We are really proud of this film we made for client Transparency International’s Anti Corruption Award 2016, won by Operação Lava Jato. Many congratulations the team and a big thank you to Judge Sérgio Moro for agreeing to give us the interview – a marked rarity!
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.
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.
With hundreds of thousands visiting Brazil for the first time for the Olympics, and more than four thousand visitors coming to the first day of SP Arte-Foto 2016 last week, we wanted to take a moment to share some of our favourite photographs of the cities where we live, work and love with our international readers.
Although there are beautiful (often hidden) sights to see on the ground, in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as frequent flyers between the two, we know that some of our most stunning, both natural and man-made, impressions of these vibrant cities comes from the air.
To our mind, the artist who captures this the best is the photographer Claudio Edinger. Although born in Rio de Janeiro, his family moved to São Paulo before he was two and he has said that in his mind he has often thought his soul was in São Paulo and his heart in Rio – something that certainly rings true for us.
Working with selective focus, his work is both large scale and delicately intimate.
We’ve included links to ten of our favourites below.
Rio de Janeiro:
PR Week recently ran this interview on us, asking our perspective on the Olympics from on the ground in Rio de Janeiro. You can read the original article here.
Sherlock’s adopted Brazilians soak up the atmosphere
Alasdair Townsend and Patrick O’Neill, the British pair running Anglo-Brazilian agency Sherlock Communications, have been enjoying swimming and fencing, and trying to ignore the doom-mongering.
Why have you gone to Rio?
Alasdair Townsend (pictured below at fencing competition): We actually have permanent bases in Rio and São Paulo so we have not had to come far. As an agency we specialise in helping international brands break into Brazil, bridging the cultural and commercial gap, and have a number of clients looking to capitalise on the Olympic opportunity.
Given the build up to the Games, were you apprehensive about attending?
Patrick O’Neill: Absolutely not. We know Brazil and Rio de Janeiro and we knew the doom-mongering was exaggerated. There are lots of brands and companies smart enough to see through the negativity and realise it’s still extremely important to have a presence in the world’s sixth largest market.
Does it feel like the Brazilian authorities’ and Games organisers’ PR operation is running smoothly?
AT: After a largely ineffectual build-up, the opening ceremony was a game changer and the tone of coverage since has been largely positive. The main PR challenge now comes from the empty seats at some events, but that has less to do with the Brazilian authorities and more with the strict rules imposed by the IOC.
Which sponsor or other brands are shining through for you?
PO: While we like Samsung’s installations, none of the major sponsors have captured the cultural nuances and engaged audiences in the same way as Google. The stations are full of posters for Google Translate, translating Carioca colloquialisms into English.
What do you think will be your abiding memory of the trip?
PO: Our abiding memories will be being there to witness the incredible achievements of Michael Phelps [Patrick pictured below at pool], and particularly Rafaela Silva, along with the sheer feel-good factor evident among everyone we know.
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.
As you may have read in PR Week and The Holmes Report, Busbud.com, international bus travel booking and comparison website and app, has appointed Sherlock Communications as its retained content marketing and PR consultancy for Brazil, following a competitive process.
Sherlock has been briefed with developing creative campaigns that will establish the brand as a significant player in Brazil, building awareness and driving downloads among local and international travellers. The campaigns will span traditional, broadcast, online and social media.
Originally inspired from a South American backpacking trip when cofounder LP Maurice experienced difficulties in finding and buying tickets for international bus travel, Busbud was founded in 2011 and has now the largest sellable bus tickets inventory in the world, serving over two million departures to travellers around the world every week. Users can search, compare and buy tickets from hundreds of bus companies in 10,000 cities across 63 countries and 500,000 different bus routes. Privately funded by angel investors and venture funds, the company is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
The online bus ticket market in Brazil is still very young and represents a nascent opportunity for innovative brands. However, to realise its potential, there is a real need to identify and then educate target consumers of the value of booking tickets online – not just in Brazil but abroad. This is not as straight-forward as conducting a simple media relations campaign; to capture genuine users or those with the potential to repeat purchase, it is critical to engage them online, at the time they are looking for solutions. Speaking personally, as someone previously frustrated by the limitations of Brazil’s online ticket offerings, a slick service like Busbud’s could not come fast enough.
“Sherlock Communications’ proven experience of brand and news generation campaigns, as well as their obvious knowledge and appreciation of the Brazilian media and cultural landscape, made them the obvious partner for our Brazilian expansion” said, Alain Wong, Director of Marketing and Communications, Busbud.
