Have you ever asked yourself if a person dying without care in the hallway of a public hospital is condemned by corruption? What about people who stretch their budget to pay for private health insurance because of the failure of the public health system? And a family who cannot place a child in daycare? Someone without a job? An entrepreneur forced to close shop due to a crisis caused by low confidence? Yes, all of them are condemned by corruption. Regardless of the individual story of each Brazilian citizen, we have 217 million victims in a country where few are in jail paying for the crime of pocketing public resources.
To call attention to the issue, advertising agency Momentum created a special campaign for newspaper Estadão. A huge mirror set at Praça da Sé, a square in the heart of São Paulo City, on April 2-8, invites onlookers to recognize themselves as “condemned” by corruption. The idea behind the action is that, seeing their faces, people realize that they suffer the consequences of the embezzlement of government funds.
The campaign goes even further. In addition to putting the issue on the table, it presents the possibility of real change with #voteinteligente (#smartvote). With this motto, the campaign encourages people to get more information to choose the best candidate for all government seats out for grabs in the October elections.
“This is a crucial moment for Brazil. Every day, Estadão shows the sad situation of the country, with news of misappropriation in corruption schemes and people suffering with the lack of resources for healthcare, education, security and other areas that are vital for our lives. With this initiative, we want to give a contribution that goes beyond our reporting and invite people to think and call for change,” said Flávio Pestana, executive commercial director at Estadão.
“Seeing yourself as one of many affected by the problem is essential to change this picture. The action was designed to encourage a change that can materialize in the upcoming elections. We seized the opportunity to highlight the importance of quality journalism, as there are no civil rights or democracy without it. This must be very clear in times such as these, with growing disinformation and fake news,” said Momentum CEO Maria Laura Nicotero.
The campaign will make progress in ads, Estadão social media profiles and an action focused on a group of influencers who has received an issue of Estadão with a laminated cover, alluding to the mirror.
The action coincides with a time of strong popular support for corruption investigations. More than 90% of Brazilians want the Car Wash Operation, the largest corruption investigation in history, to continue until the end, no matter the costs, according to a survey carried out by Ipsos in March. The share of participants in favor of the investigations has remained at this level in regular surveys done by the institute in the past two years. The latest report also shows that 7 out of 10 respondents believe that the investigation has potential to make Brazil a serious country.