The Best Work You May Never See: GUT Scores Goal For Father and Famed Son In Mercado Livre Spot


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Aug. 16, 2021


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Mercado Livre, the e-commerce and financial services technology firm in Latin America, recently launched its new Father’s Day campaign, created by global independent creative agency GUT in São Paulo, Brazil. (Father’s Day was Aug. 8 in Brazil.) A tribute that has been touching fans’ hearts all around the world, the “Goal 335” explores the relationship between Zico, a Brazilian football legend, and his father, José Antunes Coimbra, who died in 1986.

Zico’s father, due to a heart condition, never saw his son score a goal at the Maracanã Stadium. A curious fact since the former soccer player is the biggest goal scorer in the stadium’s history with 334 goals so far.

Through Mercado Livre’s invitation, the soccer idol steps foot on the field at Maracanã Stadium, once again, having no clue what surprise awaits him. Once on the field, he hears his father’s voice, digitally created, making one last request: for him to score one more goal on this legendary stadium, so that this time, his father can “see” it.

“We wanted to create a connection between fathers and their children who are far away from each other and to all soccer fans in telling Zico’s story, Flamengo’s iconic player. Besides that, our film wants to show that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true,” said Thais Nicolau, Mercado Livre’s branding regional director.

Rafa Damy directed the piece via production house Santeria.

To recreate Mr. Antunes voice, the campaign used an innovative AI technology. A personalized voice dictionary was created using a mini base of phrases and speeches from pre-existing recordings and other additional material with similar vocal tones. With this vocal base, and some videos from Zico’s personal archive, alongside a neural synthesis system, the dictionary produced new phrases with the synthesized tone, recreating Mr. Antunes’ voice.

According to Soundthinkers, responsible for conducting this entire stage of sound innovation and technology, to ensure the quality of synthesis, all phrases were recorded following a unique style. Paulo Dytz, business partner and leader at Soundthinkers, explains that it is a complex process, that it is necessary to have a minimum of approximately 250 phonetically rich phrases to build the voice dictionary.

“It was a dream come true, being able to hear my father’s voice once again. I never thought it would be possible and I had this wish granted. The world has changed, and technology allowed me to have, even if for a few minutes, the feeling and joy of having my father with me again. I want to thank Mercado Livre for the opportunity, and I wish you all a wonderful Father’s Day,” Zico said.


Client Ebazar/Mercado Livre Agency GUT São Paulo Bruno Brux, Murilo Melo, executive creative directors; Linus Oura, Tiago Abreu, creative directors; Will Santos, Kayran Maroni, Fernando Cabral, creatives; Fernando Ribeiro, global chief strategy officer; Amanda Agostini, head of strategy; Diana Lopes, Mercedes Baruso, strategy directors; Amora Marzulo, sr. strategist; Barbara Reis, strategy; Douglas Coelho, social strategy director; Bruce Vital, social strategy; Guilherme Cavalcante, head of media & data; Mariane Goebel, head of production; Thais Schroder, sr. producer. Production Santeria, São Paulo; Rafa Damy, director; Felipe Luchi, creative director; Ana Paula Domingues, exec producer/production coordinator; Barbara Aranega, 1st assistant director; Antonio Carlos Accioly, production director; Bianca Marques, production coordinator; Karla Bastos, producer; Guillermo Muse, DP; Patricia Beatriz Nunes Pereira, art director; Daniela Caetano De Mesquita, prop producer; Marise Von Klay Santos, costume designer. Casting Gabriela Guimarães, Giselle Souza Favoreto Postproduction Rafael Tschope, postproduction coordinator; Paula Mayumi, Rafa Damy, Saulo Simao, editing/montage; Juliana Silva, finalizing picture. Color Bleach Color Grading. VFX/Post Line VFX Sound Production Hefty Edu Luke, Otávio Cavalheiro, Cris Botarelli, Celso Moretti, Tuco Barini, Rud Lisboa, producers; Cristiane Oliveira, coordination. Sound Company (responsible for  AI tech, creating Mr. Antunes’ voice) Soundthinkers

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