International communications

Sherlock São Paulo comes to Rio

By | Charity, Entrepreneurship, International communications, NGO, strategy | No Comments

The Sherlock São Paulo team comes to Rio


Some of the São Paulo team landed in gorgeous Rio de Janeiro recently for a well deserved escape from the winter cold for a weekend of strategic planning and a communications workshop with our good friends and partners at Educate the Favela.

Isa, Amanda and Lucas presenting their ideas to the group


Educate the Favela are a small NGO who hold entrepreneurship classes and mentoring for youths and collaborative art projects in the excluded communities of Complexo do Alemão, Olária and Rocinha in Rio, offering young people alternative pathways to success and empowerment.

Complexo do Alemão


On Saturday the two teams piled into an apartment in Ipanema to collaborate on a new communications strategy for the growing project, discussing how to attract more volunteers, reach new participants, and tell people about the fantastic work they do.

As a business in Brazil, we have an absolute responsibility to put something back into the community, and it is for this reason we like to work with selected partners who we can see delivering tangible benefits to the community around them. We feel that this is one of the best ways we can contribute; by offering our expertise and time to help worthwhile organisations to grow and deliver on their potential to help vulnerable people.

Sherlock team at the Beach


If you would like to help this project, either by making a donation, or as a volunteer, get in touch with them at

Time to smile as Sherlock wins iFunny account

By | Brand Strategy, International communications, Market Entry | No Comments

iFunny might be renowned for its humorous memes, but when one of the United States’ most popular entertainment apps sets its sights on Brazil it is no laughing matter.

iFunny was fittingly founded on April Fools Day 2011 by a crack team of international fun-lovers. Having spent the previous 15 years making people in their own country laugh, they decided to turn their attention to the United States where by 2016 the app has been downloaded 50 million times and has 10 million active users. The app, which is funded solely by embedded adverts, is on the move again, this time southwards into Latin America, where Brazil will be the first to have its funny bone tickled.

We’re very happy to say that Sherlock Communications has won the right to represent iFunny during the app’s expansion into South America. And the plan is to help the meme-based app reach a similar level to that achieved in the USA, where iFunny has 10 million active users.

We know exactly how much Brazilians enjoy “zueira” (the unique Brazilian sense of humour) and have every confidence we can help iFunny establish themselves as a significant player in the South American market.

Sherlock will handle iFunny’s strategic messaging efforts, running mass communications campaigns to drive downloads among Brazil’s online community.

Collinson Group hires Sherlock

Collinson Group choses Sherlock to build brand awareness in Brazil

By | Brazilian Business, Collinson Group, International communications, Market Insight, PR agencies, PR Strategy, The Holmes Report | No Comments

As you may have read in The Holmes Report, we’re very happy to announce that London-based Collinson Group has appointed Sherlock to oversee its corporate PR programme in Brazil.

Collinson Group, which specialises in influencing customer behaviour, driving revenues and adding value in loyalty, lifestyle, insurance and assistance, operates out of 26 locations worldwide, servicing over 800 clients in 170 countries.

The group has chosen Sherlock Communications to raise brand awareness of the company as an industry leader in Brazil, and raise understanding of its unique products, services, insights and work in the region.

“Sherlock Communications have an intricate understanding of both the Brazilian market and national, business and trade media, and will be able to help us as we grow our brand in the region,” said Danilo Vasconcelos, Collinson Group’s General Manager, Brazil. “We look forward to working together and benefiting from their knowledge.”

Sherlock will work to share the group’s proprietary insights and deep understanding of consumer behaviour to connect with the media. The focus will be on a robust thought-leadership strategy, utilising global research and including corporate profile campaigns.

Was a staged robbery really part of the Olympic opening ceremony?

By | Brazilian Recession, International communications, Rio 2016 | No Comments

While the 2014 World Cup featured many tasteless examples of opulence and sponsors’ champagne dos, the Olympics organisers seem to have learned some imporant lessons from FIFA. Executive producer Marco Balich has recently confirmed the Rio 2016 opening ceremony will break with the recent tradition of large-scale and expensive shows, featuring a low-emissions cauldron and an “analogue” experience.  With the country in recession and unemployment levels at 11%, it would simply be inappropriate for Brazil to spend the same amount as London and Sochi on its opening ceremony.

