October 28, 2008

The World's Largest Doritos

Weeks ago our Doritos Brand Team, Alexandre Chiavegatti and Carol Gormezano, told me about a social network community of Doritos-lovers who were asking for a 5kg bag. So, we decided to make it happen.

This past week dozens of giant bags were sent to members of the community as you can see in this first video.

The growth of social networks is fascinating and the challenge for marketers is how to leverage this universe in a non-intrusive way.

The team decided to have a little more fun and ended up producing a 3m bag with over 132kg of Doritos - obviously the largest in the world. The massive bag was presented at one of the coolest teen events, it went for a ride all over town in the back of pick-up truck and it was hauled up a five-story building. The buzz from both initiatives has been amazing

In just a few days, over 11,000 mentions in blogs/twitters/sites and over 44,000 people saw the giant Doritos video we posted on YouTube.

This is the video of the giant Doritos...


October 26, 2008

What can a landfill become?

There's a wonderful movement happening in cities around the world where degraded areas are being converted into public spaces.  Many of these initiatives are taking place through public-private partnerships. This month, here in São Paulo, what used to be a landfill and a deactivated garbage incinerator has been transformed into a fantastic cultural area called the Victor Civita Square.  Because the soil is contaminated, a large wooden deck was built to connect the spaces and it also leads to an open-air amphitheater.  New gardens had to be suspended and the old incinerator became an educational area to promote good environmental practices and also houses a museum dedicated to sustainability.  An awesome initiative by Instituto Abril - the foundation responsible for Abril's social responsibility projects - in partnership with the City of São Paulo.

Please don't call it a midlife crisis

This morning, I went with my two daughters to a store to buy them an acoustic guitar. Their music teacher, who was kind enough to go with us, helped them choose a Yamaha in a perfect size for them. The store is pretty famous among the music crowd here and it's called 'Made In Brazil'. The shopping experience was fantastic. In one corner of the store, there was a guy with dark glasses jamming on a bass, there were customers testing drum sets and salespeople showing off keyboards. 

Seeing that I had fallen in love with a Gibson guitar, the music instructor asked if I wouldn't like to go back to music classes.  So, to make a long story short, I will be taking electric guitar classes every Wednesday night.

Please don't call it a midlife crisis.

October 23, 2008

Co-branding work with Azeites Gallo

In a few days, we will be launching...
Sensações® Ao Forno 
with a touch of Gallo Olive Oil 

Sensações® Ao Forno is Brazil's very first baked potato chip, targeting adults who want a great-tasting chip with gourmet-style flavors and value baked snacks.  We're excited that this is our first co-branded flavor. We teamed up with Azeites Gallo® one of Portugal's most traditional brands and Brazil's leading olive oil - in a wonderful collaboration process to develop this flavor. We're extremely proud of our association with a brand that is known for its pure, delicate and fragrant olive oil. Gallo® with its brand icon rooster, has been on the table of generations of Brazilian families.

All great brands have great stories.  In the case of Gallo® (which means 'rooster' in Spanish) it started almost a century ago with a man named Victor Guedes. One morning, he woke up opened his bedroom window to the the sound of a rooster.  Since he had Spanish roots, he registered the brand with two L's (in Portuguese 'galo' is written with one L). The brand and its beautiful rooster has stood the testament of time, coming to stand for suberb quality in olive oil delighting mediterranean style food lovers around the world.

The story of bringing two brands together in a collaborative process was an extremely rewarding experience. An amazing learning opportunity that I personally enjoyed a lot. 

October 19, 2008

Getting Doritos out of the bag and into cool places

Our Teen Snacks team, led by Carla Araujo, Alexandre Chiavegatti, Carol Gormezano and Oliver Schrikel created an on-premise initiative that takes the Doritos® brand into bars and restaurants, called Doritos® Lovers. In a true collaboration effort with students from a local culinary school and a few restaurants, recipes were created, awarded and are now being introduced in menus throughout town. Pizza Hut® has been involved in the project from its inception and now offers a crunchy pizza with Doritos. Salad Creations® has also introduced a recipe created by student Luciana Perez called Doritos Lovers Salad.

One of Sao Paulo's most traditional bars, Bar do Juarez®, is selling cheese rolls with Doritos toppings. Koi®, a cool chain of japanese restaurants just introduced a Uramaki Doritos Lovers.

October 16, 2008

Grain of Goodness

A cultural movement usually starts small and eventually grows over time. In the case of Quaker here in Brazil we are starting a movement that starts with a simple idea... that oats can bring goodness to people's lives. The goodness that comes from lower blood cholesterol levels, from improving intestinal health, from helping to slow the rate of digestion curbing appetite. When people feel good about themselves, they feel good about others and that feeling spreads.

