Case Study: Powered by Respect

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

The Challenge

In Brazil, there are 45 million people, some are disabled but have many abilities.  How can we urge Brazil to respect diversity and overcome prejudices? How can skills stand out more than limitations? 

The Rodrigo Mendes Institute ( is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that every person with a disability has access to quality education in a normal school.

The Rodrigo Mendes Institute partnered with the Globo TV Network as part of Globo’s 'Everything Begins with Respect' platform. This platform launched in 2016 in partnership with UNESCO, UNICEF, UNAIDS and UN WOMEN, with the goal to mobilize society to promote a culture that is not only tolerant, but that also campaigns for the rights of vulnerable groups  against discrimination and prejudice.

With ‘Moved by Respect’, the network aims to mobilize Brazilian society by raising awareness of topics such as inclusion and respecting differences. “This project’s sole purpose is to show that barriers can be broken by anyone and that, in the case of people with special needs, they can overcome limits, striving beyond their physical limitation, in the face of the difficulties and obstacles imposed by society” says Beatriz Azeredo, Social Responsibility director for Globo. “We believe this is only the first step for a necessary change in the way the disabled are treated in Brazil.”

The Creative Idea

When technology and creativity meet social responsibility, amazing things can happen. We are proud to say that we created and realized an unprecedented world first: a person with tetraplegia drove an F1 car using only cerebral commands. The project was launched during the broadcast of the new season of Formula 1: Australian Grand Prix. 

"What motivates us is the constant search for innovation, a way to do something different, to surprise, to enchant. And this award reinforces Globo's ability to innovate in communication, the potential to carry out projects through its own tools and, above all, to generate relevance for brands through our content. Recognition in this category is emblematic: this is a brand building case; Is the brand manifesting itself by one of its main attributes, which is innovation, and showing a new way of doing communication through the medium" says Sergio Valente, Communication Director at Globo TV.

“The great creative highlight of this piece is the combination of technology with our 'Everything Begins with Respect' platform. I believe that, more and more, creativity and technology will work together in search of solutions that are positive for people and, consequently, for brands. With the reach of Globo's platforms, we have been able to show a large number of people the campaign and even publicize the opening of the Formula 1 season” says  Mariana Sá, creative director at Globo TV.

Powered by Respect Campaign Film:

POWERED BY RESPECT from Alexandre Bufarah Tommasi on Vimeo.

The Execution

In the campaign films, recorded at the Velo Cittá race track, in the city of Mogi Guaçu, rural São Paulo, Rodrigo Mendes, who became quadriplegic at the age of 18 after being shot during a robbery, is the one who drives the race car – for the first time since the incident. His emotions are the campaign’s high point. “My jaw dropped when I saw the car. It really is incredible! I figured it would be something cool, but I never imagined that the outcome would be so similar to a professional race car. For me, it was amazing”, said Rodrigo. "The hardest thing to overcome is not physical limitation. It is the limitation of prejudice, the limitation of indifference, the limitation imposed by society - in communication, architecture, urban mobility and especially attitudes. People are not the same. And they should not be. Respect for differences is essential if rights are to be equal for all. Beyond respect, we need to change our attitude in order to remove the barriers. In other words, the challenge of building an inclusive society is mine, it's yours, it's everyone's", he believes.

To make the project a reality, it involved more than 100 professionals from different areas of Globo and a race car that was specially designed and equipped to allow the driver to control the vehicle through brain commands. Developed by Globo’s technology team, sensors were installed in the driver’s helmet and connected to the car’s engine. Computer software mapped the electrical impulses produced by the driver’s brain waves and sent them to an onboard computer connected to the steering system.

The technology ensured that the car’s acceleration and turning movements to the right and left were controlled by Rodrigo’s thoughts. In practice, the system detects the thought standards and, when the trained thought is repeated, the on-board computer reacts with the necessary triggers in the steering system.

In addition to the brain sensors, the car was equipped with a fully computerized control system, from which the steering, accelerator, brakes, clutch and gear-shift can be controlled. A frontal camera detected the traction on the track - an innovation that is being presented in world technology fairs. For Rodrigo’s safety, the vehicle had a remote receiver and direct communication with the teams in the box.

We are very proud to be pioneers on the development of this project, with a multidisciplinary team, that puts technology at accessibility’s service. Much has been said about artificial intelligence and this campaign shows that technology has an important social role”, says Raymundo Barros, CTO at Globo.

The Response

The film was launched on Globo TV during Formula 1’s opening race, by the most influential sportscaster in Brazil. It was a main featured in sports, entertainment and news programs. An online film was released on youtube, vimeo, social media and Globo digital channels and the campaign website “Everything starts with respect”(

89 million viewers were impacted by the campaign on TV and Web. The campaign increased traffic by 317% to the Rodrigo Mendes Institute fan page and by 273% to the Rodrigo Mendes Institute website. One of the videos about the project had more than 636.000 likes on Facebook. The project was featured in sports, entertainment and news programs on Globo TV, covering 98% of all Brazilian cities, reaching 99.6% of the country's population. It was also discussed on the Young Economic Global Leader Summit of 2017 and World Economic Forum, besides important Social Responsibility events in Brazil.

D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate these great, transformative, creative ideas that have had real impact and, ultimately, contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. Deadline has now been extended until August 11.

D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate great, transformative ideas that contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. If you think you have a campaign that makes a real and positive difference to the world then why not enter it into D&AD Impact.



Latest News

Case Study: 25m2 Syria

Read More

News: D&AD Impact Prize Fund

Read More

Case Study: Evan

Read More