Disque Denuncia: Stray Notification

Campaign Summary

Disque Denuncia used cutting-edge mobile technology to reach Brazilian citizens living in and around the slums of Rio de Janeiro, asking them to report criminal activity to help the country's war on drugs. The Stray Notifications campaign reached individuals in areas where drug lords were restricting information, allowing them to contact authorities anonymously.


Objective and Context:

According to the UN, Brazil is the second-most country to suffer from stray bullets, and Rio de Janeiro is the second-most violent city in the world, with a murder rate comparable to war zones. Most of this problem is due to confrontations between authorities and drug lords, a decades-long issue in the city.

Disque Denuncia was founded 20 years ago to serve as a way for the country’s population to contribute in the fight against violence. Currently, it is the largest anti-crime hotline in Brazil. Despite its size, however, Disque Denuncia was still not having the desired effect within communities. Two primary challenges faced the hotline:

  • It was extremely difficult to access Brazil’s most violent areas, with drug lords holding communities hostage, controlling the information that reaches them.
  • Even when Disque Denuncia was able to contact people in violent areas, they still felt unsafe, and afraid to report anything that might put them in danger.

Target Audience:

The brand's target was comprised of the people who lived or were constantly passing by the slums of Rio de Janeiro, who knew the place well, and could have important information to help the police find illegal weapons. Anyone over the age of 18 in proximity to the slums of Rio with access to a smartphone was considered part of the target audience.

Creative Strategy:

The biggest cause of stray bullets in Rio de Janeiro was illegal weapons concealed by drug lords. Disque Denuncia had to find a way to deliver its message even in areas where criminals had forbidden any type of media. The brand chose the most violent slums in the city, including the ninth-biggest slum in the world, Rocinha, delivering a "Stray Notification." The message was geo-targeted to people inside the slums, with a precision of one meter. The message was simple: "A stray bullet doesn't give you a second chance. A Stray Notification Does. Inform against illegal weapons. Call 2253-1177."


Overall Campaign Execution:

Using a new technology that combined Wi-Fi, an accelerometer, and the Earth's magnetic field, Disque Denuncia could spread the message inside delimited areas that it didn't have access to previously. The brand set out the most dangerous zones in slums in Rio with a safe and viable way to reach the target audience.

Mobile Execution:

The budget for Stray Notification was 100 percent dedicated to mobile. The brand used a new technology that combined Wi-Fi, an accelerometer, and the Earth's magnetic field to message individuals it couldn't previously reach.

The accelerometer showed users' movements and altitude. Wi-Fi hotspots nearby helped to make tracking more accurate based on intensity of signal. To bring the locator to a precision within one meter, Disque Denuncia used a sensor that could read distortions in the Earth's magnetic field, showing exactly where a user was, like a magnetic finger print of the location.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

In the last five years, the Brazilian economy has grown, and so did the lower classes' access to smartphones. Disque Denuncia saw this as an opportunity to get through the barriers drug lords have imposed to any kind of media against violence.

Hotline tips about illegal weapons increased by 550 percent in the slums where the Stray Notifications were delivered, helping authorities apprehend 347 riffles and countless ammunition. This was proof the program had overcome the two key challenges Disque Denuncia faced with reaching people in Brazil's slums. The results of the project revealed an opportunity to apply Stray Notifications on a larger scale to mobilize and engage the public to provide tips that could help solve many other social issues around the country.

Mobile media was critical to the campaign's success, as people were afraid of being discovered reporting illegal activity, and mobile gave them a trusted channel they could use anonymously.

Categories: Social Impact/Not For Profit | Industries: Nonprofits & Government | Objectives: Social Impact/Not For Profit | Awards: Silver Winner