Brazil's best agencies have a talent for creating work that taps into--and becomes part of --the country's rich popular culture. F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi and its Nike client took it a step further by transforming the 30 million fans of Sao Paulo soccer club Corinthians into an independent nation.
Nike founded the Corinthians Nation (in Portuguese, "Republica Popular do Corinthians"), complete with a Magna Carta-like document published as a newspaper ad, and birth certificates, identity documents and even a Corinthians currency for fans. Their Corinthians passports were stamped at the stadium. During matches, fans waved an enormous Corinthians Nation flag. A "presidential kit" was sent to Brazil's then-president, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, and he appeared on TV proudly wearing his Corinthians presidential sash. The online action revolved around the Nike Futebol site, and 1.2 million fans signed up for email updates.
Sao Paulo-based F/Nazca, led by Fabio Fernandes, the agency's flamboyant, fast-talking and passionate CEO and creative director, saw revenue growth of 15% in 2011.
The social media-savvy agency took advantage of Brazilians' mania for Twitter -- 23% of the country's 75 million internet users are Twitter devotees -- to help client Carrefour contribute to the Brazilian government's fight against hunger by donating food to the needy.
To appeal to social-media users, F/Nazca developed a URL shortener similar to tiny.url and bit.ly for Carrefour, with the promise that for every character shortened using Carrefour's Virou.gr, Carrefour would donate one gram of food to the Brazilian Red Cross. In Portuguese, Virou.gr means "turned into grams." Within a month, more than 60,000 links had been reduced using Virou.gr and by November 2011, Carrefour had surpassed its initial goal of converting ten million characters into ten tons of food, delivered as food packages to the poor.
The Publicis Groupe agency faced a very different challenge from Procter & Gamble: launch Olay in Brazil, where the global skincare brand was unknown. To create awareness of the brand and Olay's hides-your-age product benefit, F/Nazca commandeered Caras, a weekly entertainment and gossip magazine with 4 million readers. For nine consecutive weekly issues, F/Nazca swapped out the age of every celebrity written about in the magazine and substituted a tiny icon for Olay Microsculpting Cream. That device helped associate celebrities as diverse as Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Sophia Loren and Jessica Simpson with the age-defying brand.