Monthly Archives

August 2018

Fake News in Brazil

Online Order for Brazil’s progress

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Event of the year

2018 may have been the year of the World Cup, but for Brazilians, the event that will be far more wide-reaching is the upcoming presidential elections. In October, more than 140 million voters will not only decide who will be the president of Brazil for the next four years, but also governors, senators and state and federal deputies.

For the first time in the history of the country, traditional media outlets (television, radio, newspapers and magazines) no longer hold power over political discussion in Brazilian society. Social media has been and will continue to be key in shaping opinion.

The power of social media in Brazil

With its great potential to encourage public debate, allowing the direct participation of voters, social media has also the potential to generate political polarization. This is mainly due to the way in which we access information and news through social platforms. Algorithms connect us with the content that most interests us and to people who have beliefs and opinions similar to ours, dividing society into contradictory points of view. This system also reinforces the phenomenon of post-truth, in which hard facts are losing importance in the political debate. People want to read something that reaffirms their point of view, whether it be falsehood or truth.

Amid the growing worldwide debate over the spread of fake news and its consequences to democracy, Brazil’s electoral court is in constant discussion with the press and major social media companies on how to tackle the problem that has also affected other countries such as the case of the United States elections, and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.

Fake news influence and how to combat it

On the one hand, the president of the Supreme Electoral Court, minister Luiz Fux, has already stated that the election may be cancelled if the result has been influenced by fake news. For the minister, the propagation of fake news “destroys candidacies and attacks democracy”.

On the other hand, Facebook launched its news verification program in Brazil earlier this year, in partnership with the checking platforms Aos Fatos and Agência Lupa. Both companies are made up of groups of independent journalists and have been chosen because they are part of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). After the United States, Brazil will also be the second country to adopt the Facebook tool that identifies political content ads. The registration process for the candidates, parties and coalitions that will take part in the elections began on Thursday 16th. From now on, there will be an indication that any political ad in the news feed is “Electoral Propaganda”, accompanied by the ID number of the advertiser.

One of the most popular platforms used by Brazilians, WhatsApp also decided to limit the forwarding of messages to 20 groups at a time, as a way to reduce the possibility of proliferation of fake news. The focus of Twitter will be checking and combating what the company calls “malicious automated accounts and/or that disseminate spam”, fake profiles or bots.

The debate on how to combat fake news is far from over and is not just a Brazilian problem – several countries are discussing updating their laws on the subject. The only certainty is that the Internet and social media have transformed the exercise of democracy and citizenship itself. There is no way back. Now, the question remains: how can we order this mess of information and educate a society towards progress?


If you would like to learn more about our PR Agency in Brazil and Latin America to find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your objectives, do drop us a line at

Quizzlet at SABRE Awards

Sherlock Communications takes first place at the SABRE Awards Latin America

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Following our success earlier this year, being highly commended for the very first PR Week Global Award for Latin America, we are delighted to say that Sherlock Communications has been named as the winner of the SABRE Awards Latin America, Best Technology Campaign for our Educador Inspirador campaign for Quizlet. The same campaign also won a Certificate of Excellence for the Marketing to Consumer (New Product) category.

The SABRE Awards, delivered by The Holmes Report, are the world’s largest PR awards programme and recognise superior achievement in branding and reputation in six regions: North America, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

Sherlock’s winning campaign involved to taking US tech brand, online learning tool Quizlet, and successfully launching and growing the service in Brazil. We had to make it relevant and engaging, and drive downloads from multiple audiences across the country’s diverse educational system and geographical expanse.

The SABRE Awards Winning Campaign

As Quizlet can be used by anyone to learn anything, and as access and inclusivity are values core to the brand, Sherlock achieved this goal by putting the target audience at the heart of the campaign.

We made champions of and sourced news-worthy, shareable materials from teachers and students, as well as running a wider content-sourcing and production program, identifying partners and influencers to produce regular study decks of Quizlet content, which we then promoted to press and via social media.

One example was on Brazilian Black Consciousness Day (November 20th), we marked the occasion with a Quizlet campaign that outlined the achievements of 17 Afro-Brazilians from the country’s history, often ignored in history books.  Content was developed in partnership with influencers and sociologist Túlio Custódio, creator of popular website Pitacodemia, and Stefánie Ribeiro (black rights activist, and Marie Claire columnist -15k followers on Instagram). Coverage was secured on major national outlets including R7 and Catraca Livre, generating more than 16 thousand shares on social media.