The campaign is called Quaker Oats – the grain of goodness.

Interacting with Alexandre Peralta and his passionate team at StrawberryFrog on this assignment has been a memorable experience. The challenge we initially faced was to maintain a balance between the functional story of oats while maintaining a tone that could resonate at a deeper emotional level. It's interesting that the Quaker brand has been in Brazil for 55 years and there's still tremendous opportunity to teach people the benefits of including oats in their daily diet. The brand carries a rich heritage and a powerful image of health & wellness. A brand that inspires a tremendous amount of trust among Brazilians. However, not everyone understands how complete this little grain actually is. One way to help educate people on the benefits of oats will be through this very simple print ad. On one side you have the word seed. On the other page the word harvest, listing the functional benefits of oats. A wonderful reminder that a powerful message can be made with just a few words.

One thing that makes us very excited about this campaign is that our agency has been able to translate the benefits of oats into one word that we believe can spark a movement, engage and hopefully motivate people to include oats for a more natural and healthier lifestyle. And that word is goodness. Goodness will be at the center of everything we do… from the way the brand breathes, to the causes it embraces.

Take a look at the first TV spot. The voice over talks about the goodness that comes inside out… and the goodness that comes from outside in. Oats can be incorporated in a person's diet in a variety of different ways. That's why we are showing scenes of oatmeal porridge, oats blended with fruits to make shakes, oats on top of a bowl of açaí (a very Brazilian dish that became popular on the beaches in Rio) or even sprinkled over saladas.

As we start planning to ignite our Quaker oats movement, our team would love to hear your comments.

We're fortunate to count on an awesome Quaker Team in Brazil led by Adriana Ribeiro, with Erika Salgado, Sarah Buchwitz, Rodrigo Viselli and Priscilla Cheutchuk. A team of goodness.

October 13, 2008

Einstein Exhibit in São Paulo

We just got back from the Einstein exhibit, another magnificent event from the Sangari Institute in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History and sponsored by Bradesco. This specific exhibit has been seen by over 2 million visitors in New York, Chiacago, Boston, Los Angeles, Jerusalem, Ottawa and Istanbul.  I'm a huge admirer of the amazing contribution the Sangari Institute is making to the city of São Paulo by bringing world-class exhibitions that provide Brazilian children, students and families with the unique opportunity to explore science in a fun and interactive way. Last year, they brought the Darwin exhibit and earlier this year  The Genome Revolution two equally amazing events.

I found this inspiring quote from one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century...

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."  
---  Albert Einstein

October 9, 2008

Movement to promote Entrepreneurship

I believe that it's during tough times that human that we see the best in ingenuity and creativity. I was thrilled to see that there's a new campaign being aired in Brazil mobilizing young professionals and students to become entrepreneurs. The Endeavor Institute has launched a cultural movement called "Bota Pra Fazer" (that roughly translates as 'Make It Happen'), the local chapter of a global movement. 

On the Endeavor website, there's an interesting call to action: "Unless you get out of your chair, your ideas won't get on their feet."  

One of the TV spots I just saw on air features Luiz Seabra, one of the founders of Natura Cosmetics and one of Brazil's most inspiring business leaders.  A visionary who built one of the country's most respected and corporately-responsible companies.

This is an absolutely wonderful initiative that we should all applaud. At a time of so much volatility and uncertainty, maybe it is the right time to promote new ideas... that may become new and exciting businesses... created by a new generation of leaders who will make the business world a better place.  


October 7, 2008

My Personal Blogging Experience

This week I'm celebrating a year that I starting writing this blog. I didn't realize, when I started, that this would be such a personally rewarding experience. I'm really enjoying putting my intellectual curiosity to test. Writing has forced me, like never before, to look at things with an even sharper eye, be even more inquisitive and pay extra attention to my own experiences. Good and bad. Whether I'm reading a book, buying something at the grocery, looking at things around me waiting for a flight or just exchanging marketing ideas with a colleague, I find myself constantly thinking if there's an interesting story that I would like to share. It has also been humbling to read posts in blogs of people I know and thinking "wow, what an interesting experience that guy had and how well he was able to put his story together."  The other day I was looking for a specific case to study to illustrate a point I wanted to make at a class and I found myself going back to my posts and rediscovering thoughts I had months ago. 
I hope my MacBook and I will keep on having fun blogging...   

October 6, 2008

A beautiful story about wasps, honey and how to be good to the environment

It's not easy finding great corporate environmentally-friendly initiatives that make an engaging story.  I fell in love with this inspiring ad from Herman Miller - manufacturer of office furniture and equipment....

