September 1, 2015

A cup of latte and brand purpose

I'm on my way to London this morning, preparing a Brand Purpose workshop.  When you're thinking of something, it seems like you end up seeing all sorts of stimuli around you.  At the Airport Starbuck's I saw this poster with what seems to be their brand purpose.  It's interesting to see how some brands are determined to tell the world the reason they exist.

August 14, 2015

Personalized sandals on the Island of Capri

We just got back from a wonderful week on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  During the day we spent on the beautiful Capri Island, my wife and our daughter had a very unique retail experience.  The island is famous for handmade sandals.  They were invited to try on one of the many different samples in the shop, they choose a few accessories and while we went for lunch, an on-site artisan worked on finishing the sandal.  In a world of mass consumption, it's good to see a personalized touch in the shopping experience that celebrates local craft.

Fun interactive packaging

Having worked with packaging innivation before, it's great to see a simple fun packaging concept that promoted interactivity.  'She loves me, she loves me not... you'll know with the last pill.'

August 2, 2015

Give Back Pack

Our daughters need backpacks for back-to-school, so my wife found out about STATE BAGS - a really cool company with an inspiring story of social responsibility.  Their concept "Give Back Pack" is that for every backpack that is sold, they hand-deliver another one for a child in need, filled with a few supplies they need to succeed in school.

How cool is that - fashion meets philantropy?

So, after reading about Founders Scot & Jacq's story and watching a few of their bagdrop videos this morning, our 13-yr-old ordered two backpacks one for her and one for her sister to be shipped to Madrid where we live.  It's wonderful to see this generation with more options than ever to choose businesses that are committed to a good cause.

July 26, 2015

A more human side of mobile payments

This is BBVA Chile's campaign launching BBVA Wallet.  The story starts with the typical situation of a guy showing a friend his new mobile payment app and its instant notification feature.  Early adopters enjoy talking about their new toys.  He then realizes his wife has gone shopping but misreads the situation completely.

Advertising within financial services has traditionally been about product offers.  Communication focused more on the 'what' and not necessarily on why people make purchasing decisions and how new banking technology is changing people's behavior and relationship with money.  It was good to see how this campaign shows mobile banking embedded in a more natural day-to-day situation.

July 4, 2015

Curbside pickup

Walking through Washington DC last week I saw this sign at a restaurant. It made me think that there's a huge opportunity for services offered by a curbside pickup model.  Airlines have done a good job at certain airports and drive-thru ATMs and fast food chains as well.  In urban sprawls like Los Asngeles, São Paulo, Mexico City or Shanghai where people spend so much commuting time in their vehicles and parking is a nightmare, and if you combine this need with the one-click convenience that Über has developed, suddenly there's a potentially interesting new business opportunity for drugstores, grocery items, laundry or a combination ecommerce/curbside pickup that reduces mailing costs.

June 5, 2015

No mobile phones please

I went out to dinner with new friends from a design studio at a restaurant in Madrid.  At each of the tables there was this simple box with the questions:  "Wouldn't you rather just enjoy your company? Here is where you can store your mobile phone".  I love when brands find ways to stir a conversation, position themselves as an advocate for something, based on a very real insight. Many times, good ideas don't require a big budget.

May 17, 2015

Cool copy on a cup of coffee

Copywriting has the power of bringing concepts to life. Not easy at all. I've always enjoyed packaging, at many times, it's the most important contact point for consumer products.  I remember many years ago reading the packaging copy on the first Innocent Smoothie bottles and being amazed of how simple, corky and unexpectedly engaging they were.

Well, this morning I saw another fantastic example of the power of words to create a connection.  We're spending the weekend in Berlin and staying at this funky place called the Michelberger Hotel.  This is the coffee cup my wife picked up at breakfast this morning.  The copy on the cup is creatively brilliant.

"We meet at the bar. You ask for me. You know I'm hot. You can't resist. You put your hands on me. You pull me to your lips. You use me. You take what you want. Then it's all over. You throw me aside. You walk away. No calls. No letters. It's ok. I'm not bitter."

