Sao Paulo - Launched on May 16, Carrefour's URL shortener - Virou.gr - has become a successful demonstration of solidarity among Internet users. Developed by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the website was named Virou.gr ("virou" translates as "turned into") because every character reduced turns into one gram of food donated.
The action produced surprising numbers. After just 24 hours of its official launching, the shortener hit the mark of one million characters reduced, which is equivalent to one ton of food that will be donated at the end of the campaign. In a single day, more than nine thousand links were reduced, which reflects the engagement of Internet users in participating of such an important cause as the fight against hunger and misery in Brazil. Almost a month after its release, 60,000 links have already been shortened. The website has also registered accesses and utilization from web users from other countries and is a topic in hundreds of blogs and Twitters.
Besides its social benefit, Virou.gr is another option for users of social networks for shortening the number of characters of links posted on websites such as Twitter, which limits to 140 the number of characters that its users can type at each post. In March, for instance, 99% of Brazilian Internet users accessed some kind of social network, according to data from a study published by global research company comScore .
In the first stage of the action, Carrefour's goal is to register the reduction of ten million characters, which will then be converted into a donation of ten tons of food. The distribution of the food will be made by the Brazilian Red Cross, which guarantees that the products will reach the families that most need them. After reaching the ten tons of food, the group intends to extend the action into other institutions.
To engage everyone in this social mobilization, F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has developed an animation video inviting people to participate, with instructions about the use of the tool - http://virou.gr/mROyFh