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Watch and Learn: Brazil, Sports and Experiential Marketing

Posted By: SGK May 30, 2014
Watch and Learn: Brazil, Sports and Experiential Marketing

Any brand – consumer or B2B – that’s intrigued with the possibilities of experiential marketing should pay close attention to what’s happening in Brazil this summer and in summer 2016: likely the best exhibitions of experiential marketing ever seen, plus countless experiments that will offer valuable lessons. 

We’re talking soccer’s World Cup this summer and the Summer Olympics two years from now.  Soccer (or football, fútbal, sokker, and many more names around the world) is Brazil’s sports lifeblood and a pillar of its culture. This is the first World Cup in Brazil in 64 years, so the country sees the event – 64 games in 32 days – as a chance to impress the world on its own terms – on the pitch, in the media, etc.

Putting aside ongoing concerns that Brazil might be overtaxed in mounting two world sports festivals, it’s clear that the country will be an experiential marketing hotbed for the next two years. The reasons illuminate both Brazil and South America from a marketing perspective.

Brazil is optimistic and passionate. This sounds like a stereotype, but it’s true of the national mindset – also in countries like Mexico and Colombia – especially in contrast to Argentina, which looks more to Europe in socio-cultural matters. “This is a real advantage for brands,” says Marina Sanchez, SGK’s Director of Business Development for Latin America, in São Paulo. “The emotional component is more important and more effective in branding in Brazil, and this suits experiential marketing quite well.” 

Brazilians tend to trust brands and each other. The recent economic boom has made Brazilians even more respectful of successful brands, national and regional. At the same time, owing in part to tradition, they respect word-of-mouth and are eager to take friends’ advice on brands or other Brazilians’, via social media. Brazil is one of the most Facebook-friendly countries on earth. 

And there’s another crucial piece: “Brazilians aren’t as concerned with security and privacy issues as people in the U.S. or Europe,” Sanchez says. “If they like or don’t like something, they’ll tell everyone, and this is unique to South America in general.” 

Experiential marketing is predicated on more than the brand offering an experience: the audience has to be willing to participate. This is why social/cultural events are prime opportunities: the elements of performance and shared experience are already there. Experiential marketing lends itself to shared experiences, and the Internet only amplifies this.

For more insight and examples of how global brands are using experiential marketing to reach consumers on the worldwide stage of the Olympics and World Cup, download Patterns Issue 1, 2014 – Participatory Marketing