This sensitivity and humility should be seen as a positive. But the way it being covered is too often far from positive. And make no mistake, there are positive stories.

The Daily Mail recently ran an outraged and incredulous story reporting that the ceremony would will include model Giselle Bundchen being mugged. As readers of this blog will know, the foreign media are no strangers to negative sensationalism when it comes to Brazil and this story is but one more example.

Today it’s being widely reported that this staged robbery had been canned from the ceremony, but is that the full story?

Allegedly, the scene was not just of an attempted robbery but of a young black male being chased by police. The idea was clearly to challenge traditional stereotypes but, in the face of media backlash, it was deemed this was a step too far.

The reported comments of the organising committee have not necessarily helped matters, suggesting the scene was never actually part of the plan and that some elements in the rehearsal ‘were inserted just to confuse the public’.

But, in the face of largely toxic media cynicism, this was always going to be a losing battle.

Brazil is a hugely diverse country and it’s clear the ceremony is looking to celebrate that diversity in a highly positive manner. As well as some of the more internationally known Bossa Nova artists like Gilberto Gil e Caetano Veloso, the show is also going to feature ‘funkeiros’ (funk carioca, Brazil’s version of hip hop) and Lea T, the first transsexual artist to feature in an Olympic opening ceremony.

But you would have to look far and wide to find much coverage of the fact…

At some point, the negative perception of the games has become the accepted “reality” – in English at any rate.

Here on the ground, there is actually a growing sense of excitement. The new tram line has opened, the finishing touches are being put to the main streets, with the construction hoardings (present for the last four years) coming down to reveal impressive new surrounds, the cooler weather is allaying fears of the Zika virus and the photos that have leaked out of the opening ceremony’s dress rehearsal are generating widespread buzz on social media.

It is frankly a tragedy that the opportunity to convey that excitement has been missed.

Some sneak previews of the ceremony leaked from the dress rehearsal:


Brazil’s missed Olympic PR opportunity – a failure to respond

By | International communications, Market Insight, PR Strategy, Rio 2016 | No Comments

The Olympic Games should be serving as an international showcase for both the city and country that is hosting them. But unless you’ve been living somewhere devoid of internet access and / or newsagents, you’ll notice that’s not exactly the picture painted in the English-language media.

Of course, Rio 2016 is  happening at a troubled time: a complicated, at times toxic, political backdrop; an impending presidential impeachment; a nationwide corruption probe; concerns over security; an economic recession; and, not-least, the zika virus. There was never going to be blanket positive coverage – and I personally can’t remember an Olympics where there weren’t question marks over readiness and overspending.

But, from a communications perspective, could more have been done to paint a picture of the positives and the opportunities, what could have been done to offer a more balanced perspective?

For those of us living in the country, there is a feeling that Brazil has sleepwalked its way into the role of whipping boy for the international press.

Of course, bad news will be privileged over good by any editor worth their salt, but there is a prevailing sense that this editorial trend has been largely unchallenged by Brazilian politicians and institutions.

And it is clear that in some cases, some of the stories written in the international press have been, at best, rapidly produced, and at worst poorly researched or based on questionable syndications.

It has been crying out for a proactive PR response campaign, but it has not happened. Why?

Brazil has always been introspective, but given its current problems, and the fact that most of the would-be spokespeople for the Olympics are politicians, primarily concerned with communicating to their own electorate, there has been a vacuum of replies and alternative points of view offered to the international media.

Put simply, the Government’s communications teams were more concerned with minimising the domestic scandal than the country’s global image.

What simple stories and points of view could have been offered to counterbalance the negativity? A few examples…

On the issue of security – the Rio police are being reinforced by offers from neighbouring states and a 2100 from the armed forces.

On the issue of traffic – the cities normal routes are being modified so that delegations and organizers have special passage through the city streets with exclusive lanes.

On the issue of the zika virus – the government is mobilising 220,000 soldiers of the armed forces to provide aid in a campaign involving 356 Brazilian cities.

On the recession – with rising unemployment rates, the Rio de Janeiro tourism sector is creating an additional 4080 temporary jobs during the period of the Games.

