If you plan on expanding your global market, Brazil is the country to seriously consider. Credit Brazil's passionate users of social media -- more on that below.
First, however, consider a few more mundane, demographic points. For starters, there’s Brazil's economic growth potential. The country is currently ranked eighth worldwide in terms of GDP (purchasing power parity), with $3.073 trillion USD, surpassing all other South American countries. And though it is currently working its way through a recession, Brazil still offers a positive long-term outlook, in the opinion of economists.
Second, companies should look to Brazil because of its innately social-friendly culture and ease of building engaged and passionate communities around a brand, a product or a cause. Among Internet users in Brazil, 92 percent are connected to social networks, and the average time they spend daily on social media is an astounding 3.8 hours. That's an hour more than in the United States.
In addition, a large number of Brazil's Internet users report being always connected to social networking apps: 89 percent are continually logged on to Facebook, and the same is true of 87 percent on WhatsApp and 63 percent on Instagram.
Finally, the majority of the go-to social networks your brand already uses globally are openly welcomed. This makes Brazil an easier (and arguably more logical) passageway into the global scene than, say, China, where social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are blocked.
But how do you tap into the Brazilian social scene? As inspiration, look to the examples below of four of Brazil's more interesting marketing campaigns that brands have recently run in that market.
1. Santander’s #avozdatorcida (#thevoiceofthefans)
It’s no secret that soccer (or, pardon me, football) is enormously popular in Brazil. For five years, Santander, one of the largest banks in the world, sponsored the Copa Libertadores da América, the most prestigious club competition in South American soccer. In 2013, Santander lost the naming rights to the competition, yet remained a sponsor. That year also coincided with the launch of the bank's new, customer-focused campaign, with the tagline Sua vez. Sua voz. Seu Banco. ("Your turn. Your voice. Your bank.")
Santander knew that it had to appeal to the fans and highlight the role that they play. To do this, the bank's ad people set out to record fans at games and capture the raw emotion, passion and energy they possess for their teams. This footage was then compiled into inspirational videos, which truly put the emphasis on the fans and were uploaded to Santander’s YouTube account.
As a result, Santander experienced a surge in positive sentiment on its social channels. One commentator even stated that he had been about to cancel his account, but the video convinced him to stay with Santander. The bank's YouTube page views also increased almost 200 percent, from 2 million views (accumulated since the page's launch in 2009) to 6.1 million views, in just four months.
The total time spent viewing Santander’s videos further increased, by 1,149 percent; in the entire history of the brand channel, 92 percent of the time spent by viewers was spent on the “voice of the fans” videos. That’s pretty impressive.
2. Adidas’ #allin
Adidas, official sponsor of the FIFA 2014 World Cup, gave the world a perfect example of global collaboration last year. The brand went #allin and created a social experience that leveraged a massive amount of content. Around 1,000 images and 160 videos of 100-plus Adidas-sponsored players, for instance, were created for use in real-time marketing opportunities. As the tournament unfolded, the brand’s social media team tapped into this content, profiling star players, tweeting about killer goals and highlighting teams still in the running.
“It’s the first time we’ve seen an advertiser be reactive during a sporting event on YouTube,” said Rob Pilgrim, industry manager at Google London, remarking on the brand’s impressive ability to do real-time marketing with video.
The numbers echoed Pilgrim’s sentiment. Adidas was the most talked about brand during the World Cup and saw an increase of 5.8 million followers across its social channels.
3. ABC Group’s #somostodosneymar (#weareallneymar)
Continuing the theme of soccer in Brazil, I would be remiss to omit ABC Group’s #somostodosneymar campaign. When Neymar, the captain of the Brazilian national team, was injured in the FIFA 2014 World Cup game against Colombia, the ABC Group decided to pay tribute to the player during the then-upcoming game against Germany.
To do this, the Group distributed 60,000 masks of the player and encouraged wearers to share their photos via social channels. On game day, droves of fans showed up in their Neymar masks, and more than 12,000 photos were shared on Instagram with the hashtag #somostodosneymar.
This campaign stands as a powerful reminder of the role of passion in Brazilian culture, and how that passion especially carries over to social media engagement.
4. Brastemp’s 'Sorriso' ('Smile')
To tap into a particular cultural phenomenon, a campaign need not always be digital. My all-time favorite campaign comes from Brastemp, the Whirlpool white-goods manufacturer in Brazil, which in 2010 ran an advertising campaign with the tagline, “Inspiration changes everything. And life becomes just like a Brastemp.”
The people behind this brand knew people’s frustrations with being stuck in horrendous traffic jams every morning. The problem is especially pronounced in cities like Sao Paulo, where listening to the morning radio is their only escape. So, Brastemp decided to see if it could make everyone’s day just a little bit better.
The brand partnered with 11 Sao Paulo radio stations to run a simultaneous call for smiles. Drivers caught in the morning peak traffic were invited to smile at the person in the car next to them. Then, the moments were caught on video and edited into an international commercial that caught these wonderful moments of positive transformation and achieved its goal -- inspiration.
Today, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in Brazil, both politically and economically, but this doesn’t take away from the opportunities the country offers. More and more of the Brazilian population is getting access to social networks each day. And once all these people log on, they stay connected. For brands that do their research and prepare thoroughly, these events present a ripe opportunity for globally expanding brands to position themselves at the forefront of the world’s next leading market.
Want to learn more about the digital potential of this country? Take a look at The Social Media Landscape in Brazil ebook.