Posts by Ana Hernandes - Sao Paulo

São Paulo radio station addresses mobility woes with traffic tool

Getting around in São Paulo, the world’s fourth largest city, is not an easy task. Public transportation is crowded, insufficient for the millions who depend on it, while some 7 million cars clog the streets. Cars average just 18 kilometers an hour, slower than some remote-controlled cars. Last year residents lost 2 hours and 42 minutes each day in traffic jams, according to research from Ibope/Nossa São Paulo. Traffic jams can also prove dangerous, with “arrastões” (groups who attack and steal cars together) working busy avenues during peak times.

The mobility problem is a long way from being addressed, especially since the government isn’t investing in solutions. In another example of Creative Urban Renewal—one of our 10 Trends for 2011—media company Bandeirantes Group, in partnership with insurance provider SulAmérica, launched SulAmérica Trânsito in 2007, a radio station dedicated to broadcasting traffic news around the clock. During rush hour, it’s the No. 2 station in the city. At the end of 2010, they launched a new system to collect traffic data: Partnering with MapLink, a website specializing in digital mapping, they collect information from GPS systems installed in 1 million cars and identify their location and average speed. The system can also be accessed via mobile apps or online.

This system is proving much more reliable than the government’s. In mega-cities, where mobility issues generate anxiety and decrease quality of life, private-sector tools to ease the pain of traffic jams are more than welcome.

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Wasting time in traffic and long lines? Nokia positions smartphone as solution

Wasting time due to circumstances beyond one’s control is a trigger for anxiety, especially among busy urbanites. JWT Brazil conducted a survey on behalf of Nokia and found that 80 percent of respondents feel their time is wasted on a daily basis—that is, they could be doing something else more interesting. Almost everyone said they waste time in traffic jams, 70 percent cited lines and 30 percent faulted bureaucracy. During these periods, 70 percent listen to music and 40 percent use mobile phones, while 40 percent simply get angry.

We subsequently developed a local campaign for Nokia around the insight “Transform your wasted time with a Nokia smartphone.” Most Brazilians don’t realize how much they can do with a smartphone—all communication from carriers and manufacturers is based around social media features. Nokia wanted to differentiate itself from this model, showing the real advantages of a smartphone. Our campaign, which launched last month, includes strategically placed out-of-home messages inside subways and buses, demonstrating why it would be helpful to have a Nokia smartphone. Fun visuals show typical time-wasting situations: traffic, hairdressing, lines for buying concert tickets, etc. The campaign website and a Facebook app let people calculate the amount of time they waste in a year. The goal is to get people thinking about how much time they waste every day and how they could make better use of these situations with a Nokia smartphone.

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Elections reveal how far Brazilians have come in four years

brazil-flagA recent poll in Brazil in advance of the October presidential elections shows how fast the country has developed since it last elected a president four years ago. Back then, people were most concerned about employment, hunger and corruption. Today Brazil is economically stable and growing fast, facing the global economic slowdown crisis without major impacts. Many people who were struggling are now paying attention to higher-level needs. So today they are most concerned about health, education and safety, according to recent research from Ibope Intelligence and the Todos Pela Educacao (All for Education) institute, which asked Brazilians what areas the next president needs to focus on.

Health is the greatest concern for 63 percent of respondents, 20 percent above 2006 levels. And while only 15 percent cited education four years ago, it scored 28 percent in this poll. Other areas of concern are safety (39 percent), drugs (26 percent) and salary (16 percent).

The three presidential candidates are on top of these issues. Health has been a favorite platform for Jose Serra, who instituted key improvements when he served as Health Minister. Education, a big issue for women, is a cause embraced by Marina Silva (herself illiterate until age 16, and proof of how education can change a life). Advancing these areas will be crucial for sustainable growth—we’ll see who presents the best proposals as the campaign advances.

Citizens can research the candidates, and find out more about the deputies, senators and governors who are also on the ballot, at The site is part of a new Federal Electoral Board campaign, “You can choose your destiny,” which includes TV commercials that cleverly use Visual Fluency to help voters understand election basics.

Micro-insurance policies ease Brazilian anxiety over violence

bradescoMany Brazilians once classified as poor are improving their economic situation, and today their main anxiety is maintaining the comfort they’ve recently achieved. Class C (the new Brazilian middle class) grew from 45 percent to 49 percent of the population in 2009, according to Observador Brasil 2010, recently released research conducted by Cetelem/Ipsos. Correspondingly, class D/E (the Brazilian lower class) shrunk from 40 percent to 35 percent. Although they’re consuming products they’ve never had before, most of class C still lives in poor neighborhoods and is concerned about violence.

Indeed, crime is Brazilians’ No. 1 anxiety, as JWT’s AnxietyIndex research found. Attentive to this, Bradesco recently launched a life insurance policy for accidental death that covers stray bullets. People living in two favelas (slums), Heliopolis in São Paulo and Rocinha in Rio, can buy the insurance for US$2 a month. In case of death, the payoff is around US$10,000.

brazil-crime1The product is part of a pilot project for the new middle class that mixes micro-insurance—low-premium insurance designed for people who don’t normally have access to insurance—and social assistance. Brazil is still regulating micro-insurance; if approved, as many as 100 million low-income people could benefit from it. Within the next few months, we will probably see a new market emerging in Brazil that revolves around diminishing violence-related anxiety.

Photo Credits:, AnxietyIndex Trends and Research

Porto Seguro fights Brazilian road rage

transito-mais-gentilHow many times have you been stuck in traffic and witnessed stupid attitudes that ended up with people arguing or even getting physically aggressive? If you live in São Paulo, this has happened at least once in your life. So last December, Porto Seguro, one of Brazil’s largest insurance companies, launched a social movement and campaign called Transito mais gentil (For a kinder traffic). The idea is to discuss driver violence and create calmer attitudes by doing things like showing a heart—which is also the movement logo—when someone has an intolerant attitude on the road.

Supported by many opinion makers and celebrities, the campaign will be rolled out throughout 2010 in the São Paulo area, with everything from TV and radio spots to social media forums and events. More than 8,000 people have joined the cause through Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and Flickr. Recently, Porto Seguro distributed car stickers through Veja, Brazil’s largest weekly magazine, for those who want to show support for the movement.

Porto Seguro is also making customers an offer: a 5 percent discount on car insurance for those with zero occurrences on their driver’s license (i.e., responsible drivers). For supporters of the campaign, they raffle off theater tickets and special content, like tests to identify what kind of driver you are.

Considering that every year 35,000 people die from human failures on Brazilian roads, the campaign seems like a smart one—ideally it will help reduce this number, but at the least it should help alleviate some road-related anxiety by giving drivers a way to address the issue.

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