Corporate donations were, for decades, the primary source of funds for political parties and politicians running for office in Brazil. The vast inflow of money helped give wings to their creativity, which produced memorable television ads with cinematic sequences shot in different regions of the country. Not to mention the monstrous production program to find the right characters that would help a campaign transmit the right message to voters.
Then came Operation Car Wash, in 2014. The biggest anti-corruption investigation in Brazilian history unveiled the corrupt relations between big business and politicians. Bribes in the form of campaign donations were frequently paid in exchange for hefty contracts with state-owned companies. To make sure that the companies would win – regardless of the elections’ outcome, both sides of the aisle received large donations.