July 10, 2014
Brazil as a marketing brand
Before the World Cup, if you googled the phrase “Brazil as a brand” you’d find all sorts of upbeat stuff. Clever marketing folk were positioning Brazil as “the marketer’s dream”, citing a culture buzzing with the sound of the Samba, and the roar of a crowd enjoying the jogo bonito. As one commentator from Think With Google writes: “When the rest of the world’s perception of your country is one of outgoing and sun-soaked people who love life, you’re starting in a good place”.
You certainly were. And that sun-soaked image managed to swamp other aspects of the Brazilian Brand that would place it alongside some far less desirable National Brands from around the world. Brazil is not an entirely happy place. Inequality is festering. Unrest is always just below the surface. Crime is a worry for tourists. But, most of all, as we now all know: they are not really that good at football any more.
That last sentence was not easy for me to write, even as a European, so potent is the myth that it debunks. So just imagine how it chips away at the DNA of being Brazilian – in Brazil.
It will be interesting to see how all this impacts on the future marketing image of Brazil. How long will it be before there are ads that play with that 7-1 humiliation as a comic gag? How long will it be before self-delusion and fantasy are seen as part of being Brazilian? And how – yes really, just how will they market the 2016 Olympics? To the world? But, more importantly – at home? Watch this space.