Cannes Lions

Out of the Closet

VMLY&R, São Paulo / CASAS BAHIA / 2022

Case Film
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Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

We're Casas Bahia, the largest retail chain in Brazil. We sell tons of products, but we're well known for our furniture, like wardrobes and closets. We’ve been closet specialists for over 70 years, then something happened. We saw how hard and traumatic it is for a person to come out of the closet. And we saw this on Big Brother, a reality TV show watched by 40 million people. As Brazil is a prejudiced country where one LGBTQIA+ person is attacked per hour, we had to take a stand. And as Casas Bahia has stores in every region of Brazil, we know our reach and power to send a such important message and do our part to change our country.

Idea

After the end of the Big Brothers TV show, the two participants became famous, with millions of lovers and millions of haters. So, we launched a campaign reuniting them alongside real couples. In the commercial, they showed their love in front of an item in our store that has a lot of meaning: the closet.

To add even more emotion and effect, a song in Portuguese starred in the commercial. People understood and this was a bold move, as Brazil is a prejudiced country where one LGBTQIA+ person is attacked per hour.

Understanding, identification, and support are crucial. They must feel that they aren’t freaks and misfits and they need to know that there is space for any kind of love in our society. That's why our film begins with the following statement: IF YOU BELIEVE THAT CLOSETS ARE FOR STORING THINGS AND NOT FEELINGS, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Strategy

Brazil has 20M people who are openly LGBTQIA+, but it has more than that. We wanted everyone to feel represented and included, so the campaign featured a plurality of couples. And it worked. The audience joined organically the campaign, include famous artists, such as the 90’s iconic diva, Xuxa, with 12,2M followers.

Besides that, the singer of the soundtrack, Johnny Hooker, and the 2 Big Brothers participants, Gil do Vigo (15,1M followers) and Lucas Penteado (8M followers) helped amplify the message.

And 20 of the most engaged LGBTQIA+ digital influencers were the voice of Casas Bahia in real-time on social networks, creating a huge conversation about love and prejudice.

As all of them are LGBTQIA+, who know the fears and traumas of coming out, the dialogue had more relevant content and real approach. It wasn't an outsider talking about the LGBTQIA+ community, it was the community talking to itself.

Execution

The commercial launched during the break of Brazil's most watched Sunday TV show (Fantástico) and the campaign became a trending topic almost instantly and stayed there for 2 days in a row.

After that, the commercial was posted on the social networks of Casas Bahia, by the 2 former Big Brothers participants, by 20 LGBTQIA+ digital influencers, and by the singer of the soundtrack, Johnny Hooker.

In this way, the message reached even more people, broaden a dialogue with the audience on social networks. With the increase in people interest, together with a PR campaign, the project also became a talking point of the mainstream media the mainstream media, such as: CNN, Globo, Buzzfeed, Yahoo, SBT, Rede TV, Record and Band.

But most importantly, the campaign also transformed Casas Bahia with actions that value and respect employees of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Outcome

Casas Bahia was the brand with the largest online engagement during Pride Month, with nearly the double of the second place.

The campaign had 65 million interactions and reached 78 million people, a record for Casas Bahia.

We did more than just create awareness, we implemented real changes in our company:

• More than 30,000 workers have received diversity and inclusion training so far.

• Paternity leave for same-sex couples is now 6 months, as is the same for women.

• Trans employees can have their preferred names on their name tags and corporate emails.

• We created Brazil's largest LGBTQIA+ hiring program, breaking the barrier for one of the biggest problems of this community: finding a job.

These changes have been extending to other Via Group companies (Ponto, Extra.com.br, banQi, i9XP, Celer and Bartira Furniture).

We began a transformation inside to push those outside to change too.

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