Client: BR Malls
“The Empty Project”
São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Chief Creative Officer:
Guga Ketzer

Creative Directors:
Cássio Moron, Fabio Saboya e Sergio Mugnaini

Fabio Saboya, Marcelo Rosa, Raphael Franzini, Weber Luiz de Andrade

Art Directors:
Eduardo Tallia, Alexandre Amaral, Gustavo de Lacerda

Eduardo Tallia, Gustavo de Lacerda

Planning Team:
Ken Fujioka, Daniel de Tomazo, André Troster

Account Team:
Fernão Cosi, Fabiane Veiga, Tatiana Moliterno, Renato Nose, Isabella Motta, Gabriela Ruffo

Media team:
Rodrigo Tamer, Leandro Otsuka, Natália Oliveira, Thiago Ribeiro, José Carlos de Melo

Production Team:
Ana Luisa Andre, Indaiara Pelizario

Production company:
O2 Filmes

Quico Meirelles

Photography Directors:
Cauê Laratta e Pedro Moscalcoff

Executive producers:
Ana Luisa André e Sid Fernandes

Saulo Simão

Post production:
O2 Filmes

Sound production:

Marcus Vinicius Borja, Roberta Naveiro Garcia, Marcela Massetto Castellano, Caroline Cuschnir and Daniela Meirelles Pimenta.

Reinventing an Iconic Ritual
Despite Brazil being a tropical country, in some cities, such as São Paulo, the winter is quite severe and gets pretty cold during 3 months per year: from June to august. For this reason, since the 50’s, there is a clothes donation campaign, created by São Paulo State’s Government, called The Annual Winter Clothing Drive.

The inner works are simple: big cardboard boxes with the campaign logo are placed in public schools and companies that associate with the cause, people drop off their donations in them and the campaign staff collects them periodically.

So, our first objective was avoid these usual donations drop boxes and promote a new way of collecting donations for the 2013 Winter Clothing Drive of VillaLobos Mall, one of the biggest shopping centers of BR Malls Group. 

And this was not an easy task, considering the usual campaign is over 60 years old and, it can be said, is in autopilot mode. 

Creating a new Donation Experience
Even though the mechanics of the campaign are the same for over 60 years and have helped to warm the winter of millions of people in this period, there is no denying that this ritual – throwing used clothes in a big cardboard box – stimulates the donation of clothes in terrible conditions. Not to mention its incapacity to make people who are donating perceive the real value of what they are doing – dressing a person in need -, which would stimulate them even more to donate.

So taking what a shopping center can be good at as a starting point, we defined our second objective to VillaLobos Mall creative work: a new twist to the annual clothing drive, encouraging donations through a change in the experience.

Usually, shoppers walk in the mall
carrying no bags and leave
the mall with lots of bags, right?

All over the world, and more intense in Brazil over the last years, consumption has been a powerful tool for social inclusion and can bring a feeling of dignity to people. We saw the opportunity to subvert this ritual a give a new twist to clothing donation. We would be proposing a new way of looking at the cause and at the act of consuming itself, creating an inversion of the consumer experience at the shopping mall. 

The Strategy:
Encourages people to fill their bags at home and take them to VillaLobos Mall, bringing clothes to the shop instead of taking them away from the shop.

And, on top of that, we would be encouraging the donation of clothes in better conditions (those that probably wouldn’t be donated in a usual clothing drive) and stimulating people to rethink the consumer-store relationship.

Reinventing the Clothing Drive and Open Source it to the World.
Other malls around the world have shown interest in implementing the idea in their countries. So, we turned it into an open source platform. This means that the shop blueprint, key visuals and the communication kits were made available for free to anyone who wants to spread goodwill.

First with “The Empty Shop

And later, in a new  Open Source platform called The Empty Project


of clothes donated around the world until now.




donated on Children’s Day

“They actually took a really good idea and they built it, but they didn't stop there. They then built an entire toolkit to franchise this idea out anywhere in the world.”

JOEL LUNENFELD - VP Global Brand Strategy_Twitter

The Empty Project encourages people to think new sustainable donation solutions using the concept of emptiness, presents updates and results of each Empty Shop around the world and even makes it possible to download free of charge the project to duplicate the idea in other countries. All ideas of The Empty Project platform are open sourced projects and were made available for free at

Silver Effie Awards, Nonprofit Category, Brazil
Best use of Outdoor Media, Maximedia, Brazil
Bronze, Cannes Lions, France, Cyber Category
In Book, CCSP, Brazil, Integrated Category (Estrela Preta)
Bronze, Colunistas, Brazil, Promo Category