The best Brazilian ads

January 4, 2010

Brazilian ads are well-known for their quality and creativity. Last year, for instance, DM9DDB won the Cannes Agency of the Year award and nine Lions (two gold, four silver and three bronze). In fact, the country is one of the big champions of the Cannes Festival – the main advertising awards -, behind the US and Great Britain.

Check this choice of Brazilian TV ads. I included one of the best releases of last year, plus some all-time favorites and also a very controversial ad.

Santoro’s limitsRodrigo Santoro, the Brazilian actor that is growing in Hollywood (Lost, Che, 300, Charlie’s Angels), acts in a recent Oi phone company’s publicity. He is depicted as this huge international idol that cannot manage to have his needs attended to by his phone services provider. So, he has to switch to Oi.

Parmalat’s Mammals – In 1995, this huge success skyrocketed the Italian company’s brand in Brazil.

Gerson’s Law – This ad produced in 1976 displays Gerson, a former superstar footballer, praising Vila Rica cigarettes. He concludes with an infamous phrase that is considered the axiom of unethical opportunism: “Eu gosto de levar vantagem em tudo, certo!” (I always like to take advantage, right!). The so-called “Gerson’s law”  is frequently quoted to illustrate a certain national tendency to  be machiavellic, believing that the end justifies the means.

Classics – A series of seventies’ hits.

Bombril guy – Poster boy of amazing longevity, Carlos Moreno acts in Bombril (stainless-steel sponge) ads since 1978. Here, some great moments of his career. Check the great gallery of characters, including former American president Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

If anyone out there has cool links of Brazilian TV ads, please, do share.



  1. The Oi commercial would be good if their service wasn’t so deplorable. :)

    In recent memory, I enjoyed the VW German commercials. I talked about them here: http://zerotres.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/the-germans-in-volkswagen-commercials/

    • Cool post – there are several memorable ads with foreigners in Brazil. Remember Semp Toshiba’s ads that claim that “our Japanese are more creative than theirs” (meaning, Japan’s Japanese)?
      But I was surprised when you said you rarely like Brazilian ads. Those featured nationally tend to be quite spectacular, in my opinion. But it is true that those featured locally or regionally can be very weak, indeed.

  2. Oi Regina,
    The 80s shirt commercial is cute! “Bonita camisa, Fernandinho.” Even today you can hear this catchphrase. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKYjC621jhw
    bjo elo

    • I know! And the guy who played Fernandinho was also in a very famous band of the 80’s, Metro. They got a hit that was a translation of a song of Vanessa Paradis – Vou de táxi (by the way, they were all French). Remember their new wave look? It is crazy how pop culture influences our life and remains in our brain.

      • oh yeah, I totally forgot about Metro, wow. a quit trip to the downloading tubes for me, aahhhh. my poor brain.

  3. Oh yeah, the Brahmeiro/brasileiro ad is incredibily well done, me thinks, a great piece of propaganda, a beautiful treaty on the ideology of Brazilianness. But then again, I love Zeca Pagodinho and I know plenty of people who can’t stand the man… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4ofFW__1i4

    And no, that’s not my ideal of being Brazilian. Mine would be blacker, gayer, less Christian, less festive, more ironic, less Cariocacentric :) The beer part is just fine.

    For another piece of national identity mixed with beer, the famous (here in Canada) Joe http://deepbrazil.com/2010/01/04/the-best-brazilian-ads/#comment-69

    • I wonder if I know any Brazilian the way you describe. Joãozinho 30 fails on the less festive and less cariocacentric items. Matheus Nachtergale and Wagner Moura are not black. Lázaro Ramos is not gay. Tough one. Can I pick a woman?

      • I have to introduce you to my friends! Then you’ll know plenty just like that. Basically the majority of Brazilians are some of those things (I wasn’t talking about a person, but an ideal of Brazilianness, brasilidade, a set of symbols defining Brazil and its people. So I said “more like that,” and the inclusion of gay, black, afro-Brazilian religions, atheists, non-samba music etc *does not preclude the exclusion* of the above). Some HUGE groups are underrepresented in the media. That doesn’t give me insomnia, but it’s sorta sad.

        It’s true my friends are not famous. And the fact that people like that are don’t become famous has nothing to do with racism, homophobia, or sexism. Wait…

        Now to what really matters – Wagner Moura is gay???

      • I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact I was just being silly. And yes, please, do introduce me to your crowd. They seem to be my type of people.
        Now, about Wagner Moura I have no clue. Never heard of an affair with any of the many genders around. But I am sure he is no saint.

