havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://dare.havas.com/behind-the-work/tackling-misinformation-on-the-pitch/
Behind the Work

Tackling Misinformation on the Pitch

Tackling Misinformation on the Pitch

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

February 27, 2020

Havas Health & You and ABCVac take a guerilla approach in the wake of a measles outbreak.

"Recent research revealed that seven out of ten Brazilian citizens believe in false information about vaccination. Fake news, along with other issues, has led to our worst immunization rate in recent years"

A major measles outbreak made headlines in Brazil in 2019, sparking a health crisis which coincided with the country’s lowest rate of vaccination in 16 years. According to the Pan American Health Organization, 13,489 cases of measles and 15 deaths were confirmed between January and December 2019, statistics that continue to threaten lives and the future health of the Brazilian population. In an era of misinformation surrounding immunization, Havas Health & You Brazil and ABCVac (the Brazilian Association of Immunization Clinics) teamed up to orchestrate an impactful guerrilla campaign, with an aim to highlight just how safe life-saving vaccines are. In a match against Chapecoense in the Brazilian Soccer Championship, Santos Football Club players entered the Vila Belmiro Stadium with their sleeves rolled up to display bandages on their arms. Pairing the gesture with a banner, the main message of the campaign was clear—that vaccines save lives (and are even safe enough to receive before a championship match). 

Speaking of the campaign, Laura Florence, Executive Creative Director of Havas Health & You Brazil, said the match was the ideal platform to amplify ABCVac’s message. “ABCVac’s main purpose is to expand the concept of prevention throughout the national territory,” she said. “That’s why we looked for a partner and a sports event that would reach all races, genders, ages, regions, and incomes. Santos FC is one of the most traditional teams in the country. Worldwide idols like Pelé and Neymar played there. The club is also the main team in the city of Santos and last summer, cruise ships from Europe and Asia docked at the city’s port, with dozens of people infected with measles. The virus soon spread across the country, killing at least 15 patients. We also chose this platform based on numbers. The Brazilian Championship is a leading league globally. It is the most-watched football league in the Americas and one of the world’s most exposed. It is broadcast in 155 nations and over eight million fans cheer in 380 matches.” 

From the get-go, Florence said Santos FC were extremely receptive to the idea, and even offered a deeper insight into a measles outbreak, having experienced the threat throughout the summer. “In fact, they educated us and gave us many insights that were incorporated into the campaign because they know what it’s like to have a measles outbreak,” said Florence. “It really highlighted that if athletes can get vaccinations before a major soccer game, healthy young people can and should do that too.” 

On the day of the match, Florence and her team printed extra bandages which were offered to Santos FC’s opponents Chapecoense, to help amplify the message even further. “To our surprise, the whole visiting team went onto the field with their sleeves rolled up too,” she said.

The successful campaign was a creative way to create a meaningful stir with a smaller budget. “In Brazil, the numbers are alarming,” the Executive Creative Director said. “Recent research by the Brazilian Society of Immunizations revealed that seven out of ten citizens believe in false information about vaccination. Fake news, along with other issues, has led to our worst immunization rate in recent years. Measles, polio, diphtheria, yellow fever, and rubella are some of the diseases that threaten Brazil again. That’s why this campaign was so important and football was a powerful platform for this cause. In Brazil, it is the most popular sport and our main sporting event. We have millions of stadium fans and large media audiences, with a level of involvement that generated engagements no traditional campaign could have achieved with the same budget.”

"Recent research revealed that seven out of ten Brazilian citizens believe in false information about vaccination. Fake news, along with other issues, has led to our worst immunization rate in recent years"

A major measles outbreak made headlines in Brazil in 2019, sparking a health crisis which coincided with the country’s lowest rate of vaccination in 16 years. According to the Pan American Health Organization, 13,489 cases of measles and 15 deaths were confirmed between January and December 2019, statistics that continue to threaten lives and the future health of the Brazilian population. In an era of misinformation surrounding immunization, Havas Health & You Brazil and ABCVac (the Brazilian Association of Immunization Clinics) teamed up to orchestrate an impactful guerrilla campaign, with an aim to highlight just how safe life-saving vaccines are. In a match against Chapecoense in the Brazilian Soccer Championship, Santos Football Club players entered the Vila Belmiro Stadium with their sleeves rolled up to display bandages on their arms. Pairing the gesture with a banner, the main message of the campaign was clear—that vaccines save lives (and are even safe enough to receive before a championship match). 

Speaking of the campaign, Laura Florence, Executive Creative Director of Havas Health & You Brazil, said the match was the ideal platform to amplify ABCVac’s message. “ABCVac’s main purpose is to expand the concept of prevention throughout the national territory,” she said. “That’s why we looked for a partner and a sports event that would reach all races, genders, ages, regions, and incomes. Santos FC is one of the most traditional teams in the country. Worldwide idols like Pelé and Neymar played there. The club is also the main team in the city of Santos and last summer, cruise ships from Europe and Asia docked at the city’s port, with dozens of people infected with measles. The virus soon spread across the country, killing at least 15 patients. We also chose this platform based on numbers. The Brazilian Championship is a leading league globally. It is the most-watched football league in the Americas and one of the world’s most exposed. It is broadcast in 155 nations and over eight million fans cheer in 380 matches.” 

From the get-go, Florence said Santos FC were extremely receptive to the idea, and even offered a deeper insight into a measles outbreak, having experienced the threat throughout the summer. “In fact, they educated us and gave us many insights that were incorporated into the campaign because they know what it’s like to have a measles outbreak,” said Florence. “It really highlighted that if athletes can get vaccinations before a major soccer game, healthy young people can and should do that too.” 

On the day of the match, Florence and her team printed extra bandages which were offered to Santos FC’s opponents Chapecoense, to help amplify the message even further. “To our surprise, the whole visiting team went onto the field with their sleeves rolled up too,” she said.

The successful campaign was a creative way to create a meaningful stir with a smaller budget. “In Brazil, the numbers are alarming,” the Executive Creative Director said. “Recent research by the Brazilian Society of Immunizations revealed that seven out of ten citizens believe in false information about vaccination. Fake news, along with other issues, has led to our worst immunization rate in recent years. Measles, polio, diphtheria, yellow fever, and rubella are some of the diseases that threaten Brazil again. That’s why this campaign was so important and football was a powerful platform for this cause. In Brazil, it is the most popular sport and our main sporting event. We have millions of stadium fans and large media audiences, with a level of involvement that generated engagements no traditional campaign could have achieved with the same budget.”

Patricia Murphy joined Havas Group in October 2019 as a Senior Editor and Writer. She has a background in digital journalism and content creation.

ArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchEnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: