December 27, 2008

Positive message for 2009

Here at PepsiCo Brazil, we are launching our first-ever institutional campaign under the theme PepsiCo - Creating a Tomorrow Better Than Today. It starts off next week as a print campaign in Brazil's top weekly magazines Veja, IstoÉ and Época.

The first page says 'The end of year is great to gather your Family and think about the future'.

You then turn the page and the message is 'Nice to meet you, we are the PepsiCo Family'. In Brazil, PepsiCo as a company has very little awareness. Historically we have communicated our brands but have never taken the time to tell people who we are and what we believe in. Many Brazilians will certainly be surprised to see that Pepsi®, Doritos®, Quaker®, Gatorade®, Toddy®, H2OH!®, Stax® and Coqueiro® Tuna & Sardines are all products that belong to the PepsiCo Family.

And these well-known brands to Brazilians all over the country are now unified by a common message that we are committed to creating a Tomorrow Better Than Today.

The copy says 'If it depends on us, 2009 will be a wonderful year'.

December 25, 2008

A Christmas gift to inspire me in 2009

This Christmas, my wife gave me the recently-published book Isay Weinfeld, written by Raul Barreneche, a compilation of the work of one of Brazil's most successful architects. I absolutely love architecture and in the years we lived in Connecticut, we fell in love with New England colonial homes. We lived in a dutch colonial that was built from an old barn with reclaimed wide plank flooring, old beams and a huge stone fireplace in the kitchen. We lived next to an adorable antique shop called The Red Petticoat, a place that was our initiation in early American antiques.

Now that we live in busy São Paulo, I'm getting into a more urban mode and my interest has shifted to contemporary architecture. I'm enjoying the aesthics of straight lines, the lofty feel of open spaces, and the generous use of glass that serves as an invitation to bring the outdoors in. Since we moved here, I have been attracted to Isay Weinfeld's work which can be seen in our favorite bookstore here called Livraria da Vila and in a charming local restaurant called Forneria San Paolo. The book focuses on the Architect's residential work. I was particularly happy to see that, although the houses he designs tend to be large, the book shows a specific project called Casa Cinza__ a smaller house but with the same dramatic sense of space and beautiful natural light found in his larger projects. Good news since we could never afford a large lot in the neighborhood we want.

If the perfect holiday gift is supposed to generate inspiration for the new year that is about to begin, I think my wife couldn't have chosed a more appropriate present.

Here are a few photos of Weinfeld houses featured in the book...

December 20, 2008

Have you heard of Januária?

By now, you probably know that I like cachaças and caipirinhas. A spirit that is linked in so many ways to Brazil's cultural identity and our historical connection to sugarcane. Many afficionados will say that the best cachaças are distilled in the State of Minas Gerais and the most famous brands come from a place called Salinas. However, a new town is on my cachaça watch list.  It's called Januária.

A few days ago, Alexandre Chiavegatti a friend who also loves to scout for unknown and hard-to-find brands, gave me a bottle of "Velha de Januária" (which I had never heard of). Yesterday in Brasília, I walked into a liquor store and found another brand from the same location called "Caribé". So I bought two bottles, one for Alexandre and one for my pantry. I just love collecting these little obscure brands which are pretty much distilled in the same way that was done in 17th century colonial Brazil and then aged in casks made from wood with romantic names like amburana or jequitibá rosa. It feels like, every bottle I buy, in a way is a celebration of a little piece of small town Brazil. A Brazil of open fields, dusty roads and simple people who know how to live in a slower pace.

For those curious, Januária is a little town (pop. 65,000) hidden in the northern part of Minas Gerais, 613 km from the state capital Belo Horizonte. This is what Wikipedia says about the place...
"The first explorers arrived in 1553 looking for gold. They were led by Castelhano Francisco Bruza de Espinosa and Padre João de Apicuelta Navarro. The first settlement was called Brejo do Salgado, due to the salinity of the streams and the marshes. The first sugarcane mill was set up and soon a chapel followed dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Amparo. In 1833 Brejo do Salgado became a "vila", or town and the seat was transferred to the left bank of the São Francisco River, the name being changed to Januária, in homage to Princess Januária, daughter of the Emperor Pedro I."

Mobile phones to speed up boarding process

Yesterday, I took a flight from São Paulo to Brasília and I was envious to see a few passengers using a relatively new service that allows them to use their mobile phones which are scanned at the gate for a boarding pass.  Great concept.

