Latin America

Latin America

From luxury to sodas: the explosion of social media marketing in Brazil

04 Jul 2012

Social Media Brazil


We all know Brazil is one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. It also became one of the game-changers in the worldwide social media scenario.

Brazil has the fifth-largest population in the world, and ranks among the top countries in Internet usage: in 2011, there were more than 80 million internet users, which is almost half of the country’s population.

Facebook has become the most-engaging social network in the country, with visitors averaging 4.8 hours on the site, and it’s the top social networking destination, with over 51 million users (more than 25% of total population).

Need some more figures? Brazil is the second country in the world in terms of both Twitter and Facebook users, falling only behind USA – all of this despite the fact that Orkut has been the major social networking platform in the country until last year, as we recently discussed.

In order to understand how fast things are changing in Brazil, we can mention the fact that 99% of the income tax forms are delivered via internet, in order to save paper. Today we want to present seven brilliant examples of social media-powered campaigns, all of them very creative, and able to show what “consistent with the target” really means.


Coca-Cola happiness refill

Does “happiness” mean “being connected?” Apparently, when it comes to teenagers, Coca-Cola thinks so.

As in many places in the world, being a teenager means little money but it also means a lot of friends. That’s why Coca-Cola created “Happiness refill”: the effort is aimed at Brazil’s young, emerging middle-class consumers who love their mobile phones but can’t afford a decent data plan in a country with few free Wi-Fi hot spots (more than 80% of this target group uses a prepaid phone).

The system is very simple: when you press the lever with a phone, it connects via Wi-Fi to Coca-Cola browser while you see the black liquid falling down through the screen. The app allows topping-up instantly. 20 megabytes are “20 liters of happiness”, that will last about two weeks for moderate users, and a week for heavy users. Of course, consumers can return for more refills.



The “soda machine” has been tested in a Coca-Cola kiosk in Copacabana and another kiosk at The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, PUC-RJ.

Coca-Cola made the deal with the wireless provider Oi, but the idea is to use all operators soon. If the “Happiness Refill” is successful, it could be used elsewhere in Brazil and in other emerging markets with a fast-growing young population needed to spend more time online.

Brazil is an innovative market for Coca-Cola. Previous initiatives – all of them part of the Wieden+Kennedy’s “Open Happiness” global campaign – included the “Happiness Truck” which toured Rio last year, giving away soft drinks and some unexpected items like surf boards and soccer balls:



The social home tour

How to mix social networking with a real estate project of luxury condos in Rio de Janeiro?

Let’s be honest: the housing market is not very exciting, and all estate agents keeps on promising the same old things. That’s why a campaign was created to offer a “condo tailored for you” using social media.

Thanks to technology and social networks, luxury condominiums could be differentiated from others. This idea created a favourable atmosphere for sale by building a positive and emotional relationship with the potential buyer:



The most interesting aspect of this campaign? It required a low budget and no particular technical skills, yet just a great idea!


Sex, ____ & Rock’n'Roll

A rock festival with no drugs? It sounds like a contradiction. I mean, we all know the world-famous mantra of the ’60s: Sex, Drugs and Rock’n'Roll.

And since the first glorious edition in 1985 – with the legendary performance of the British band Queen – Rock in Rio has been one of the most important rock festivals in the world, counting over 6 million people attending 9 editions.

The Ministry of Justice through the National Drug Policy in Brazil needed an antidrug campaign that would not affect the image and the appeal of the festival.

A campaign was created to educate people on drugs usage and encourage creativity. The key element: freedom to make your own choices. That’s why people could complete the mantra “Sex, ____ & Rock’n'Roll.”

A website allowed participants to express their attitude and combos. People could write whatever they want and a site engine automatically loaded related images from Flickr. Then it could be edited in many ways, creating a unique ‘piece of art’. At the end, the resulting image could be saved as wallpaper or shared with everybody on the social networks:



What was the outcome?

  • 700.000+ hits in one month.
  • 213.000+ unique arts generated by users.
  • 15.975.000 people impacted on social networks.
  • US $5.700.000 earned media.
  • 100.000+ posts on Facebook debating the subject.
  • Only 4% of people inputted drug related terms.


