A historical milestone defines the beginning of the propaganda in the country: 1808. With the arrival of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil, and the consequent liberation of the country to the foreign economy, from the opening of the Brazilian ports to allied countries of Portugal, an unprecedented situation in the country: the consumption of articles imported from other countries, focusing especially on products coming from England. This habit fostered a consumer market of products that until then were inaccessible to the Brazilian economy and with that the need to make them available to the population. This same year was also marked by the creation of the first Brazilian newspaper, The Gazette of Rio de Janeiro, which had a strong propagandist content of the imperial government, and still had in its pages the first commercial announcements in circulation. By the end of the 19th century, these ads had a strong appeal for services and the purchase and sale of slaves, although some products began to be advertised.

With the creation of the first Brazilian advertising agency, Eclética, in 1914, we see the professionalization of advertising production. Its initial services were the negotiations of the spaces in the newspapers where the media would be inserted. A curious fact at the time was advertisers’ lack of belief in the commercial capacity of newspaper ads: advertising agents literally knocked door-to-door, negotiating with marketers to advertise their products in newspaper advertisements. It was not uncommon to see posters on the doors of commercial establishments that said, “This house does not give alms and does not serve the publicity people!” The newspapers themselves also did not believe in the economic power of the ads, creating difficulties and tensions for the advertising agents. This scenario changed when Eclética got its first big account, Ford, which guaranteed the newspapers an advertising quota, referring to the value of the cars sold at the time. From that point on, the production of the ads had a drastic change, producing targeted articles, publishing and distribution strategies, and a creative and innovative art direction, encouraging the consumption of brands and not just the products

Starting to appear

Owner of several developments that included cotton gin and a cooking oil factory, Antonio Pereira Ignacio sold the yarns of the product to the weavings of the region of Sorocaba. In addition, besides producing the Primus oil that he manufactured from the bagasse of processed cotton, a business that he owned in the region of Sorocaba, even before the purchase of the Votorantim Textile Factory. With the fierce competition, several cotton yarn merchants were surprised by Pereira Ignacio’s innovative strategy: announcing in the newspapers the purchase of lots of raw cotton from local producers, guaranteeing them the harvest of the product at a fixed price. At a time when the industrialists showed little concern for the health of their suppliers’ businesses, the attitude surprised the producers who were queuing up to deliver, in time, the cotton crops previously purchased by the entrepreneur. The results of the newspaper ads were so positive that, in addition to funding cotton production, Antonio Pereira Ignacio also started distributing more productive seeds to the growers.


Next, one of Votorantim’s ads to small producers guaranteeing the purchase of the cotton crop.


Throughout its history, Votorantim has also followed the tradition of producing creative advertisements. In the thirties, he used one of his products, the Primus Cooking Oil, as a promotional piece stamped on a recipe book with delicacies elaborated from the oil. In addition to the opportunities, in the same book, she also promoted one of the main products of her portfolio at the time, Votoran Cement. But Antonio Pereira Ignacio was very restless and knew he could do more. In order for the cement produced at the Santa Helena Cement Factory to become more and more credible, it published the international certifications received at the beginning of its production, as they ensured a quality that was not seen in the Brazilian market until then.

The world of advertising has evolved and Votorantim is not far behind. In addition to the newspapers, in the following years we see the company’s advertising production accompanying this evolution, reaching magazines and television, appearing in soap operas, radio programs and recently on the internet. Continuing this tradition, which began there in the 30’s, in 2018 Votorantim launches the company’s 100-year campaign in the media. But as for Votorantim, to evolve is to have the courage to rethink, re-signify, repay, much more than a simple advertising piece, through this campaign the company celebrates its centenary renewing its role as a citizen company and supporting society to consciously reflect and vote so that we all have a Brazil and a better future.


See below images of some advertisements that we have in the Votorantim Memory collection and that are part of our history.