Zé Gotinha (Droplet Joe) for President

The year 2022 was an unusually political period. Although non-partisan, the institute could not remain neutral amid a polarized presidential race between a candidate who valued Brazilian Science and another who had dismantled it during the previous four years of government. Therefore, in September 2022, we entered the electoral campaign in an unusual way: we “launched” the presidential candidacy of Zé Gotinha (Droplet Joe), the iconic vaccination advocate and a character deeply ingrained in Brazilian culture. He even had a government plan. However, a few days after the announcement, Zé Gotinha’s candidacy was disqualified because plush toys cannot run for president. Then, the character encouraged his supporters to vote for candidates who valued Science, public health, and the SUS. The action was actually a lighthearted social media campaign. In less than two months, the posts reached over 30 million people and were viewed more than 90 million times on the “Zé Gotinha Presidente” accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.