SEDEX Spread It

Perhaps you have thought that the way people share content online is not very practical, since each social network has its own button and a different login.

The shipping and logistics management brand SEDEX thought this problem was an opportunity to communicate two of its main features and benefits: its speed and its capacity of reaching any place in Brazil.

‘SEDEX spread it’ consists of a button that integrates the favourite social networks of users. With a simple click, SEDEX is part of the daily lives of many people in a different and useful way: it makes sharing easier and faster.

What were the results? In three months SEDEX Spread It had over 250.000 registered users that shared more than 4.000.000 blog posts and portal news. Moreover, 20.000.000 people have been impacted on social networks.

This sort of campaigns, that offer to consumer the so-called brand utilities, are the best way to engage with the target, since the brand benefit is expressed through a real action… such as the Opel Movano banner we showed you last year!


Nike SP-Rio 2011 race

During the Nike SP-Rio 2011 race, runners could share their experience with millions of Brazilians with a step on a mat and a sensor. The immediate interaction was possible using RFID technology, with a camera that recorded the athlete running across the mat.

The comment, which was posted instantaneously on Facebook, came with an animated GIF image of the racer (taken from the video shot at the moment he or she placed his feet on the mat). It looks a bit complicated, doesn’t it? Well, take a look at the video!

Also, a confessional was used by athletes to share their experiences and feelings. The testimonials were posted on facebook as well. Besides, a ‘cheering tool’ allowed people to encourage the athletes.

The campaign impacted almost 3 million people and was awarded with the Bronze Award of Facebook Studio 2012 during its first edition. Nike Race was the only Latin American campaign among 11 winners from around the world. Facebook Studio celebrates the agencies and marketers which create authentic connections trough Facebook, and was defined as “a new award for a new kind of creativity.”


Bradesco: Everybody Knows Someone on Facebook that…

Bradesco – one of the biggest banking and financial services company in Brazil – created the series “Everyone knows someone on Facebook that …” to launch itself as the first Brazilian bank to use the Internet for transactions (F. Banking) and offers services such as checking your balance on Facebook.

Bradesco launched some Facebook etiquette rules with amusing videos and cool tips. The 6 mini-episodes mention different profiles in social networks. I’m sure we all end up identifying ourselves!

After all, everyone knows someone who posts shameful pictures, complains about everything, likes to say what’s on the menu all the time, etc. For sure, some behavioural advice doesn’t hurt!

Here a video with all the mini-episodes (only in Portuguese):



Being active also in the insurance sector, Bradesco recently launched a creative mobile ad. When the reader tries to turn the page with a finger across the tablet’s screen, the car on the ad follows and crashes because ‘unexpected events happen without warning.’


Doing a bit of research, we found out that this idea was pretty much copied from a Colombian banner campaign that ran in 2009… does it mean that South American people like to smash cars on their web devices?


Ex-Lover Blocker App by Guaraná Antarctica

Finally, everyone knows a friend who recently was dumped by a girlfriend/boyfriend.

Now, you can help those friends to avoid more humiliation! The second best-selling soft drink brand in Brazil (which has been really active on social media recently, as we discussed in this post!), Guaraná Antarctica, has launched a funny “Ex-Lover Blocker App” that will prevent your friends from dialing their ex’s number.

How does it work? The app blocks the ex’s phone number, then it selects the contact information of close friends. When the heartbroken friends try to call their ‘ex’, the app alerts the friends so they can save them from making a mistake. If the inconsolable friends decline their support and continues on with the call, a message is posted on their Facebook wall showing their moment of weakness.

It’s not the first time we see an aggressive (and vaguely tasteless) Facebook-powered campaign coming from Brazil: remember the creepy “Unexpected Babies” campaign by Olla condom?

Brazil’s digital advertising economy continues to grow, and Facebook leads as the country’s top display ad publisher and major venue for a wide range of campaigns, varying from the ones targeting kids to the ones regarding financial services, as we’ve seen in this post.

So we think it makes sense to keep an eye on the largest country in South America, and understand what’s behind these campaigns and their incredible results. What do you think?

Jessica Noguez

Jessica Noguez

Born in Mexico, after a Marketing degree in Mexico City and a master in Business Communication in Barcelona, she's been working in London as market researcher. Today she lives in Italy.


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