If you read Dare!, you’re sure to have seen content from the Havas Café in Cannes – but what you might not know is that BETC Havas recently opened another branch of the Havas Café in São Paulo. Hear more about it from Erh Ray, Founder, CEO, and CCO of BETC Havas.
Why did you decide to open the BETC Havas Café in São Paulo and what is the main aim of the venue?
The idea was to change the way we operated – from the home office into the experience office. I started to idealise the Café during the most critical months of the pandemic. With social distancing, I kept thinking that we would need a place where we could reconnect when things got better. I like to say that humans are social beings – we need to hang out, share ideas, and have live daily experiences with an element of improvisation and spontaneity – and the pandemic made that even more apparent. With that, I decided that we would have our own version of the Havas Café: a welcoming and versatile place, where people could meet, work, relax, eat, drink, and enjoy unique experiences, giving us an alternative way of connecting in this new hybrid world between working remotely and in the office. We designed the Café as a place for co-working, inspiring creativity and offering great brand experiences for our clients.
How did you choose its location?
Oscar Freire is one of the most iconic streets in the city of São Paulo, from a cultural, artistic, gastronomic, and fashion point of view. In other words, it’s a place of social connection and synergy with our agency and our business. Besides that, we’re in a very accessible location – just a block from the subway station. This offers an element of urban mobility and facilitates access for our team.
Other than the Café, what other elements does the space include?
In addition to the Café, we have the cozy and intimate Prince Books bookstore, the bar and kitchen that are run by Allez-y restaurant, and the partnership with the M.AD School of Ideas (former Miami Ad School), bringing a schedule of lectures, workshops, and courses that offer information about the most trending topics within the creative industry.
Can you share some details about upcoming events taking place at the Cafe?
Designed for both internal and external audiences, we count on important partners to bring quality and inspiring events to life. We’ve already had training, workshops, tastings, lectures, and conversation circles with special guests on a diverse array of topics, meant to inspire creativity in all formats. Get-togethers and parties are also scheduled to take place there.
In addition, it is also an exclusive space that we made available to our clients, where they can book and organise different types of events such as brand activations, product launches, and celebrations of achievements, among others. Last month, for example, Reckitt organised workshops and research, and TIM telecom chose the BETC Havas Café for their 5G launch press conference in Brazil, which made us very proud.
How can people find out what’s happening at the Café?
For our employees, the cultural agenda of BETC Havas Café, the trainings that take place there, as well as news from our space, such as new partnerships, benefits, and additions to the restaurant menu, among others, are sent regularly via email marketing.
A highlight of our BETC Havas Talks focused on diversity and inclusion, activities and activations we are planning for the World Cup, and the great opportunity that the event represents for brands, aimed at both internal audiences and our clients, who are constantly visiting our Café, participating in meetings, campaign presentations, workshops and also Happy Hours.
In addition, BETC Havas Café has its own social networks – the main one is its Instagram @betchavascafesp. Information about events open to the public will be disclosed through these channels and via media campaigns, as well as promoted to the specialised press.
Would you like to add something?
We’ve been thinking of ways to integrate our client brands into the BETC Havas Café, as the Café has a culture and meaning inside our company — aiming to offer not only experiences and activations but also opportunities for branding. For instance, when we designed the food and drinks menu, it serves as a form of content. All coffees served are from JDE Group brands like L’OR and other local brands, we may include special and limited desserts from Hershey’s chocolates, and different kinds of milk, yoghurts, and cheese from Lactalis are also integrated in the menu.
We’re using the kitchen to explore Pao de Acucar, one of our supermarket brands, where the consumer can buy the ingredients for a dish directly via a QR Code and have them delivered to their home – almost like having the experience of enjoying the meal at the Café!
We have a brewery company as a client, and outside of serving its products, we may also offer classes with beer masters, create products and experiences with the trade. Additionally, this was the first agency location to have 5G signal in Brazil, and part of our plan for 2023 is to have recording studios there to generate content for all our clients.
It’s all about bringing clients inside our creative process while fostering their relationship with our agency. I believe the success of our agency relies on the relationships it has created and cultivated, and I believe the Café is the best place to continue these relationships with our advertisers and our brands.
This project is starting in the city of São Paulo, but it would be amazing if it spreads all over the world. The Havas Café was born on the Croisette, in the creative centre of Cannes Lions, so there’s nothing better than using the Havas Café brand to harness the culture of bringing people together to share and enjoy new experiences worldwide.