A New Reality for Social Media in Brazil

Brazil is a place where people go to escape.  Millions of tourists flood into this nation each year to revel in its carnivals and soak up its beautiful beaches.  But while tourists stroll the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazilians are logging on to the internet at a feverish pace.

Brazil ranks 6th worldwide in number of internet users, just below global superpowers like China, India and the US.  According to a study released by Deloitte, Brazilian consumers spend twice as many hours online as they do watching television.

Experts also contend that Brazilians are adopting social media faster than any other world market.  Year over year online population growth in Brazil was 27% as of June 2008.  This level of growth outpaces the worldwide average.

Through social media-based campaigns, Brazilians have pierced their tongues for Coca Cola, speed dated for Trident, and watched racy faux-advertising for Puma, making US consumers appear tame in comparison.

So how can a brand stand out in this rapidly-expanding “anything goes” marketing environment?

By thinking outside the box and creating an entirely new environment for consumers.

Sao Paulo-based marketing agency Cubocc recently created a cutting-edge campaign for Doritos in Brazil as part of the snack company’s Sweet Chili flavor brand launch.

Using augmented reality (AR),  a fusion of real and virtual reality where graphic objects are blended into real footage in real time, Doritos Sweet Chili product packaging creates the illusion that a virtual, computer-generated object actually exists in consumers’ worlds.

Each package of Doritos Sweet Chili-flavored chips sold Brazil contains an AR symbol – a code that can be activated through Doritos’ Brazilian website.  Entering the code releases a “Doritos Lover” – a 3D monster (like the ones seen below) that consumers can add to their Orkut profiles as an app.  Consumers can also take pictures of their monster, create birth certificates, or put their monsters up for adoption.

Adding a Doritos Lover to Orkut

The pint-sized monsters can also interact with other people’s monsters – there are over 18 trillion possible combinations of interaction.

But the real “wow factor” is that consumers’ monsters actually come alive (virtually) when the Doritos Sweet Chili packaging is placed in front of a consumer’s web cam (check out the video below to see this in action).

As of May 2009, 23,000 monsters have been released on www.doritos.com.br/.

So is every brand in Brazil now hopping on the AR bandwagon?

Not quite.

Most Brazilian brand teams simply cannot afford to implement an AR campaign.  However, brands can still take note of the key ingredients in Doritos’ strategy:

  • It’s simple.  While the concept of AR is complex, releasing a Doritos monster online is not.  The “release your monster” option is available on the campaign’s homepage, and consumers do not need to click through multiple pages to add the Doritos Lover app to their Orkut profile.
  • It’s interactive.  Doritos enabled consumers to create and interact with other users in a new virtual reality.  The seemingly infinite number of possible interactions (18 trillion) makes it likely that consumers will keep coming back for more.
  • It’s sales-oriented.  Doritos enthusiasts can release dozens of Sweet Chili monsters, incentivizing them to keep buying the company’s chips again and again.  The low cost and accessibility of Doritos’ products makes this a possibility for most internet-savvy Brazilians.

Ultimately, while brands need to differentiate themselves in an “anything goes” marketplace like Brazil’s, they don’t need to rely on expensive solutions to do it.  Keep it simple.  Make it interactive.  And create a sticky, sales-oriented element that keeps Brazilians coming back for more.


4 Responses to A New Reality for Social Media in Brazil

  1. You had me at “Doritos.” This is a great campaign and example of engagement in the Brazil market. These types of videos (which I called “HoloCam Marketing” at one point) are really interesting case studies and this one in Brazil does demonstrate not only nice integration between TV and the web, but also the dominance of Orkut as the ad calls out the social networking site specifically. Nice find and analysis. (4)

  2. paulfbove says:

    Thanks for teaching us about “Augmented Reality.” I had never heard of that term before and it’s quite an interesting advertising medium. As technology gets better, I’m guessing we’ll see more capabilities with tools like this. Additionally, the one thing that I’ve really noticed when researching foreign countries, especially Brazil, is that ads in other countries are weird. Cool, but weird.

  3. Quentin says:

    Nice intro that really drew me into the country and your ideas. You then laid out a nice set of links and statistics to show the growth of the Internet and social media in Brazil. Thanks for introducing augmented reality (AR). I had never heard of this. My only addition would be to have an American example of AR, if their is one, so I could click and review.

  4. […] I had to choose one global brand that uses social media well, I’d reference my blog post on Doritos Sweet Chili in Brazil.  Using augmented reality (AR), Doritos created product packaging […]

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