We also identified and engaged a range of highly relevant online influencers and micro-influencers such as @alexeyrusso (354k followers in Brazil), with flashcards teaching key phrases in Russian for Brazilians planning to attend the World Cup in 2018.  His video that explained (in Portuguese) how to use Quizlet was watched 46,500 times, while a similar video made by Brazilian vlogger @tiadoingles (English Auntie) got 20,300 views.  Online channels like Matemática Passo a Passo (“Math Step by Step”; 101k followers) & Canal da Física (“Physics Channel” – 28k subscribers) hosted Quizlet tutorials for niche groups of followers.  Suddenly, Quizlet had a team of well-known personalities acting as spokespeople for the brand in Brazil.  Product recognition and popularity began to build.

Educador Inspirador – Finding Brazil’s most inspiring teacher

The highlight of the campaign was the development and launch of a Quizlet-owned state and national awards program – the Educador Inspirador (“Inspiring Educator”) Awards, that searched for and recognized innovative and inspiring teachers, as nominated online by students, parents, and other stakeholders. National winners would win a trip to Quizlet HQ in California.

A custom-built microsite invited user submissions while email marketing, press outreach, and regionally targeted social media actions created widespread engagement and visibility, while staggered announcements maximised PR opportunities in regional and state press outlets. After the nominations period was closed, we initially announced the top ten educators from each of Brazil’s 27 states (compiling shortlists based on nominees’ innovative use of technology to teach; and evidence of excellence), netting extensive local media coverage.

Users then voted for winners from the top ten nominees in each state followed by the announcement of 27 state-level winners, which created yet more regional press opportunities. Each teacher received the Quizlet Premium product for their school, and a certificate, which they all photographed and posted online, creating yet more marketing collateral and user-generated content for the client.

Inspiring Educators from some of the 27 states of Brazil


For the ultimate decision, we partnered with online education portal Nova Escola (“New School”), part of the Brazilian Lemann Foundation (a highly respected educational institution), to form an independent panel of judges for final deliberations.  The campaign culminated with TV Record, one of Brazil’s biggest TV networks, airing the result (4.45min report) on national TV on the afternoon of Christmas Day (the timeslot with the highest viewing figures of the year). Reporters visited the school of Claudinei Ferreira Gundim, history and geography teacher in the remote rural city of Nova Tebas in Paraná, and showed how Brazil’s most Inspiring Educator used technology and Quizlet to innovate and inspire in the classroom despite limited access to internet and technology.

The campaign resulted in nearly 200 pieces of coverage and users from every state of Brazil, nationwide print, online and broadcast coverage, more than 60,000 organic shares across social media and widespread downloads and ongoing active users from across the country.

The SABRE Awards Latin America Ceremony takes place on September 12th in Mexico City, do let us know if you are going to be there!

If you would like to learn more about our PR Agency in Brazil and Latin America to find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your objectives, do drop us a line at

BiP coverage at Folha de S.Paulo

North America’s hottest new street artist comes to Sao Paulo

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Photographed only with a mask covering his entire face. Filmed only if his voice is distorted.  No interview audio recordings are allowed making journalists’ work difficult as they have to jot down tirelessly all that the artist says.

Asking journalists to conduct an interview without the help of audio recordings is certainly not the norm in Brazil or Latin America but perhaps not as hard as telling them they will be unable to reveal the age, name or any of the subject’s personal details. Yet this was exactly the challenge faced by the Sherlock Communications art and entertainment team, while working with our client, north-American graffiti artist BiP.

Who is he?

BiP, an abbreviation for “Believe in People”, is an anonymous graffiti artist who grew up in a low-income family in the Bronx, USA. He has painted over 100 murals worldwide, in countries including the USA, Russia and Hong Kong. His work features distinctive historical personas and cartoons and takes inspiration from the local communities where he works.

This was the case for the mural Avenida Rio Branco, his first large-scale mural in Latin America completed in São Paulo in September 2018. It’s the product of four months of uninterrupted, solitary and arduous work on a building in the República neighbourhood of the city on Avenida Rio Branco.

Coverage for BiP’s the mural has appeared in some of Brazil’s leading publications, both print and online and was have widely shared globally.

Anonymous painter background

His background is marked by both difficulties and triumphs. His parents died when he was very young and was raised by his grandmother until he was nine when she passed away. He then lived with a friend’s family. This friend’s hobby – graffitiing the local neighbourhood, greatly influenced BiP – who always watched from a distance to avoid trouble.

BiP and his friend grew apart in their late teens. The artist focused on education and excelled, becoming an important executive in a leading US financial company. After that, he left his corporate job and began to experiment graffiti, initially as an act of rebellion. Slowly his street art came to be recognized, appreciated and valued.  Thanks to the help of someone who was interested in his work, BiP started to accomplish work on bigger projects.  BiP’s work has become highly sought after and he has become famous, despite his anonymity.