“The team’s international experience shone through in their proactive approach to assessing and adapting international campaigns and stories, knowing intuitively what we would need to do to make each appropriate to the Brazilian market. Having already had some amazing coverage in our first month, we are already well on the way to realising our strategy in Brazil.”
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.
Working with Busbud.com, the largest bus tickets site in the world we recently promoted two separate national stories in Brazil. One a business story to launch a white label product which was aimed at travel and business publications, the second was a piece of research aimed at Brazilian national and travel media about the most Instagrammed locations in Brazil.
We were delighted with the media interest we generated for the business story, especially pleased with the coverage we got in the key travel and business magazines including Brasilturis, Exame and Empresas S.A. However, the coverage we got for the Instagram campaign was just amazing with more than 60 separate articles in publications as varied as UOL Viagem, Pan Rotas, Olhar Digital, Metrópoles, Diário do Nordeste, Terra, Descubra Minas, Boa Informação and Band.
How did we do it? We created a release aimed at the national media and then 27 alternative versions tailored to media in every state in Brazil. In the releases we highlighted, of course, some of the expected results (i.e. Copacabana Beach being the most popular spot for Instagrammers in the entire country) but also on some of the unexpected locations such as football stadiums and shopping malls. As a result even generating Sherlock Communications first piece of coverage in a football team’s fan publication (thank you Corinthians FC!) and a four minute broadcast interview on CBN, Brazil’s largest speech radio network. Further evidence, if it were needed, that Sherlock Communications continues to be one the best PR agencies in Brazil.
Read the full story here.
The most popular locations from Brazil’s ten most populous states were:
São Paulo – Arena Corinthians
Sou CORINTHIANO, fanático e como mais um louco do bando estou triste sim, mas não desapontado, estou mau acostumado a ver MEU TIME disputando títulos e MUITAS VEZES, ganhando os mesmos, estou chateado por ser eliminado mais uma vez em casa, por ser eliminado mais uma vez com um empate, e mesmo assim ainda estar INVICTO na mesma casa que os rivais fazem, ou pelo menos "tentam" fzr, chacota. Não vou entrar nem no mérito pq se o Corinthians consegue causar tanta repulsa em muitos, é pq de alguma forma ele é de fato MUITO FODA! Tabus estão aí para serem quebrados, e por mais q demore, que tenham mais e mais eliminações em casa, eu NUNCA VOU TE ABANDONAR, nunca vou deixar de te apoiar até o fim, pq CORINTHIANS não se vira, CORINTHIANS se nasce, não vou apontar culpados pela desclassificação, mas vou apoiar, msm estando triste, e crer que no fim a gnt sempre levanta mais uma taça, (NÃO POR FAX) pq aqui não tem modinha, ou torcedor que "escolhe" qdo torcer e qdo quer dar as caras… CORINTHIANS não se esconde, pois sua grandeza é infinita, assim como o amor que nós sentimos por ti! ⚪️⚫️#VaiCorinthians #corinthians #arenacorinthians #sccp #timao #libertadores
Rio de Janeiro – Praia de Copacabana
All I need is sun, beach and palm trees ☀️? … #brasilia #brasil #riodejaneiro #rio #luxuryvacations #luxurytravel #earthpix #fantasticearth #natgeotravel #luxwt #travelphoto #travelblogger #jetsetter #brasilnature #brazil #worldtour #luxuryvacation #copacabanabeach #luxuryworldtraveler #copacabana #brasilemfotos #beautifulplaces #beautifuldestinations #endlesssummer #visitbrasil #praiadecopacabana #bestvacation #bestvacations
Bahia – Praia do Forte
Rio Grande Do Sul – Estádio Beira-Rio
Paraná – Foz do Iguaçu
[3/3] Misiones Provence, Argentina • Apr 23, 2011 Location: Iguazú Falls #EarthCapture #BBCTravel #OurPlanetDaily #Travelingram #NatGeoTravelPic #TheGlobeWanderer #ExploringGlobe #WeLiveToExplore #LiveTravelChannel #WorlderLust #AdventureThatIsLife #TravelDeeper #WanderFolk #ExploreToCreate #BeautifulDestinations #PassionPassport #VscoCam #TravelStoke #AtHomeInTheWorld #MyTinyAtlas #LiveOfAdventure #NeverStopExploring #LetsGoEverywhere #StayAndWander #MyWherever #TravelBlog #DoYouTravel #SmarterTravel #Rainbow
Pernambuco – Porto de Galinhas
Ceará – Canoa Quebrada
Pará – Estação das Docas
Maranhão – Parque Nacional do Lençóis Maranhenses
Minas Gerais – Inhotim