The Power of Influence Amid the Pandemic

June 22, 2022

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In collaboration with the global Verified initiative, a UN and Purpose realization, influential voices use their platforms from different strategies to spread life-saving information amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has disseminated just as fast as the virus that took lives around the world. Thus, in order to make public health messages compelling, it has become extremely important to engage voices the audience identifies with and admire, and that influence their behavior. Public health campaigns aimed at ending skepticism, influencing attitudes-changes and disseminating knowledge took great benefits by involving “influential voices” – such as those of digital influencers, artists, celebrities, health care workers, scientists, civil society organizations, media outlets, brands, fact checkers, among others that are able to truly influence their audience. 

With the involvement of such voices, Verified Brazil has joined forces with the aim of drilling through disinformation-congested environments to improve access to verified COVID-19 information directly speaking to audiences. The project counted on over 190 voices in the country, all engaged in collectively-built interventions under the same mission: provide science, solutions and solidarity through fundamental voices to validate and disseminate narratives.

The Strategy

The use of the benefits of engaging influential voices is not new within campaigns. This strategy has been constantly growing, especially with the increased use of social media. By adopting it, projects seek some type of association, of endorsement, shifting campaign narratives to influential voices, harnessing their personality to talk audiences into relating to the message in a simple and accessible way.

In Brazil, Verified used three different strategies for influential voices to engage their communities:

Amplification

As part of the amplification strategy, alongside scientific institutes and other organizations, the #TodosPelasVacinas movement (“#AllForVaccines”) was created in order to raise awareness on the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines. The movement has been amplified by various artists, influencers, celebrities and media outlets. There was also a collaboration with TikTok around Pause, a campaign to fight disinformation, with the main objective of engaging TikTok content creators in the creation of videos on how to identify or react to disinformation, using the hashtag #PrometoPausar (#PledgeToPause).

Content Absorption

Joining forces with the Pause campaign, there was a collaboration with the Cartoon Network channel to create several comic strips by the film animations “Gui & Estopa”, “Irmão do Jorel” and “Zuzubalândia” on how to identify disinformation, seeking a responsible absorption of information on the internet and social media. In addition, by using an Instagram filter produced within the campaign, the public, celebrities and influencers committed themselves (“yes” or “surely”) to verify information, check dates and sources.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cartoon Network Brasil (@cartoonnetworkbrasil)

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Gui e Estopa (@guiestopaoficial)

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Zuzubalândia Oficial (@zuzubalandiaoficial)

Knowledge

With the aim of endorsing science’s voice, Brazilian scientists with the Verificado initiative “occupied” for one day social media profiles of local celebrities and influencers (such as rappers Emicida and Criolo, actress Giovanna Antonelli, humorist Fábio Porchat, among others) sharing content on the COVID-19 variants, reinforcing the importance of the full vaccination and the need to keep adopting prevention measures.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Emicida (@emicida)

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Giovanna Antonelli (@giovannaantonelli)

In Brazil, Verified has reached over 440 million people, crossing borders, which was only possible thanks to a brilliant team of influential voices. In addition to the mentioned tactics, the project also engaged several other partners, in actions such as: a projection on Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue in honor of the pandemic victims; Mônica and Friends exhibition in the São Paulo Subway; #CadaUmDeNós (“#EachOnefUs”) online music festival with 27 celebrities and artists; and collaborations with Agência Lupa, Gloob, Quebrando o Tabu, Tinder, and the Brazilian Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by ONU Brasil (@onubrasil)

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Comitê Paralímpico Brasileiro (@ocpboficial)


Caroline Rego Associate Strategy Director
Juliana Matteucci Senior Strategist
Junior Moreira Partner Campaigner
Choose Both: A Digital Guide
for Equity & Evidence