  4. this is the righ link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRI-A3vakVg

  5. Oh yea, let’s all get together and celebrate a media (the Brazilian media) that openly discriminates demographically and racially in its representation, in favor of the upper class minority (in social status). And for those of you who are about to post 3 or 4 names of people outside of the featured demographic who are prominent in the media. Listen, when you can readily name them all in one breath, it doesn’t dispel the problem. That only reinforces the existence of the problem. But perhaps most of you here participating and acknowledging the “merits” of what I consider to be a socially dysfunctional media aren’t aware of the darker interests at play here (no pun intended). Let it not come to you as a surprise that a media that continues to paint a white picture of brazil for the world to see, and deny access to non-white Brazilians, does contribute to the social problems of the country. It doesn’t take a psychologist or a rocket scientist to identify that a child growing up, surrounded by these kinds of media conglomerates, is likely to develop social deficiencies. Likely to feel less desirable, less capable, less wanted, less important and essentially becomes an underachiever.
    But no, let’s all jump and cheer because our national medias are collecting gold and silver medals, while doing their best to contribute to the social problems within our society. Hip Hip Hooray!!! I only hope you’re all still cheering when these said social problem come banging at your door steps!
    Regina (or deep Brazil) I was under the impression that you were a person of stronger moral character, but this has to be the most shocking and dis-tasteful post that you’ve blogged.

    • I am not very sure what you expect from me, Douglas. My blog is only two months old and I wrote at list twice about racism. Should I discuss this topic in all my posts? I can never write a lighter post? It has always to be bitter? Sorry, you won’t find this here. And yes, publicity, fashion, movies and most of Brazilian cultural industry are very racist. But it is also very creative and technically sophisticated. I won’t focus only in its dark side, not to please you. And if you want to judge my character by one post, what kind of judge are you?

      • First of all and most importantly
        For the sake of good conversation and debate I honestly hope you didn’t think for a moment that I expect you to write blogs that please “me”. It’s quite clear that displeasure with your choice of topics was built around, the effects the media have on people. So please no need to apologize about not pleasing me. I read your blog because your experiences are different than mine, not to be pleased.

        Well onwards; In judging your character I said, QUOTE: “I was under the impression that you were a person of stronger moral character”. And I said nothing else in regards to your character. So if my saying that leads you to believe that I am a poor judge of character then perhaps you are correct. Who better to know the make-up of your character than yourself (I’ll let you read between the lines).
        You say you wrote twice about racism in previous posts as if there is some moral quota that we should all adhere to. Well I have two black friends so I guess that makes me socially responsible also. Come on now, whether or not I’m a good judge of character I think I can say with some certainty that you’re more intelligent than that.
        The point of my comment is to point out that we don’t celebrate the accomplishments of those who consistently oppress the people whom they represent. Should we be cheering or challenging the Brazilian media? I’m not questioning how much you write about racism in your blog. Whether you choose to write about it twice, a dozen times, or none at all doesn’t qualify your blog as good, bad or indifferent. I read many good blogs that never address issues of race, class or social injustice. I’m saying , in my opinion, we ought to be more critical about where we choose to lay praise. And the Brazilian media is not an entity that I think should be worthy of much praise, regardless of the quality of the creative content.
        Case in point; (and I’m not comparing the two as equals, merely using an analogy). One of the best public speakers and motivators of all time goes by the name of Adolf Hitler. He convinced what was once a relatively docile society to almost commit genocide against Jews with his public speaking and motivational techniques. But you can never (thank God) pick up a communications or public speaking manual and study Hitler’s speaking style, even though his “speaking technique” was extremely effective. Why, because he was a horrible man and it would be horrendously socially insensitive to do such a thing.
        In my experiences, the general consensus towards the Brazilian media amongst black, white and brown Brazilians is that they’d rather see it brought to its knees rather than awarded trivial cheers for creative content.

      • Douglas, I will stick to the topics in which we agree. Yes, it is disgusting how the media ignores the real Brazil identity and diversity. Now, if you want to use analogies, I suggest another one: I don’t drive, I know that cars are extremely harmful to the planet’s climate and kill more than most wars. But I can appreciate the beauty of a clever car design when I see it. This doesn’t mean I ignore this vehicle shortcomings.

      • Oh my dear, I wouldn’t have used that analogy because cars aren’t harmful to the climate, green house gases are, and hopefully we can continue to increase the number cars that do not produce harmful green house gases. And on the same note, cars do not kill people, people kill people while using bad judgment in their cars. But on the brighter side, if you love clever car design, then maybe you’d love my latest blog project. ALL ABOUT CARS ;-)

  6. So great to find your site today :) I am going to add you to the list of sites on my blog. My favorite commercial (currently running) is for the soon to be open/restored Teatro Municipal in Rio which is closed while they are doing the renovations.

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