December 13, 2008

Change The Present this holiday season

I decided that this holiday season, I will give in a different way.  If you're feeling you can also change the way you give, click on the 'Changing The Present' banner on the side of this blog and find amazing ways in which you can do good.

December 12, 2008

Celebrating 55 Years of Quaker in Brazil

This year, Quaker® is celebrating 55 years since the brand started its Brazilian operation in Porto Alegre. Erika Salgado and Sarah Buchwitz leading Brazil's Quaker Brand Team - two of our young marketing talents - are having an awesome year. The business is growing double digit mainly driven by a strong professional marketing effort communicating the heart health benefits of oats and by a beautifully-produced TV campaign, called "Quaker The Grain of Goodness" (covered a few months ago on this blog), which is driving record sales.

To celebrate Quaker's rich heritage in this country, we're launching comemorative cans with the a vintage look on the backpanel....

The Quaker Team also produced a short video telling the brand's story which has been used to educate employees and customers on the beauty of the Quaker heritage.  The brand story is also being told through recipes. The team has compiled 55 recipes made with oats and how this special grain has influenced food culture from the 50's to today. 

Getting teens to send a message to the World

This month, we're also rolling out an ambitious project for our Ruffles® Brand - Brazil's best-selling potato chip. It's called the Ruffles "Fala Aê! Tour" (translates as 'speak up'), a bus with two studios onboard that will be touring the country inviting teens to send a 15" message to the world. The bus will be uploading these teen videos to a YouTube channel and the Ruffles website. Ambitious because our intention is to create the world's largest teen manfistation to be broadcast online.

Our brand activation agency, the Future Group, has done a great job creating a fun studio experience. Through a touchscreen monitor, teens can choose among different virtual backgrounds and also select props (like hats, sunglasses...) to get into the spirit before recording.

This summer activation is part of the brand's communication platform "Make noise, eat ruffles". For the Ruffles, 'noise' has both a product and an emotional association. Noise linked to the chip's hard bite and noise that comes from teens making their voices heard.

December 7, 2008

Toddy summer activation with a touch of 'pimp my ride'

A while back on this blog we talked about one of the brands we have in our portfolio in Brazil called Toddy® - Brazil's iconic chocolate milk powder. The brand has been tremendously successful over the past years with a campaign that uses irreverent cows sparking a strong connection with Brazilian millenials. Because the consumption of chocolate milk is predominantly in the breakfast occasion, we decided we needed some creative thinking to take the brand beyond the kitchen table.

How could we expand the brand experience to cool places where our teen target hangs out in a way that was relevant and engaging?

The answer has been the Toddy Shake Tour, a mobile unit we have been testing throughout the year where consumers can experience the product in a variety of amazing shakes. For the upcoming Brazilian summer season, which pretty much starts after Christmas, we're coming out with the Toddy Shake Van. Imagine a 'pimp-my-ride'-style '71 VW Van completely decked out with cool wheels, flat-screen TVs and a hydraulic ceiling that creates a mini diner with the best chocolates shakes in town. Consumers can choose chocolate shakes with a touch of coconut, with bits of cookies, passion fruit or açaí (an energetic local berry).

The concept was created by the Future Group, a São Paulo-based brand activation agency we have been using for experiential marketing in collaboration with the Toddy Brand Team led by Claudia Pires and Victoria Gabrielli.

Our Toddy Van will be touring beaches along the coast of Rio and São Paulo, throughout the summer. We will also be taking the experience to orphanages and social projects in association with local NGO's.

December 4, 2008

Fun way to motivate kids to brush

I've noticed that my two daughters are taking more time brushing their teeth ever since my wife bought them the Firefly® Toothbrush. If you haven't seen one, this is a toothbrush with a light that flashes during 60 seconds helping children develop proper brushing habits. My girls like to dim the bathroom light and see the flashing effect on the mirror.

What a great product concept and what a smart name. It's one of those simple ideas that I wish I had early in my career when I worked in the oral care category.

Another cool idea in the toothbrush world is the Volight® Toothbrush Sanitzer - a system that eliminates bacteria that thrive in the warm, moist environment of bathrooms. The sanitizer, beautifully dsigned by Philippe Stark, uses technology common in hospitals: a germicidal UV bulb to kill germs. A blue glow lets you know the sanitizer is working.

Interesting to see how both innovations use light in a smart way.