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Baruta County / Social Market

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Venezuelan government district uses Twitter to enable safe swapping at a time of crisis



Venezuela is a country in disarray, in the midst of a political and humanitarian crisis. Food shortages are rife, with basic goods being rationed and the military exploiting the situation. Protests against corruption in government, crime and the troubled economy are common.

To help people get their hands on basic products, Baruta County, a district in Caracus, worked with J Walter Thompson Caracus to create #MercadoSocial. The pilot scheme was created to help people to trade foods and other necessities in a safe space overseen by the local government.

The barter took place on Twitter, accessed by 78% of digital users in the country. People could tweet what they were willing to trade and what they wanted to get their hands on, followed by the hashtag #MercadoSocial. Exchange points, like the one pictured below, were set up to help people make a safer exchange, but no money changed hands. This pilot was so well received by the community that it will be run for a second time.

 

Contagious Insight / 

Problem solving / Baruta County, which had minimal resources, used existing platforms to carry out the campaign at a relatively low cost. We have written in the past about the power of dull innovation: MecadoSocial’s accessibility and straightforward logistical problem solving makes this idea stand out.

As Twitter is used by the majority of digital users in the country there is a low barrier to entry, allowing people to get hold of the daily necessities they so desperately need.

Open for opportunities / #MercadoSocial starts online, but the exchange brings a real-world component, giving the community the chance to help each other through the difficulties that Venezuela is facing. As governments around the world have fewer resources at their disposal, there are opportunities for charities and brands to step in and make people’s lives better.

 

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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