Vanessa Carmo, Head of Talents in L’Agence: from the blogger’s boom to the current online extravaganza

L’Agence has been present in the Portuguese market since 1988. With over 30 years of experience, they represent people in 4 different areas: Models, Talents, Commercial and Kids.

Vanessa Carmo has been working in talent agency L’Agence since 2005, working with Portuguese celebrities such as Raquel Strada, Jessica Athayde and Vanessa Martins.

Having been with the company for 15 years, Carmo describes her time at L’Agence, from the early days of social media to the blogger’s boom and on to the present day online extravaganza, she has been through it all.

Through our conversation, she lays down all her insider knowledge on working in a talent agency and selecting talent, whilst touching on the current and future trends she has observed, keep scrolling for all the details.

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Vanessa, you have been working at L’agence for 15 years now. How has the industry evolved since you entered the agency in 2005?

So much as changed in every aspect. Starting with television that had a major step back, first with the appearance of cable TV and technologies that allow you to only watch what you want to at your chosen time, and then with platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and now Apple TV that are redirecting a large chunk of traditional TV and movie audiences. Nowadays, we don’t delegate preferences to anyone in regards to what we would like to see, but choose it ourselves.

As the Head of Talents in L’Agence, what does a day in your life look like?

I can’t complain too much about being fixed in a routine. Even at the office, the days are always busy with meetings, either with my team or clients, and I do get to travel a lot for shootings or events. Sometimes I actually miss being in a routine.

Who does L’Agence represent?

As an agency, we have been present in the Portuguese market for more than 30 years. The agency started mainly as a modeling agency, but throughout the years other departments were created to respond to market needs such as the Commercial and the Kids department, the Talents department and more recently, the Digital one.

What are the essential qualities any talent must have to be represented by your agency? Do you have any preference in terms of industry?

At the Talents department, we represent exclusively actors and TV presenters. We specialise in these areas to guarantee that we properly address all the needs of a talent’s career in this area. We look for both upcoming talents that we can help establish in the industry, but also for those who already have a career, that we believe we can take to the next level.

L’Agence 30th anniversary video, featuring Vanessa Carmo
If you could choose any international public figure to add to your portfolio, who would it be and why?

That is a hard question because when you think globally there is a great range of outstanding professionals. I would probably choose Charlize Theron. I admire her choice of roles and brands she wishes to work with, and she seems to have a wicked sense of humor.

What criteria do you follow when choosing brands for your talents?

What we have learned over the years is that, when talking about an endorsement, it is mandatory that the talent who’s going to speak on behalf of a brand truly identifies with it. You’re not going to get good results if the talent doesn’t believe in it or is not an actual consumer. The audience is much more aware today than it was 5 or 10 years ago. Besides the performance market studies or focus groups, the brand’s first concern should actually be whether the talent believes in what they are going to endorse.

New social media platforms are booming in Europe. How far will they go in Portugal in the next 12 months?

This question is like playing Tarot cards. At this point, we are seeing new platforms arise month after month. Four years ago, it was the blog’s boom, then brands were very attracted to Facebook. At this moment it’s all about Instagram, but Tik Tok is starting to make a stand in the market. I believe that the near future is going to be more about short video content and having the ability to influence in a short time format.

Does this mean that Instagram will lose its reign, or will new social media platforms and established ones coexist?

I believe Instagram won’t lose its place because, more than Facebook, it’s the go-to place for those who want to share their daily life, something which is the true essence of social media. Despite that, other platforms will obviously arise and Instagram will have to adapt to the new competition.

From an agency perspective, what are the growing trends in Influencer Marketing for 2020?

As social media audiences get more and more aware of what paid content is, the future relies on making good matches between product and influencer. You can have an influencer that has a very high number of followers, but clients are starting to value engagement way more because that is the true power of social media. Of course, to have good engagement the products or brands advertised must make a good fit with the narrative the influencer establishes on a daily basis.

Jone Conde

As a PR & Media Specialist at Primetag, I am responsible for enhancing the company's voice in both online and offline channels. From working at the Guggenheim Museum in New York to launching my own beer brand, I waste no opportunity for exploration.

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