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Itaú - Show Your Strength Brazil

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As a bank and a local sponsor, Itaú had a big dream and even bigger shoes to fill. It was running against some of the strongest brands in the world: Nike, Adidas and Coca-Cola.

In a country where people consider banks a “necessary evil,” Itaú knew that its communications had to come from a place of truth so it could achieve the impact it wanted. So the brand let people and their thoughts and feelings about the World Cup lead the way.

Brazilians are passionate about football, but they are also passionate about the future of their country. Political and social awareness has been on the rise over the past few years, leading people to question the millions spent on stadiums when basic needs are still an issue in Brazil.

But, instead of cowering in a corner and praying people would forget Itaú was sponsoring the event, Agência Africa realised that the spirit of people taking the streets to change their reality could be its inspiration.

Why? Because it was that same spirit of change that motivated the crowd present at the Confederation’s Cup finale to sing the National Anthem a capella, motivating the National Team in a way that led the Spanish coach to declare to the press that “Brazil had us at the anthem”.

So the agency set out to spread its belief that, in a stadium, people could change the results of a match. In the streets, they could change everything. People could #changethegame.


From June 2013 until July 2014, Agência Africa performed ongoing research to help understand people’s evolving feelings about the World Cup. It wanted to convey these feelings through a single voice. In order to do that, the agency worked with two renowned Brazilian musicians to compose a song that could reflect how people could #changethegame.  “Show Your Strength, Brazil” was launched, sung by two renowned Brazilian singers, Fernanda Takai and Paulo Miklos.

The song was well received by people from the very start, but Itaú wanted more. It wanted the song to take the streets, to be sung by people in stadiums, to be recognisable to anyone from the very first beat.

So its mission was to help “Show Your Strength, Brazil” reach the most remote corners of Brazil. Social media was the key to that, but it wasn’t enough. The social media push through the brand channels had gathered good results, but it desired a higher level of engagement. So it went old school advertising. It hired celebrities. But there was a twist.


Getting celebrities to promote a brand message is one of advertising’s oldest tricks in the book. We all know their ability to loan charm and glamour to a brand or product. But in the social media age, we also know how reaching out to them through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can make people feel closer and connected to their idols in a more profound way. That’s where Agência Africa saw the opportunity to make “Show Your Strength, Brazil” even more contagious.

So, instead of glamming celebrities up and putting them in a studio, it asked some of Brazil’s most influential and adored musicians to record their own versions of the song. They could use their own arrangements, and record it from the comfort of their own homes, with their phones. It wasn’t meant to be a big production. All they had to do was publish their version of the song on their own social media channels.

The conversation gained momentum instantly. By giving people’s access to the song through the voice of their favourite singer, it assured it would surpass barriers such as music gender, or an instant disinterest in what is perceived as brand advertising. People could then connect with what the song was really about, their power to #changethegame. It not only worked, but something else amazing happened. People started sharing their own versions of “Show Your Strength, Brazil”, which the agency then turned into a homage that it broadcasted on TV.


“Show Your Strength, Brazil” was a major success. It had over 17 million views and ranked 6th on YouTube’s leaderboard. The song generated over 1,500 spontaneous videos, nearly 58% more than a competitor that had a competition in which people could win tickets by recording their song.

Over 400,000 people downloaded the track and 88% of social media comments were positive.

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Itaú Unibanco
June - July 2014
Agência Africa
Media Channel:
  • FMAs shortlisted

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