Joao Medeiros: 'I just want to create'
Posted on 2022 Jan,03

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Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, raised in the UK, Joao  Medeiros worked in Brussels, Antwerp, New York City, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Now based in Dubai, Joao oversees the creative output of Havas across the Middle East region. 

ArabAd picked the heart and mind of the award-winning Executive Creative Director to learn about what makes him tick, what rocks his life and the side pleasures he enjoys.


What gets you up in the morning?

I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old. So… my children.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Sitting with my teams and discussing ideas.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Sleeping in.

What keeps you in the game?

The rush of making great ideas come to life.

What keeps you up at night?

Over thinking ideas.

What would be your worst nightmare?

I can’t bear to write this one out.

What inspires you most?

People – life happening. Cliché but it’s the truthful answer.

What is the gadget you cannot live without?

My phone. I am over reliant on it, and like many people, probably also addicted to it.

What can we find on your phone?

Thousands of images of family. Literally.

What quality do you most look up to in a woman?

Haha, ok I think I better list my wife’s qualities. Generous, kind, and huge joie de vivre…and thankfully extremely patient.

What quality do you most look up to in a friend?

See above.

Who would you like to sit next to on a seven-hour flight?

Ideally no one.

If you were to change profession, what would you choose to do?

Architect or Chef. I just want to create but I can’t promise you will want to live in or eat what I create.

What do you consider to be the greatest headline of all time?

There are many but since this is a quick-fire answer, then let’s go with one I recently referenced from Nike: “Michael Jordan 1 - Isaac Newton 0”

What business tip would you give the newbies?  

Be patient, don’t chase titles, don’t be precious with your ideas, but be prolific.

Where can we find you on a Friday night?

Trying a new restaurant or BBQ with friends and family.

If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?

Teleportation. Having lived across the world you end up missing too many friends and family.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

I believe there is a season for everything. Right now, I am in Dubai and it’s where I need to be and want to be. But I wouldn’t mind a holiday in the South of France or the Maldives.




I am... tenacious

I like…seeing great work

I want... coffee

I have... gratitude

I wish... to see extended family and friends more often

I hate... when a great idea is poorly crafted

I Google... too many advertising references

I fear...  God

I regret... arguments

I love... time with my family

I need... sleep

If I ruled the world... we would be in trouble

I dream…during the day



My Favourite…

Dream Destination: A cabin in Big Sur with zero wifi

Restaurant: Home cooking; otherwise, La Petite Maison, Dubai

Hotel: Opposite House, Beijing

Meal: With friends

Quote: What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

Movie: Lost in Translation (Sophia Coppola) / Fallen Angels (Wong Kar Wai)

Flower: Sunflower

Animal: Whichever animal my son is excited about that week.

Poet: Maya Angelou

Painter: Jean Michel Basquiat

Heroes: My parents and everyone else who share an immigration story.