May 7, 2015

Building something special in Catalonia

Thiis is BBVA's campaign to communicate the integration of CatalunyaCaixa.  The campaign, produced in Catalan with Spanish subtitles, called "Sumar Multiplica" (adding multiplies) uses examples of people coming together to build something special like the castells - human towers built in festivals in Catalonia or the Roca Brothers - from El Celler de Can Roca.

April 16, 2015

Breakthrough launch from Amazon

Having spent so many years in consumer marketing, I loved seeing how Aamazin is exploring innovative ways to rethink the shopper experience.

BBVA Investing in UX and Design

BBVA acquires San Francisco-based user experience and design firm Spring Studio as we move forward with our objective of becoming the World's best digital bank. This is the video communicating the news featuring Mark Jamison - BBVA Head of UX/Design and Marianna Wickman, who leads the bank's global Design Team.

April 1, 2015

Iberia Airlines' new campaign

Here in Madrid, I enjoying consulting with Carolina Issler - CMO for Iberia Airlines - when I want to discuss anything related to the world of marketing. The travel industry is a benchmark when it comes to digital transformation and there's a tremendous amount of knolwledge that applies to other business categories. Here's Iberia's new campaign targetting the Brazilian market that Carolina shared with me the other day.  Ironically, I'm writing this post from an Iberia lounge at Barrajas International on my way to a ski trip in the French Slps.

March 20, 2015

It's here! The New BBVA Compass NBA American Express Card

Last Sunday, we very excited with the launch of the BBVA Compass NBA Amex Card - the very first credit card for NBA Fans.

Those who are passionate about the NBA all over the U.S. can sign up online, choose a card among the 30 NBA Team designs, share the card experience on Facebook and enjoy exclusive NBA-themed benefits.

The Campaign is called "If the NBA is Your Passion, This is Your Card" and here is one of the national TV & YouTube executions that has started to air during the NBA programming. Campaign created by DDB.

Sign up for yours.

February 17, 2015

2015 NBA All-Star Weekend

This weekend, I was in New York for the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend - three days celebrating the World's very best basketball.  BBVA is the Official Bank of the NBA, so we had a number of activities scheduled with clients from around the World.

Personally, this was a very special NBA All-Star Weekend because we announced the soft launch of a digital product we've been working on for the past year and we're very excited about:  the BBVA Compass NBA American Express Card.

Passionate NBA Fans from around the country will be able to order online their NBA Amex Card, choosing among the 30 different NBA Teams... coming soon!

Here's the teaser campaign we're showcased at the NBA All-Star Weekend.

February 10, 2015

An email from yourself 30 years from now?

Have you ever received an email from yourself 30 years from now?

Well, BBVA Spain's Marketing Team sent these emails to our customers who currently have a BBVA Pension Plan.  Each email was customized with the person's name, age and how much they have been contributing annually.  The idea was to make them imagine, for just a few seconds, how life would be thirty years from now and how it could be better if he/she made larger contributions to their plan.  The response rate has been amazing generating 80% more contributions among those who received the email versus those who haven't.

February 1, 2015

The Art of Scent in Madrid

Last night, my wife and I went to see the exhibit "The Art of Scent 1889-2013" at Madrid's Circulo de Bellas Artes - the original exhibit was first shown in 2012 at New York's MAD - The Museum of Arts and Design.  The exhibit showcases twelve scent creations, curated by Chandler Bur, including classics like Jicky by Aimé Gerlain in 1889 or Chanel No. 5 by Ernest Beaux created in 1921.

The instalation combines information on the inspiration, cultural context, innovations and techniques used to create the scents, as well as, an olfactory experience.  There were also two videos, one describing the creative process behind Dior's J'Adore and the second was this video with the fascinating brand story of Chanel No.5, one of marketing's best examples of story telling and a true testament that a great brand can stand the test of time.

January 30, 2015

Useful tips on social media

I just finished reading "The Art of Social Media" by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.  The ebook version is full of many useful hyperlinks that allow you to review examples while you read.  It's an essential guide for those of us who have a fairly good idea of the basics but want to get insights and tips on getting better at using social media for our businesses and personal life.

January 22, 2015


During the weekly digital marketing capability program we have here at the office, there was a fascinating session on different online/offline consumer behaviors.  One of them being the concept of showrooming, when someone checks out a product in a traditional retail store and then buys online. When the moderator showed this image, I totally related.

