Although it is an extremely beautiful country, Brazil comes with a number of social issues: Corruption, poverty, crime, and a lesser-known one, the phenomenon of burn buses. The latter is common as an act of protest in Brazil states BBC. Just type these keywords on Google and you’ll get the image. This act comes not only with financial losses but with social issues too. Thousands of vehicles are destroyed. These are material things, items that can be restored in one way or another. What remains irreversible are the victims of these actions. People who either lose their lives or end up being seriously injured.

This is the case of Jefferson Alves da Silva, a driver who was involved in a bus fire and saved a physically disabled passenger, ending up with serious injuries. His story is brought to the attention of the public by Mercedes-Benz Brasil in partnership with Moma Propaganda. The man is not the only victim Mercedes has focused on. Throughout the campaign “I Ride and I Care” (“Eu Uso Eu Cuido” in Portuguese), the brand encourages people to preserve the bus while bringing the stories of the victims into the forefront. To not let these stories stay into oblivion, we at decided to revive this campaign during our weekly #ThrowBrandThursday column.

“With this initiative, we seek to raise public awareness about the importance of public transportation. We want people to feel like one of the co-owners of the buses, and be against any kind of practice that may affect the user, especially the bus fire, which last year had about 600 occurrences in the country alone,” said Curt Axthelm, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Mercedes-Benz Brasil. “This situation affects, directly or indirectly, all people who use transportation on a daily basis.”

In the first part of the initiative, the brand released a video in which burned buses appear. It features testimonials from photojournalists who recorded such acts, speaking about their photos and their symbolism. The film gathered over 1,000,000 views on Facebook and over 420,000 on YouTube.

The campaign continued by inviting the public to join the initiative and send a personal photo to the website, where images of the buses were replaced with these photos. The aim was to “exchange all the images in the advertising piece, transforming a negative scenario into a positive one.”

Two years later, Mercedes came up with a new episode of the initiative, presenting the story of the above-mentioned driver. da Silva had put his life at risk to save one of his passengers, propelling him to the title of “hero.” This convinced Mercedes-Benz to give him a symbolic tribute, having his name embedded on a sign, which was displayed on a bus produced by the company.


Client: Mercedes-Benz Brasil

Agency: Moma Propaganda