Brazilian Vendors Create ‘DataTowel’ to Tally ‘Votes’ for Bolsonaro and Lula

Street entrepreneurs increase their sales by 300% in Sao Paulo with Data Toalha, a scoreboard that counts the number of people buying towels with the images of the top candidates

Entrepreneurs Saulo Adriel and Fernando Lopes Prado, who sell towels with the faces of candidates Bolsonaro and Lula on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo.
July 25, 2022 | 08:24 am

São Paulo — In São Paulo’s postcard Avenida Paulista, entrepreneurs Saulo Adriel and Fernando Lopes Prado have launched their own voting intention survey for the Brazilian elections. And they are making money out of it.

At two points on Paulista, Adriel and Prado sell towels portraying the faces of the two favorite candidates in the polls: current president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT). “Every hour someone asked me, ‘man, which one sells more?’. Then I got tired and ended up putting a scoreboard: the DataTowel”, said Adriel, in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.


The seller says the idea of the scoreboard is to generate a kind of match so that each candidate’s voters help them lead this informal poll, turning the scoreboard. Or increase the advantage of who is in front. The strategy worked and sales of these wares are going up. “Sales have increased 300%” since we started the scoreboard last week, said Adriel.

Each Monday, the scoreboard is reset to zero. On Sunday, Lula was ahead on both points, but with a tight dispute at the sales point near the Masp (São Paulo Art Museum).

Towels and T-shirt of Jair Bolsonaro and Lula for sale on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo. Each costs $7.28dfd

“A guy passed by this point and said ‘I want all of Bolsonaro’ to win. That’s the intention of the board,” said Adriel.

But, according to Prado, the scoreboard doesn’t count sales in the number of towels, but by buyer. “If someone buys all of Lula’s towels, it will count as one point on the scoreboard,” he said. Vendors estimate that in the month they sold 400 Lula towels and 30 Bolsonaro towels.

“Those who pays for DataTowel survey are the people themselves,” Adriel added. Each towel costs R$ 40 ($7.28).

“There are many people who pass by here and do not believe it, but this is a non-partisan exercise. We are capitalists. We don’t like anyone at these times. If the customer comes and asks: ‘who are you going to vote for?’ I answer that I’ll vote for the towel he’s going to buy.”

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