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Egnalda Côrtes: Meet the woman behind some of Brazil’s most popular black YouTubers

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Note from BW of Brazil: I gotta say that I impressed with this business venture. In the past few years, I’ve posted a number of articles showing how the popular online video platform YouTube is enabling black Brazilians to develop a sort of representation that Brazil’s mainstream media simply doesn’t care to offer. It’s perfect example of the old adage that goes, “If you want something done right…”, well, you know the saying goes.

A number of the names presented in the piece below are personalities who have appeared in previous articles as YouTubers to watch. Well, as it turns out, some of these people have more in common than channels with intriguing content that thousands of people are identifying with. The concept is one that black people should be applying to several other parts of “the struggle”: We are more powerful together than we are separated.

Egnalda Côrtes: the name behind the biggest black Youtubers in Brazil

By Silvia Nascimento

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Egnalda Côrtes: The force behind some of Black Brazil’s most popular YouTubers

The businesswoman Egnalda Côrtes who today represents the main Black Youtubers of Brazil

You can’t miss the increased presence of black people in advertising, TV and the Internet. And nothing is by chance, much less a voluntary change of who has the power of decision. Behind these new times are black people dedicated to making a difference for their peers. Egnalda Côrtes, until two years ago, was the mother of two, housewife and helped her eldest son, Pedro Henrique, who had a passion for Youtube and history to maintain (until then) a modest channel on the air. Residents of Itaim Paulista, a peripheral zone of São Paulo, mother and son would soon be responsible for bringing more diversity to the largest video platform on the planet.

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The project Meus Heróis Negros Brasileiros (My Heroes Black Brazilians), from the Pedro Henrique channel, where Egnalda did research and wrote the script in a notebook for her son, became a success after a story published here in the Mundo Negro (Black World) that viralizada (went viral) impressing and thrilling Brazil with a mother and her teenage son using Youtube to talk about história afro-brasileira (Afro-Brazilian history), that that is not taught in schools.

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Egnalda with the PH, Maria Morena and her husband Uiacá

The resistance, persistence of this woman born in São Paulo, with a slight accent from the South, a result of having lived in Curitiba for 8 years, made the PH channel grow and great opportunities arose, such as Criança Esperança.

Egnalda, who worked for years in the corporate market, got closer to YouTube, knowing the platform in depth and approaching major content producers. It didn’t take long for this to become a business opportunity. Using her knowledge gained from her experience as a commercial executive, in addition to the knowledge obtained on YouTube, she opened Côrtes Assessoria, the first agency focused on black Youtubers.

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Egnalda with some of her YouTubers

In 2016 she became one of the 30 most influential digital market builders according to Youpix, was hired by the North American consultancy Creator-up and is one of 15 Google Channel Business Acceleration Mentors. Egnalda even entered the list of inspiring women of 2017 by Think Olga and was invited to compose the team of curators of the largest advertising event in Latin America, Social Media Week 2018, which happens every year during the month of September at ESPM.

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Gabi Oliveira, Nataly Neri, Murilo Araújo, Tati Sacramento, Maira Azevedo, Jacy Juli, PhCôrtes, Samuel Gomes, Valtinho Rege, Erika Ribeiro, Luci Gonçalves, Natalia Romualdo and Maristela, Biel, Ramana Borba Samocreia, AD Júnior, Spartakus Santiago and Patrícia Ramos are some of her clients. Bradesco, Gol, Seda and Magazine Luiza, Laboratório Fantasma, Vivo are partner brands of Côrtes Assessoria.

Por um Youtube mais negro e uma publicidade mais diversa (For a blacker Youtube and a more diverse publicity)

It was not only her talents as an entrepreneur, those responsible for a productive year for Côrtes Assessoria, who even left the country on business, accompanying Gabi Oliveira in Texas during the SXSW. Egnalda’s work has a modicum of engagement. The advertising market is not accustomed to dealing directly with black agents.

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“Making the market understand the importance of the narrative of different influencers was the biggest challenge because the commonplace is to elect just one, just as what happened in the traditional media. When the market understands that these producers are plural, they tend to different audience profiles and are equally important, we have been able to establish a coherent valuation and pricing coherent to branding generated by the brand that connects,” details the businesswoman who was recently with people represented by her agency in the mega event Teleton.

“It is still timid but there is a movement of training agencies that has increasingly sought advice from companies that understand the market for blacks or social scientists that has been helping in understanding the importance of advertising to bring these guidelines to brands. There are brands such as Bradesco that are already a reference in the inclusion of content producers from diverse niches, and within the colleges of publicity, guidelines related to minorities are being arduously discussed, reflected and required in the subjects and in the examinations of approval,” explains Egnalda.

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In the video below, PH and Egnalda made a very special trip at the invitation of Bradesco.

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Today, Côrtes Assessoria has the largest channels featuring a racial perspective inside and outside of Latin America and even the channel followers of its agents are engaged in broadening the reach of their favorite Youtubers.

“Some content of the Afros and Afins channel are already being translated into English by the followers themselves so that there is a greater global reach, this movement will be organic for the channels, having social content or not,” celebrates the mother of PH and Maria Morena, 10 years old.

Côrtes Assessoria also prioritizes black professionals to provide services to companies, from makeup to the legal.

Blackness on the Internet in 2018

“We will have a setback with the hair brands that want to talk about female empowerment but don’t want to connect social issues, taking away several black influencers with more melanin from the front.”

This analysis of Egnalda is easily discernible. The most accepted black woman, the mais clara e cacheada (light skin, curly hair) is the one who ends up being the darling of the agencies. However, she is optimistic and sees business opportunities outside of the beauty market.

“Financial institutions and startups are investing heavily in branding and rely on content producers who have relevant discourse to add value to the brand and market positioning. We will have a plurality of content producers, narratives, making canais Negros (Black channels) in addition to becoming sustainable, becoming more profitable,” concludes the agent.

Source: Mundo Negro



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