PURPOSE, New York City / UNITED NATIONS / 2021
The COVID-19 caught most countries unprepared to respond to a health emergency. In this absence of clear and reliable information, misinformation spread like wildfire, magnifying the negative impact of the virus. Brazil is one of the countries hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and has seen a dramatic increase in misinformation.
The Verified initiative set out to solve this challenge, as a call for people, organizations, networks, civil society, companies and media platforms to come together and share reliable and accurate information about COVID-19, in order to spread science, solutions and solidarity.
Verified Brazil’s efforts were focused on building a myriad of collaborations to deliver fact-based advice and verified information in various and unconventional ways, while also elevating the human story and struggle that have been widely overlooked.
The creative idea behind Verified Brazil focused on innovative campaign activations that would resonate with various pockets of Brazilian society.
These creative ideas ranged from lighting up Brazil’s largest landmark, Christ the Redeemer with a tribute to COVID-19 victims, to producing comic strips with some of Brazil's most cherished characters to reach younger audiences.
Verified Brazil shared life-saving information on the metro with cartoon characters and quizzes, and collaborated with national soccer clubs to feature important information at a highly televised match.
Verified also reimagined the first-ever cancelled celebration of Carnival, usually synonymous with huge crowds and celebration, to deliver a message about the importance of vaccination.
To inspire solidarity and hope in the holiday season, Verified created a tribute song and music video, engaging many renowned musical artists and crossing borders to over 10 countries. Verified Brazil also featured a TikTok challenge, comedy videos, and a graffiti mural.
Verified Brazil's efforts were focused on pushing and delivering the Verified message in unconventional ways, and also in elevating the human story and struggle that has been widely overlooked, while building national solidarity to unite Brazilians through a shared sentiment. Verified Brazil incorporated fact-based, life-saving advice into popular channels and platforms, and also aimed to add quality to the conversation about the threats posed by disinformation amidst a global pandemic.
We used a variety of tones to reach diverse audiences to raise awareness and equip Brazilians to protect themselves against COVID-19 and the misinformation that surrounds it, reaching children, soccer fans, families, comedy aficionados, and more. We gathered data in a controlled environment experiment to see if those who were exposed to Verified content were able to recognize misinformation and more likely to believe that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Verified Brazil built more than 50 collaborations since June 2020, and each had its own planning and implementation tactic. Overall, however, all activations were the result of a co-creation process between Verified and each collaborator, whose involvement was fruit of a genuine interest in being a part of this initiative, and not something based on financial incentives.
Not every collaboration was focused on reach and scale, some were more directed efforts to engage specific audiences, for example, the videos with Gloob and Dr. Drauzio Varella. Also, some activations (e.g. the tribute at Christ the Redeemer) leveraged milestones related to the pandemic, or were quick responses to opportunities. Others, such as the graffiti mural paying homage to indigenous elders, addressed communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Verified activations were placed in online videos, masses, media and exhibition in public transportation, an international landmark, live events, social media, among others.
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