Ambev and Nike use advertising campaigns to ‘depoliticize’ the use of the national team’s shirt

THE beverage giant Ambev launched a new advertising campaign for the brand Brahma, in which the narrator Galvão Bueno calls the audience to “remember the original meaning of hopscotch”. In the play, fans are called upon to put aside the differences they have off the field. The video comes in the midst of an attempt to re-signify the shirt of the Brazilian football team, an intention that can also be noticed in a more subtle way in the promotion of the new shirt, with the brand of Nike. The sports brand, by the way, has already made restrictions on customization of shirts to avoid Lula/Bolsonaro polarization.

The tone is that this national symbol has no side, despite having been extensively used by supporters of the president and candidate for reelection, Jair Bolsonaro (PL). “Regardless of our differences off the field, the time has come to remember the original meaning of our shirt”, says the narration of the advertisement for the Ambev brand. “Take the hopscotch out of the closet and put on your shirt, it’s yours, it’s mine and all our fans.”

Brazil match: rescue of the yellow-green shirt as a symbol of all
Brazil match: rescue of the yellow-green shirt as a symbol of all Photograph: Wilton Junior/Estadão

Continues after advertising

Ambev’s piece is the closest to the political tension generated around national symbols. In the release of the new official shirt of the selection, which bears the Nike brand, the tone was more distant. “It’s collective. It represents more than 210 million Brazilians. It’s our Claw. Wear the claw,” wrote the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in an excerpt of the post on social networks in which it discloses the product.

For Dario Menezes, executive director of Caliber and specialist in corporate image, Ambev has well captured the tension that exists among consumers regarding the political use of the national team’s uniform. He sees the position of brands that seek a place of consensus for this national symbol as correct, in order to “recreate connection and engagement” with colors, clothing and selection.

In his view, there is no propensity for criticism on the part of consumers for the fact that the company has touched on a more sensitive subject, precisely because the proposal does not take any sides. “In a politicized environment like the one we live in, companies want to connect to the spirit of the Cup, to what the yellow shirt represents in the history of cups, but they don’t want to take a political side, which is very correct. They want to engage people of all stripes,” he says.

In a statement, Brahma stated that “he has always strongly believed that there are more things that unite us than separate us. Our mission has always been to unite Brazilians through national passions – carnival, barbecue, music, football. Now, with almost 100 days to go until the Cup, the feeling we heard is that, regardless of the differences off the field, people want to cheer for the team, shout a goal with the hopscotch, feel the wonderful atmosphere of a Cup. With this campaign, we want to remind Brazilians that the World Cup is almost here.”

Take the hopscotch out of the closet and put on your shirt, it’s yours, it’s mine and all our fans.”

Brahma’s new advertising text

Also in a statement, Nike said that “the team uniform is like a national flag, it symbolizes the country and its people. The motto of Nike’s new campaign for the Selection is the Brazilian Claw, inspired by the jaguar and the determination of our people. On the field, determination means moving forward, dribbling, pedaling, scribbling, fighting, but above all, it represents the spirit of resilience of the entire Brazilian people”.

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