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Megan Fox sells ELT in Brazil

English language training isn’t usually associated with smouldering sex symbols – which is perhaps why one of Brazil’s biggest operators, CCAA, has cast the Hollywood siren Megan Fox in its latest television commercial.

Megan Fox and Mike Tyson star in CCAA's latest commercialCCAA is using star (and sex) appeal gain traction in Brazil's fast-growing English language learning market

“Megan Fox is a hit in Brazil and all over the world”

Shown on Brazilian TV, the tongue-in-cheek ad stars two adolescent boys who, after being stranded at sea following a plane crash, are swept ashore on “Megan Fox” island – an island populated by scantily clad clones of the Transformers star.

However, when the boys try to talk to Megan, their lack of English lets them down and they are banished to a dystopian neighbouring island populated by raging Mike Tyson clones.

As well as provoking a frenzy in the global entertainment media, the ad perfectly spotlights ELT in Brazil, where the need for better proficiency is growing fast as the World Cup and Olympic Games approach.

“Megan Fox is a hit in Brazil and all over the world,” said Richardson Gomes, teaching coordinator at the CCAA Praça 14 in Manaus – one of the 800 independent schools under the CCAA brand in Brazil. “This connection with the teenagers makes it easier for them to accept that by studying English they will be able to interact with people all over the world.”

With its pan-Brazil presence and courses aimed at the expansive lower-middle class – a position shared only with chains such as Fisk and Wizard – CCAA is well placed to clean up on the rising demand. It claims to have educated 210,000 Brazilians in 2011, with growth of 15% over the last few years, and its high end advertising (the company also ran a campaign with Bruce Willis last year) indicates considerable operational heft.

“The business is growing as a whole in Brazil,” marketing director, Adolfo Souza, told The PIE. “We have had very good performance in the last few years, and we feel this trend has happened across the whole market.”

“We want to spread the idea that we are an international company”

Souza said the advert would appeal to CCAA’s core target of 12–17 years old English learners, as well as boosting its profile abroad  (the school has 20 schools outside Brazil).“We want to spread the idea that we are an international company”

“We want to spread the idea that we are an international company, so these kinds of celebrities can boost this perception. Also the size of our company; that we are a big, not small player in this market,” he said.

The company plans to open more branches in Brazil in 2012 but will face an increasingly crowded market. International players such as Wall Street Institute, Berlitz and Pearson are sure to build upon their presence. Meanwhile, the online ELT platform Livemocha signed a distribution deal with one of the country’s biggest education companies, Abril Educação, in November expected to deliver affordable language learning to millions in the coming years.

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