• Gustavo Bernardino

Viral media and Brazilian creativity


The Internet is already widespread in Brazil and the use of social media is incredibly high. A population of 210 million people speaking the same language and increasingly connecting cannot help but produce viral content that spreads all across the country overnight. Funny and clever advertising is often appreciated and accepted. Brazilians love jokes and take pride in their creativity to solve problems.


The Japanese group Toshiba Corporation, for example, understood that and followed the right intuition: they partnered up with a Brazilian company named Semp, who originally produced radio, in order to produce televisions within the country. Brazil has a very long history of Japanese immigration. So, Toshiba created one of the most famous slogans, which was “our Japanese are more creative than the others.”


The commercial aired in 2007, and nowadays, it would probably be taken with a little sensitivity. Nonetheless, the Sino-Brazilian partnership creatively utilized a funny and comic appraisal of the millions of Brazilian-Japanese people living in Brazil (which is the largest concentration of Japanese outside Japan) and an appeal to the pride Brazilians have of their creativity. The Japanese group really understood that they would need to penetrate the market appealing to the culture of the consumers.


The media and marketing in Brazil became so integrated in the popular culture that some advertisements turned into a cultural reference for many years.

Brazil is not closed-minded for new products and solutions, and investors must not worry about that. In many regions, the name of a brand, if popularized, might even substitute the name of the real thing. This is a sign of a “plastic” culture that does not deny the absorption of new elements if they are appreciated.


Viral videos in Brazil


Every month, there are YouTube videos (or videos that circulate within the WhatsApp sphere) that become viral with millions and millions of views. The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan for instance, created a commercial that got known as “The Damned Ponies”. They made it for a pick-up that they launched in the Brazilian automobile market. The video had more than 1 million views on YouTube. People would see the video only because of the content of the commercial itself, which appeared first on television and became very influential in social media.


The popularity of the commercial grew unbelievably high. 1.010 new adaptation and parody videos of the commercial jingle popped up, the video had more than 6 million views and 17 thousand comments - in only a week!


I can recall it very clearly, being in Brazil in 2011 and hearing people everywhere singing “the damned ponies” jingle. As long as it is funny, you bet Brazilians won’t care in sharing or even buying it. Okay, it was a widespread commercial but was it effective in terms of concrete sales? Yes, big time. A year later, after the campaign, Nissan had increased sales in staggering 81% and the sales of the advertised pick-up increased in 110%.


Another interesting example was in 2017 when a song started circulating on WhatsApp. I remember receiving it on my phone from around 5 different people from different friendship circles. It was a really beautiful melody that sang about the meaning of life, friendship, and simple things. The song file came with no composer in its description. It became so viral that it spread all across Brazil until there was a national hunt to find the singer, who was found in a few days and became a national celebrity. Her name is Ana Vilela. The simple recording became a national hit, and Banco do Brasil, one of the biggest banks in Brazil hired her to do a new jingle for the bank.


All Brazilian companies are pretty much aware of the viral phenomena in Brazil, which grows very organically and they try to quickly find a way to profit from it.

So there are many ways to profit inside this huge market if you know how to do it and if you can effectively communicate with its people. For that, you’ll need a good understanding of the culture, language, and the ways that information circulate within the country so you can design a killer strategy. Contact us if you need a ground strategy in Brazil or a task force to form partnerships and launch products! See you next time.

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