"At Hermann Miller, we've managed to take our company philosophy and bottle it.

In 1995, we moved into the Greenhouse, our new, environmentally friendly manufacturing and office facility in Holland, Michigan. One day, we noticed large colonies of angry paper wasps had decided to make the exterior of our building their home. But we weren't about to reach for the pesticides. Our solution? Bees. Six-hundred thousand of them, housed in 12 beehives on the Greenhouse grounds. Before long, the bees had persuaded the wasps to move elsewhere. And our new friends cross-pollinated the surrounding fields, giving us spectacular wildflowers. We also had another favorable result:  Honey. And lots of it. So we began harvesting and bottling about 5,000 pounds of Greenhouse Honey a year as gifts for our guests. And while the honey may only come in a 4-once bottle, we believe the story behind it speaks volumes. To us, the honey exemplifies our commitment to the environment, to those who live in it, and to those who will inherit it. Angry wasps included. If you'd like to learn more about what we're doing for a better world around you, visit hermanmiller.com/environment."

Wow... the power of storytelling at its best. Not only an inspiring story but a real-case example of how companies can make small contributions with big impact on creating a better world.

October 5, 2008

Where do you go to ideate?

Later this month we will be putting together a 2-day innovation workshop. The planning phase has been incredible, from establishing clear objectives of the territories and cultural correlations we will be ideating against, to finding the right moderator, to debating on the stimulus we will be using, to confirming the final list of some extraordinary people with a variety of different backgrounds who will be helping out in our collaborative effort. We found a fantastic location here in São Paulo called Casa do Saber (the house of knowledge) - a trendy space with an awesome calendar of short-term courses in areas such as philosophy, arts, geopolitics or literature. We went there last week to check it out and we couldn't have found a more inspiring place to hold our innovation session. A perfect lounge-type setting that seems to be just right to spark the type of discussion we want to have on what's next.

Tom Kelly from IDEO, mentioned in his book 'The Ten Faces of Innovation' the importance of finding an ideal space outside of the office to listen, think, discuss, ideate.  I couldn't agree more. 

Where do you go to ideate?



It was very nice to see a Petrobras advertorial in Fortune magazine last week covering its development of biodiesel from organic vegetable inputs (cotton seeds, castor beans, soybeans, sunflower seeds), animal input (bovine, swine or chicken fat) or residual waste (residual oils from food-frying processes).  The article explains that, in the case of vegetable inputs, Petrobras is purchasing from approximately 55,000 farmers in order to obtain the Social Fuel Seal granted by the Ministry of Agrarian Development.

I have been a huge fan of Petrobras' leadership in sugarcane-based ethanol which is a benchmark globally and has placed Brazil at the forefront of a cleaner renewable energy model. So, it's great to see how they are researching and developing a second generation of biofuels. 

October 2, 2008

Collaborative approach in new innovation course at a local university

I was invited to participate in a new academic initiative at one of São Paulo's top universities: ESPM-Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing. It's a 2-month course on how to use innovation as a force of business transformation. This is obviously a subject I absolutely love and I'm curious to see how it will play out. Because innovation can mean so many different things to different types of companies, it will be very interesting to see how each lecturer approaches the theme from his specific perspective. The school invited professionals with broad experience from a variety of different organizations. There is a professional with an innovation track record in tech companies, a person from banking, there are people with a consumer marketing background (like myself) and there is even an anthropologist who specializes in Brazilian food heritage and its interconnection with culture. To create a more collaborative approach between faculty and students, the school teamed up with IBM and we will be using Lotus Connections - a social network software that will hopefully help extend the learning experience beyond the classroom. 

Sounds promising.

October 1, 2008

The "Muuuu!" Cultural Movement

One the brands we have in our portfolio is Toddy® - Brazil's iconic chocolate milk powder. For the past four years, the brand has been tremendously successful with a campaign that uses irreverent cows which are loved by local millenials. Consumer response has surpassed our wildest expectations. The language used in the communication has sparked a strong connection with our demographic. Our marketing team, led by Claudia Pires, Marta Oliveira and Victoria Gabrielli have done an amazing job of taking the TV campaign and activating the cows in-store and in places where teens get together. The cows have shown up along the coast during summer and in electronic music festivals. What I love about this brand is that it has has been around for over 70 years and yet its communication strategy has made it so contemporary.

The new campaign, which we just launched online and on TV takes an evolutionary approach. Now the cows have a cause. They go around 'muuuuuuing' situations that are not authentic, not truthful or people who are not being cool. The brand has always been perceived as having a strong association with authenticity and we hope the 'Muuuu! movement will reinforce and celebrate Brazil's authentically-delicious chocolate milk.