On the mood – point to the example of the World Cup. Brazil 2014, itself subject to numerous criticisms, was notable for its feel-good factor (albeit discounting the semi-final). As soon as the tournament started, the country was orderly, hospitable and unified in support. Its self-esteem was clearly raised. With the broken records and outstanding performances doubtless to follow from both Brazilian and international Olympic athletes, who is to say we won’t see a repeat performance?

The fact remains though, with no-one to makes these arguments and mount a credible, proactive PR defence to bad news stories, international journalists will inevitably maintain a negative bias in their coverage and what positive stories exist will be lost in the doom mongering.


Socialbakers hires Sherlock Communications to boost Brazilian profile

By | International communications, PR Strategy, Social media, Socialbakers, The Holmes Report | No Comments

As you might have read in The Holmes Report and PR Week, we’re delighted to announce that, following a competitive process, global social media analytics company Socialbakers has appointed Sherlock Communications as its retained agency for the Brazilian market.

Sherlock has been tasked with developing and executing a media strategy to move Socialbakers out from specialist marketing and media titles, broadening the company’s profile to a more senior buyer audience through national, vertical and business media and on-the-ground events. The campaign will focus on promoting Socialbakers unique expertise and product suite in social media analytics, marketing and customer care.

Founded in 2009, Socialbakers is an enterprise social media analytics platform that enables brands to measure, compare, and contrast the success of their social media campaigns with competitive intelligence. To date, the company has received more than US $30 million in investment and more than 2,500 clients across 100 countries, including half of the Global Fortune 500 companies.

Sherlock will also be building the profile of Socialbakers Global and LATAM management team as industry leaders and raising the firm’s corporate profile as one of the world’s most successful tech start-ups of the last decade.

Consumer engagement on social media channels in Brazil is higher than in almost any other market and there is a very real need for brands and agencies to both understand and handle and extremely high volumes of interactions and enquires.

However, for many senior managers, there is a perception that social media is still something of a wild west, with genuine business value and insight hard to find.

As long-term users and admirers of Socialbakers’ products here at Sherlock, we are relishing debunking that myth.

Cesar Christoforidis, VP LATAM & S. Europe, Socialbakers commented “We were looking for an agency that not only had a deep understanding of our sector and the Brazilian market, but also one that had the international credentials, linguistic skills and service structure to fully integrate with our wider global marketing and comms operation. Sherlock Communications immediately impressed us with their proactivity, multi-market knowledge and contacts, and have quickly established themselves as an extension of our internal team.”

Luxury travel designer Miraviva hires Sherlock Comms for international content and social media brief

By | Brand Strategy, Content marketing, International communications, Miraviva, Social media, The Drum | No Comments

As you may have read in The Drum, Mirava has appointed Sherlock Communications as its retained international content and social media agency.

Sherlock has been briefed with promoting Miraviva’s tailor-made holidays and experiences, targeting existing and high net worth clients in European, LATAM and North American markets, with an interest in exploring Latin America.

The campaign, which will span online, social media, PPC networks and direct channels, will focus on conveying Miraviva’s in depth, first-hand knowledge of the region, as well as its bespoke, consultative approach to itinerary planning and design.

Founded in 2012, Miraviva has grown rapidly to become the market leader in high-end Latin American travel design.Covering Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, the company arranges tailor-made holidays and experiences across the continent for individuals, couples and small groups. The Miraviva team have visited more than 500 boutique hotels, eco-lodges, converted historic properties, design hotels, private villas, luxurious expedition cruises and private yachts offer guests a highly diverse range of bespoke holidays based on personal experience and knowledge.

Latin America is still a relatively unknown quantity for many high-end travellers but, over the last 15 years, improved service standards and new connections have made it a luxury option to rival any in the world.

Few operators have the level of personal insight and passion as the Miraviva team and, from a comms point of view, the challenge is very simple; turning that passion into compelling content and creative executions that speak for themselves.

Marc Eschauzier, Founder and Managing Director of Miraviva, said:

“As a team obsessed with Latin America, it was extremely important to us to work with an agency which not only has a strong strategic and digital skillset, but also one that had a similarly in depth understanding of the region. Sherlock’s unusual British, Brazilian heritage immediately shone through from the other proposals we saw and this, combined with their international reach, made the team a natural fit for Miraviva.”

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