and the tremendous impact it’s had, we look forward to the day it’s no longer needed.”
Outside of work, the two find inspiration in different pursuits. De Queiroz tries to paint at least one hour a day and immerses himself in the culture of his home country, Brazil, to discover new writers, artists and musicians.
When Van Linda isn’t surfing or running, he’s recharging with his family or making up bedtime stories for his 2-year-old. “Recently, my son started telling his own stories, which has been amazing to witness,” he says. “His narrative structure is so free. He doesn’t know it, but he’s the one inspiring me.”