With over  100 large-scale murals painted globally, from the United States, Russia and China, to several countries in South America. BiP ’s mural subjects range from historical figures, cartoons, to people in the local communities where is painting. This is the case of the mural that he graffitied in São Paulo in August 2018. This was four months of uninterrupted and arduous work in a building that is in the República neighbourhood, visible from Avenida Rio Branco. His work has been reported by the vehicles Veja São Paulo and Folha de S.Paulo media. Brazilian media frequently cover the artist and his work and he has an international following both his website ( and his Instagram account (

What was the challenge?

His anonymity has motives: the artist asserts that art must be superior to the ego and being anonymous guarantees this.

Also, his unknown identity enables him to hear his works critics firsthand.

BiP’s philosophy is that, for the poorest, graffiti is a way of leaving a mark in the world, showing that they exist despite being invisible to most of society. It is a way to, somehow, control the environment where they live instead of submitting to its harsh reality. This is one of the main social functions of graffiti: giving people with arguably limited options the chance to show their art, despite it being often illegally.

“Within a few years, graffiti will become an art as much appreciated as canvas, and São Paulo will be the center of it all. I want to leave my contribution in the city to help it achieve this potential”, says the artist.

Two of Brazil’s most important publications Folha de S.Paulo and Veja São Paulo have run interviews with BiP including!

Graffiti – a story being drawn

Graffiti has been a street art form since the Roman Empire but its modern day formal emergence is identified on the streets of Paris in 1968.

It was popularized in the United States in 1970 as part of contemporary art and originally tied to hip-hop, and then spread throughout the world. In Brazil, graffiti gained popularity in the late 1970s and adapted with Brazilian style. Today, Brazilian graffiti has global recognition yet some consider it vandalism as think it visually pollutes public roads. However,  graffiti has been gaining its place and increasing recognition in the art world.


BiP starting to paint



BiP painting a child

BiP painting a flower in Brazil

Main photo - BiP finished paintingYou can also watch the videos of BiP painting here:


If you would like to learn more about our PR Agency in Brazil and Latin America and find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your objectives, do drop us a line at

With so many advances, will the lamps continue to transmit light?

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signify pannel event in Brazil

Internet of Things, Smart Housing and LED Lights

Almost 150 years ago, Thomas Edison realized that by heating a carbon rod to a certain temperature, it emitted light and thereby created the first marketable incandescent bulb. For decades this was the method used to light homes, offices and city streets around the world, but after a few years, they noticed that this is not the most efficient way.

In the 1970s, in the midst of the oil crisis, there was a new way of emitting light that was more economical than the incandescent lamp, the halogen. This has the same operating method as above, it only has a tungsten filament, while the other has a carbon one. However, with the growing popularity of ecological causes, halogen lamps were gradually giving way to LEDs, which peaked in the mid-2000s.

With the promise of a lower energy expenditure – studies prove that an LED lamp can save 50% more energy than incandescent – and a durability 10 times longer than any other lamp this lighting medium has been growing more and more over the years. years. An Abilux survey released at the end of 2017 pointed out that consumption of this type of lamp should increase 10% per year by 2022. With this accelerated growth, a recent study by Million Insights pointed out that by 2025 the global market for LED lamps should be worth 108 billion dollars.

Smart Lighting technology

Nowadays, with technology constantly advancing and people’s need to increasingly have almost complete control over all the objects they have, the connectivity between all – or most – of these articles is of utmost importance. For this reason, it was created, what is called today Internet of Things (IoT), a network of interconnectivity between physical objects, vehicles and even buildings that have a technology capable of collecting and transmitting data the LEDs have entered this network.

The most modern LED lamps today have the possibility of connecting with several other objects and even transmit the most diverse data to the smartphone of those who command them. Its simplest of commands is to turn the light on and off, even more complex like copying the colour grid of a photo and transmitting it in the house. The LED, among other technological lamps, is part of what is called Smart Lighting.

In addition, with technology increasingly focused on the day-to-day ease of their users as well as their safety, the newest creation in terms of Intelligent Lighting is LiFi, created by Signify, a leader in the global lighting market. As reported by journalist Anna Kellen, from TechTudo, this product “looks like science fiction” because it transmits, through the light, data between devices, the same as traditional Wi-Fi. Signify studies point out that LiFi can be up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi and has greater security than the latter.

Connected Lighting 2018

With all this in mind and the increasingly imminent proximity of smart cities and homes, there remains the pertinent doubt pointed out by a participant in the Connected Lighting 2018 event that took place on Thursday, August 9 in São Paulo: “Will the lamps, with so many utilities and innovations, continue to transmit light?

If you would like to learn more about our PR Agency and find out how Sherlock Communications can help you organise events in Brazil and Latin America, do drop us a line at

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