During the holiday season I walked into a small boutique in NY's Chelsea neighborhood and left with a pair of shoes from a brand I had never heard of:  Common Projects.  The salesman did a wonderful job talking about the brand story, their obsession with urban design, Italian manufacturing.... I was sold.

Back in Madrid, I decided to browse through the brand's site and clicking on 'buy online' I was redirected to an amazing multibrand ecommerce platform called that delivers any Common Project shoes in Spain. Perfect.  There I was buying my first pair of shoes online, something I've never done because of a number of reasons. Does the photo reflect the actual model? Will the shoes be comfortable?  Is the leather soft? What is the right size since different brands use different criteria and countries have different standards?  Now, since I have a pair that fits well and a style I relate to, suddenly my fears were over.

I must say that my story also made me feel I little bad since the store experience was exceptionally good but now I ordered my second pair online.  That's why I related so much to this cartoon.

January 6, 2015

Journeys for the mind and soul

The more I travel, the more I'm interested in learning experiences.  So, I enjoyed reading about The New York Times Journeys - an opportunity for discerned travellers to book trips inspired by the newspaper's editorial content and led by journalists and subject matter specialists.  Wouldn't it be amazing to join journeys like "The Two Sides of Southern Africa" or "Contemporary Life in Cuba"?  They're announcing over 25 itineraries, 70 departures dates in 7 different continents.

With the media industry being disrupted in so many ways and companies having to rethink how they can provide more meaningful relationships with their customers through new business models, this is a cool concept.  It makes you want to live the news and not just consume it.  Fascinating.

January 5, 2015

DIY experience for teens in NYC

Travelling with teenage daughters requires being imaginative and coming up with experiences beyond traditional tourist attractions.  So, this holiday season in New York, besides crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in the bitter cold to see the new year fireworks or exploring the interactive exhibits at the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design, my wife made an appointment for them to make their own lipstick at Bite Lip Lab (174 Prince St. - Soho).  They loved it.

We see the do-it-yourself and customization model in many different categories.  More than just making the shopping experience more memorable, within our daughters' demographic, these moments have certain social currency.  For the brand, which I later learned has a retail presence in stores like Sephora, this is exactly the type of buzz that builds advocacy.

Great concept.

December 27, 2014

A Photo that says lot about how mobile is shaping the world we live in

The 2014 National Geographic Photography Winner is a stunningly beautiful representation of one of the many ways that mobile technology is shaping the world we live in.  A transformation that is liberating but also daunting.

Brian Yen's captivating photo "A Node Glows in the Dark", taken inside a Hong Kong train, captures that moment we all know so well:  immersing ourselves into some virtual corner of cyberspace while we get the false feeling that everything around us comes to a stand still.  A situation that is becoming increasingly common.

How can we continue to benefit from this little remote control that transports us to so many places and yet still take the time to be cognizant of the what's happening around us, to interact with those next to us, to engage with the now?

Aristotle said that "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things but their inner significance."  This photo does exactly that.

December 26, 2014

NBA's powerful social media influencing Pop Culture

As an NBA Sponsor, I'm continuously amazed of how well the NBA works social media.  No matter where you look, what you read, there's NBA buzz everywhere and the conversation is amplified by die-hard fans in so many ways.  Even today, on Christmas Day, The New York Times carried a great article on Melissa Brenner - NBA's Sr. Vice President for Digital Media - on how this is the most tweetable time of the year for the league.  Later in the day, I saw a very funny article on the Bleacher Report suggesting an "NBA Emoji", something that would serve as another incentive for fans to continue to talk about what happens before, during and after the games.

The NBA is a great example of the power of social media as a way to influence Pop Culture, an interesting case study for brands.

December 18, 2014

Exploring the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in NY

Today, I took my Family to visit the newly renovated Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York (2 E 91st Street / +1 212 8488400) that reopened its doors last week.

 If you're into marketing, you certainly love design and the fascinating intersection of beauty and functionality. So, on your next trip to Manhattan, it's worth exploring this museum. For my two teenage daughters, they enjoyed playing designer on touchscreen tables developed by Ideum using interactive software by Local Projects. The girls had fun sketching lamps, tables, chairs and wallpaper. Museums are always more interesting when technology can provide a hands-on experience.

