Brazil’s Rede Globo seeks to revolutionize its company—and perhaps the entire Latin American television industry—by spreading a message of social justice across the country via a strategy the network has dubbed “Good Mob.”
The term combines the English word “good” with the abbreviation of the Portuguese word “mobilização” meaning mobilization, and encompasses humanitarian actions the station has undertaken since its debut.
Sérgio Valente, communications director for social responsibility, says Globo is aware of its influence in Brazil and this is why the network aspires to evolve right along with the audience it serves.
“‘Good Mob’ has nothing to do with philanthropy,” Valente says. “It is a thought, an inner belief, to ask ourselves what the role of brands and companies is when it comes to contributing to the evolution of society. The more society evolves, the greater the possibilities for corporations.”
“Good Mob” is a philosophy built on engagement, developed by tuning in to the topics that are attracting its audience’s attention, training Globo’s in-house teams to get involved with these conversations, and influencing and amplifying their social impact. To carry out successful socially-fueled activations, Globo gathers subject experts to help craft the campaigns.
“We give them space so they can teach us, so they can talk to our journalists, authors and actors. This is how a strategy of influence is born, which is actually a strategy of knowledge, of wisdom,” says Valente.
That’s the key to Globo’s social responsibility department, defined by Director Beatriz Azeredo as “a team that seeks to influence Globo’s internal teams, while engaging in dialogue with the external [world].”
The department works with several associations and institutions such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the Rodrigo Mendes Institute on important topics that include education, human rights, youth, sustainability, health and quality of life.
“This way, ‘Good Mob’ rethinks the public value of broadcast TV,” says Azeredo.
The powerful program is broken down into three causes: soap operas, journalism, and the campaign Criança Esperança, aimed at requesting donations for the social projects Globo is a part of. This campaign features an annual telethon, last held on August 19, focused on issues such as racism, transgender rights and sexism. The event raised 25 percent more funds than in the previous year, and included special guests such as actor Lázaro Ramos and Globo talents who answered phone calls from viewers interested in making a donation.
“Everything we do is intended to connect all of our organizations and experts in order to tune into those issues we want to contribute to,” says Azeredo.
Since 2014, the channel has been applying different listening techniques and has invited young people from different social backgrounds in Brazil to share their values.
This is how Proyecto Menos30 was born.
“Young millennials are empowered thanks to technology. They are constantly searching, exchanging information and sharing opinions with each other. They do not accept being led,” says Valente. “That’s why we created this brand. Menos30 isn’t interested in finding out what young people want, but in discovering who young people are.”
The project included two workshops, an exhibition and a special edition release of “Caderno Globo.”
Education is one of the most important issues in Brazil that “Good Mob” tackles, and is also one of the most complex according to the two executives.
The campaign aims to ensure that people not only enroll in school, but return after the holidays, as well as supporting teachers’ roles, and encouraging reading. It is a 360-degree approach. Several spots encourage students to return to classes, with the message that “with education you can dream more.”
GloboNews also aired programs on the myths and realities of education, and the network is organizing discussion forums for Education Week in October.
Also, via its platform Assista a esse livro (Watch This Book), Globo has created hyperlinked ebooks where users can read Brazilian classics. Pages lead to audiovisual scenes that have already broadcast, creating an interactive system.
The network’s platform REP, which stands for Repercutindo Ideias (Speading Stories), also covers educational topics.
Everything Starts with Respect
Many of Globo’s social causes exist under the campaign Tudo Começa Pelo Respeito (Everything Starts with Respect), launched in partnership with UNESCO, UNICEF, UNAIDS and UN WOMEN, and dealing with issues such as racism, violence against women, homophobia and social inclusion.
In the platform Respeito (Respect), celebrities and non-celebrities alike call on viewers to accept others regardless of their background and situation, illustrating that it is respect for each other’s differences that allows us to see everyone as equal.
One of the campaign’s viral videos (shown below), features a young man with Down syndrome enumerating all of his abilities, such as being able to study and dream.
“If I can respect you, you can also respect me,” he says.
In another popular video posted on social media, artist Marian Sousa recites a poem about religious intolerance.
“This is an amazing case and it shows that it is a living strategy,” says Valente.
The film Powered by Respect, recognized this year at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, is another example of the platform’s success. The spot, made in cooperation with the Rodrigo Mendes Institute, depicts the first-time-ever a quadriplegic drives a race car using commands straight from his brain.
“This project is true creativity; it is about using communication to change the world and accompany it,” says Valente.
Many of the efforts behind “Good Mob” focus on the redefinition of gender identity. Newscasts Globo Repórter and Profissão Repórter, for example, broadcast interviews on this topic. Globo also recently launched the 12th edition of the publication Corpo: artigo indefinido (Body: indefinite article) during the LGBTQA+ Pride Day in June, where it was presented alongside art performances and debates.
Both the cover and the back cover feature a face of overlapping identities that compose a diverse world.The concept behind the publication is made clear in the first lines of the text: “this publication was knowingly born incomplete. Gender is a global issue. It refers to everyone, to the range of people who exist in the wide space between the masculine and the feminine.”
Gender identity is also depicted on screen in the primetime soap opera A Força do Querer. In it, the character of Ivana—played by Carol Duarte—starts to identify herself as a man.
Since it’s a sensitive issue in Brazil—transvestite and transsexual murder rates are high in the country—the screenwriter Gloria Perez introduced the character of Nonato—a man who dresses as a woman in his shows—to explain the difference between being transgender and transvestite.
The character was developed after the screenwriter saw Silvero Pereira, who plays Nonato, exploring the theme in his own theater performance. A Força Do Querer shows how the philosophy of “Good Mob” can be introduced into a series or topic, and then inspire Globo’s team to action.
“When a topic like this comes to a free-to-air channel during primetime, the most important thing is to reconcile the industry, entertainment, art and social elements,” says Pereira. “And to make this happen, it is very important that the whole team is connected to the idea.”
He believes the soap opera is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Only 30 seconds of air generate a whole week of debate on the internet. The interesting thing is that other influencers, such as bloggers or institutions, also get involved in the conversations.”
Pereira believes Brazil is a prejudiced and violent society, “but if through catharsis and art we can come out of this superficiality and portray an image revealing more soul and less body, this means that we’ve made great progress,” he says.
The ‘Good Mob’ Creativity
The “Good Mob” philosophy has not been developed as a unique creative concept, but it takes on a different tone depending on the campaign.
For example, on the platform Everything Starts with Respect, many of the characters wear blue T-shirts with the same logo that feature an R, for respect, where the heart is.
“The campaign can change as the social causes vary,” says Globo Creative Director Leandro Castillo.
‘Good Mob’ as Revolution
Azeredo is convinced that “Good Mob” is a unique case of combining a social movement with broadcast TV, and that it can be replicated across the Latin American region.
“It is a special opportunity to think about new forms of communication,” she says.
Valente believes that rather than just revolutionizing the television industry, the philosophy is revolutionizing Globo.
“We are focused on what we can transform in ourselves first, to better play the role of a socially responsible company,” he says.
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