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View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup

The 2014 World Cup has been a Brazilian soap opera of epic proportions and the Germany match was the worst game of all time, writes Juliana Barbiero, former marketing director of Just-Eat Brazil and now managing director of Telehelp. She explains how the "Brazilian way of doing things" led some to blind belief.

"Jeitinho brasileiro" amplified the shock of Brazilan fans as they lost to Germany 7-1

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What do you do when the unimaginable happens? When all the odds go against you? This is the general feeling from all Brazilians since Tuesday, when we had the worst defeat in our World Cup history participation: Germany beat Brazil by an impressive 7–1.

Many believed that just good intentions - and not hard work itself - would bring us good results

We are very famous for our soap operas, but the last few days have being more dramatic that many of those novels.

After we went through all the negativism around the World Cup before it started, with many saying that #nãovaitercopa (there will be no World Cup), we embraced and joined the party. Visitors are happy, things have worked and Brazil was winning, climbing the seven-game staircase to win the World Cup.

Beyond belief

We all know football is more than just a game; it is a business of billions of dollars, and unpredictability is key for the excitement around it. But no one could even imagine such a result.

It is not because of losing, because we knew Germany was a very strong team, but the score itself is a reflection of the negative side we suffer in our day-to-day lives - the "jeitinho brasileiro" ["the Brazilian way of doing things"].

Advertisers were so sure of a victory that they did not plan for the worst - a full day after the game, we were still watching TV ads cheering for Seleção to win the World Cup

Jeitinho brasileiro can be seen as a quality – as we are very flexible to improvise on the most odd situation. But it is also a flaw as we always expect that in the end everything will go right somehow, so we might think it is not necessary to plan things ahead of time.

Truth is that Seleção did not prepare itself as it should and the wishes that the "yellow shirt" would play its magic was stronger than common sense. Many believed that just good intentions (and not hard work itself) would bring us good results.

This is so clear that, even almost a full day after the game, we were still watching TV commercials cheering for Seleção with support messages to win the World Cup.

Seems that agencies and advertisers were so sure of a victory that they had not planned for the worst. On Wednesday, we only saw some shy comments especially on social networks from sponsors and brands.

Acting like dumb teenagers

Brazil is a young nation, and sometimes part of the population act like dumb teenagers. We try to demonstrate that it was not a big deal, or even worse, take our frustration to the next level with vandalism and violence, instead of taking things a little bit more seriously.

Brazilians have in their soul a strong sense to not let anything take us down. Therefore, from the second goal onwards people on social networks were making fun of the whole situation with ironic and very acid comments and images.

This can be fun and demonstrate a very resilient spirit, but also it is a strong indication that we do not take ourselves seriously - not even with our biggest passion, nor with our political or economic problems.

On to Rio 2016

At least we won´t have to play against Argentina for the third place – it would be unbearable to any Brazilian to stand the Hermanos if they beat us!

What is left to us now are the price promotions on the most famous yellow shirt in the world, so we can be prepared to cheer up in Rio 2016. As we always say, hope is the last one to die, and we have never won a gold medal in Olympics for football.

My feeling today, after the other finalist was decided, is that despite everything, at least we won´t have to play against Argentina for the third place – we can lose to Germany, even 7 – 1, but to Argentina it would be unbearable to any Brazilian to stand the Hermanos if they beat us!

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

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