For me, museum exploration is always a great way to be inspired by creativity and ideas. I believe we stimulate our intellectual curiosity when we actively seek opportunities to look for connections across different disciplines.

December 14, 2014


I've always believed thay my car's GPS was my best way for me to get from point A to B.  However, this evening I had to take my 15-year-old daugther to one of her friend's house, who lives far away in the suburbs.  The GPS system didn't recognize the address I was keying in since we weren't sure about the exact city district.  In large metro areas with more than one street with the same name, it gets a little tricky.  That's when my daughter said:  ''Don't worry, let's use Waze.''   In less than a minute, she was exchanging messages with friends who had already arrived, who pinned the location and we were getting driving instructions from Waze on her smartphone.  For me, it was another great example of the power of community-based apps.

Waze's positioning sums up what they're about:  'outsmarting traffic, together.'

December 13, 2014

IKEA's beautiful campaign reminding us what is truly important during the Holiday Season

For those concerned about the excessive consumerism that we all see around us during the Holiday Season, IKEA's new advertising campaign in Spain - called 'La Otra Carta / The Other Letter', created by McCann is a wonderful and timely wake-up call.  Even if you may not be fluent in Spanish the message is clear.  Ten families were invited to an 'experiment'.  Kids were asked to write two letters:  one for Santa and one for their parents... the result is emotional, powerful, memorable, a celebration to what is truly important.

Cheers to beautiful creative!

December 9, 2014

Cooking is cool!

My wife has enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu's Madrid Culinary Institute, starting next January. I'm thrilled that she'll be combining years of passion, reading, catering and experimenting with the discipline of formal training.

As a marketing guy, it's fascinating to see how the business of cooking has developed into a powerful element of pop culture.  From the adictive Food Network programming, to Masterchef-style reality shows, to the farm-to-table movement, to the anticipation of the Michelin Guide release, to the food truck festivals, to the evolution of our local farmer markets...  cooking is cool!

This past weekend, my wife and I watched the wonderful film "The Hundred-foot Journey" directed by Lasse Halstörm and based on the best-selling novel by Richard Morais, a beautifully sensitive story about how food has the power of bringing people together.

Worth watching.

November 28, 2014

Repositioning peanut brittle

My wife was in the kitchen the other day preparing peanut brittle for a school function.  She asked me to try It out.  I don't like peanut brittle but in the how-to-be-a-good husband manual there's probably a chapter on providing candid feedback to kitchen experiments.  My immediate reaction: "It tates burnt", I said, worried that my comments would trigger a hell's kitchen moment.  She surprised me by going back to work testing other variations without saying a word.  After finishing a batch she thought was promising, she asked me try it.  I really hate peanut brittle, so this time I politely refused saying I was sure she had gotten this recipe right.

The next day, knowing how much I crave ice cream, she told me she had made pralines that I could use as a topping.  I absolutely love pralines!  Her pralines over a dulce de leche scoop was heaven. Once the bowl was empty, I was a little suspicious, so I asked if she hadn't just broken the peanut brittle into small pieces.  Her answer: "Yes Honey, isn't that what you call marketing?".

November 24, 2014

Innovation harnessing the energy of soccer players

In one of Rio de Janeiro's favelas, called Morro da Mineira, Shell is lighting up the community's soccer field by using both solar panels and kinetic tiles invented by Laurence Kemball-Cook - CEO of Pavegen. The weight of a player's footstep is transformed into energy within the kinetic tiles: innovation harnessing the energy of the beautiful game. I love the concept and it speaks so well about Shell's sustainable energy initiative.

 How cool is that?

October 27, 2014

The Blindfold - Kevin Durant & James Harden featured in our new BBVA Digital Campaign

After a month working hard, it's finally out: our new BBVA Digital Campaign "The Blindfold" celebrating our renewed NBA partnership.

NBA Star James Harden playing blindfolded against three opponents on the rooftop of our Madrid corporate headquarters 28-stories high, guided by NBA MVP Kevin Durant across the globe at a control center in Oklahoma City.   Storytelling at the service of sports marketing.

I hope you enjoy it...

"At BBVA, we're here to make your life easier, by coaching people to reach their financial goasl, anytime, anywhere.  BBVA - Official Bank of the NBA"