A tribute to Wunderman Thompson's 'unforgettable' Christiano Neves

Christiano Neves, 1975 - 2021
Christiano Neves, 1975 - 2021

Remembering creative director Christiano Neves, who has died after suffering from cancer.

Chris, born in 1975, was Dona Inês’ son, my beloved husband, Woody’s father. Luciano, Cassiano and Juliano’s brother and a wonderful human being that many across the world consider themselves lucky to call their "best friend".

In 2008, Chris decided to leave Sao Paulo and try his luck in London. With tons of talent, charisma and great work under his belt, but barely able to speak English, Chris managed to charm a notoriously stern-faced Russell Ramsey, then executive creative director of J Walter Thompson London, to hire him on the spot.

Chris started his career as an art director in Brazil, working in renowned agencies such as F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Age and DM9 DDB. He was selected as the Brazilian Young Lions representative to compete in Cannes in 2004 and became the first Brazilian head of art in JWT’s history. 

He was lauded at all the major festivals around the world such as Cannes, Clio, D&AD, and his "Yes/No" campaign for Kleenex was the most awarded print campaign in the world in 2010. His art and photography was exhibited across the UK at prestigious galleries such as RWA Art Exhibition and his films were shown at the London Short Film festival.

Even with such a prolific creative output, Chris always had his family and friends at the centre of his life. He was an attentive son and an ever present brother to his three siblings. He was a great father and loving husband. Above all else, he adored our son Woody and the extraordinary life we built together in London. 

Chris was undoubtedly a talented man. But those who knew him would say his true talent was bringing out the best in people and naturally being the light in every room. He collected friends more than awards. He cherished his family and was most happy when surrounded by the people he loved, telling great stories and making us laugh with his signature smile and charming Brazilian accent. A truly unforgettable man who was beautiful inside and out. 

Christiano fearlessly and courageously battled cancer over the last five years of his life. Sadly and tragically he left us on Saturday 17 April, surrounded by his family and friends at the Whittington Hospital.

He has left a hole in our hearts and certainly the world is a less happy place without him. Chris' legacy will always live with his son, his family, his friends and the endless stories of joy we carry of him. If you have a story, make sure you tell it.

Lola Neves is strategy director at AMV BBDO


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