Smoke & Mirrors: Getting to grips with a Brazillian

Can our master of spin's new Brazilian girlfriend help Smokehouse win a piece of the next World Cup?

by Guy Browning
Last Updated: 06 Dec 2013


Spent most of the weekend with my tidy new girlfriend, Conception. She's Brazilian, which is obviously good news, but she doesn't actually have a Brazilian downstairs. It's not necessarily a deal breaker but I can't help thinking of the Trade Descriptions Act.

She's very keen that I pay for us to have a nice holiday in Rio so she can see her mother. Not sure she's really selling that to me, unless her mother is a maximum of five years older than she is. In a beautiful piece of synchronicity I was called into a meeting with our bewigged CEO, Linton Spivey, who announced that Smokehouse should sponsor the World Cup in Brazil next year. Apart from the fact that we're six years too late and several million too poor, it's a good idea.


Narinder Shah, our CMO, is not happy because she thinks sponsorship is marketing's baby, not ours. She sent me a report from this whizzy marketing agency called KumQuat (which sounds like a mash-up of all the things you want to call their consultants).

The expensive KumQuat recommendation is that our best bet would be to forget the World Cup and sponsor carriage racing in the 2016 Brazil Olympics, as made popular by the Duke of Edinburgh. Brilliant.

That's one step away from putting our name on a hearse. The problem with Smokehouse sponsorship is that our bestselling products are intimate surgical devices that no one wants to hear about, let alone shout about. I once tried to link our Pelvic Floor Repair Kits with the British Trampoline Association. I thought they'd jump at the chance, but it all fell a bit flat.


Spivey clearly wants to be in Brazil for the World Cup because he's insisting we sponsor something over there. Spent the evening with Conception doing some in-depth research into Brazilian possibilities.

There are only two really popular sports in Brazil and the other one is football. Maybe Smokehouse could become the Official Partner of Sex, although I think the Catholic Church may have beaten us to it in South America.

We went through a whole list of Brazilian sports, none of which we could afford to sponsor until we got down to the really niche ones like cock fighting and cricket. Then Conception suddenly remembered something called capoeira, which apparently is some kind of dance.

If it's a Brazilian dance it's bound to be dirty, so we need to get the Smokehouse logo attached to it, preferably on some tiny piece of wiggling Lycra.


No one seemed to be around in my department so I had to ask Harold, our token male, to think about sponsorship opportunities.

He doesn't know a rugby ball from a pickled egg so I wasn't hopeful. The rest of the morning was spent preparing spontaneous tweets from Spivey, who likes to tweet every full moon.

After lunch, Harold reported back that rather than a one-off sponsorship deal we should provide snackable pieces of social content, bespoke activations that generate mass-to-one engagement which are both newsworthy and shareworthy. I nodded sagely and once again struggled to remember how he ended up in my department.

I gave him the address of a London capoeira club and told him to get down there, see what it was all about and bespokely activate it.


Visited Harold in hospital.

It turns out that capoeira is an exceptionally vicious form of Brazilian street fighting.

Harold asked various people to dance, which didn't go down terribly well, and he ended up being badly beaten by a line of black-belt capoeira nut jobs. Queensbury rules don't apply to capoeira and Harold took some low blows.

I cheered him up by reminding him that Smokehouse actually does a rather nice line in prosthetic testes. He didn't see the funny side but it did give me a cracking idea. I'm going to organise a competition for the surgeons who buy our prosthetic testes - a World Cup Spot the Ball.

The prize will be a luxury trip to the World Cup closely escorted by a core Smokehouse Team, including yours truly with tasty girlfriend. As a business solution, it's all rather neat and tidy. Brazilian style.

Guy Browning can be contacted at

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