March 28, 2009

Giving new reasons for health-conscious Brazilian consumers to add more oats to their day-to-day lives

When asked what brand comes to mind when consumers think oats, Brazilians all over the country will immediately say Quaker.  Over the years, through the commissioning of Brazil's first clinical study on the heart-health benefits of oats and the consistent work of professional marketing, we have been teaching consumers and opinion leaders about how oats can help fight heart clogging cholesterol contributing to a balanced lifestyle.

Last year, we started working with agency StrawberryFrog which created a new campaign that is helping to accelerate growth with a message that combines both the functional benefits of oats with a more emotional tone.  The campaign is called 
Quaker - The Grain of Goodness.  

More and more people recognize the power of this little super grain but one of the barriers of consumption is that people don't always find oats very convenient.  Little time in the morning to prepare an oatmeal porridge or forgetting to sprinkle oats over fruits or yogurts are a few of the reasons why people don't consume more.  To provide oats in a more convenient format, a few years ago a line of oat bars were launched - our fastest-growing SKUs.  Proof that there is an opportunity to provide more convenient ways for people to eat oats.  

We're very excited that this week, we started test-marketing in Campinas (an hour drive from Sao Paulo) an entire line of convenient on-the-go oat-based products that will certainly create new reasons and occasions for health-conscious Brazilian consumers to add more oats to their day-to-day lives.   We're calling this line Quaker De Bolso  (which translates as Quaker In-Your-Pocket).

The line is made up of three nutritious products: 
Quaker Oatmeal cookies in three flavors:  Apple & Cinnamon, Granola, Raisins

Quaker Granola Express, a fun on-the-go drinkable format which allows people to have granola while they are driving, biking or working out.  These new granolas come in two flavors:  raisins, banana & honey

Quaker Minis - a completely new concept - bite size oat-based multi-grain mini cookies. One, is a mix of oats and cocoa and the other, a unique mix of 4 super grains: oats, quinoa, flax seed and wheat germ with a delicious touch of honey.  We designed this product to offer the convenience of portion control which we believe will become a hit especially among busy women who want a nutritious break but don't always have the time. I particularly love this concept.  

Well, here's our entire Quaker De Bolso line.  
Now consumers can have the goodness of oats anytime, anywhere.  

This launch was developed under the leadership of Adriana Ribeiro, Erika Salgado and Rodrigo Viselli, three marketing stars, as well as, Jose Oliveira and Maria Eugenia Cavenaghi on the Innovation team, who put their hearts and souls in the project.  We also counted on the inspiring support from Jesus Velasquez from the Mexican team who brought a wonderful perspective from a successful Quaker operation. On the technical side, Sergio Julio and his team added the R&D magic to bring the concepts to life. A fantastic team!  

March 22, 2009

World's Largest Football Gaming Tournament

It's absolutely fascinating to see the powerful evolution of online gaming and its potential as a marketing platform. A great example of how gaming can be built into a global experience is the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009

Next week here in São Paulo, gamers will take part in a qualifying event at the Museu do Futebol trying to secure a place among at the FIWC09 Grand Final in Spain. Similar to the real FIFA World Cup, the FIWC 09 Online Qualification will be split as follows:

UEFA - The top 5 ranked players
CONCACAF - The top 2 ranked players
CONMEBOL - The top 2 ranked players
AFC - The top 2 ranked players
CAF - The top 1 ranked player
OCEANIA - The top 1 ranked player

Only one lucky gammer will be awarded the title of FIFA Interactive World Player 2009, earning a host of prizes from EA and PlayStation. Adding to the magic, he will attend the FIFA World Player Gala 2009 receiving a trophy from some of the World's greatest players. Pretty cool!

March 13, 2009

Music as a beautiful metaphor

Last night at a business offsite in Argentina, I participated in an amazing experience.  After an extensive day, we were led to a large room where members of a symphony orchestra were already seated.  We were asked to sit in chairs placed right next to the musicians.  I chose to sit next a cello since that is the instrument my elder daughter is learning at school.  At this point, a maestro introduced himself as Roger Nieremberg and took us through a beautiful musical journey.  However, this was not a regular concert.  

Throughout the evening, Mr. Nieremberg explained how everything we are hearing and observing was actually a great metaphor for a business organization.  The conductor led the musicians through a series of carefully crafted exercises that helped illustrate how each group of instruments harmoniously functioned within the orchestra and how the role of the maestro was to provide his personal vision of how the music should sound. He talked about how the same can happen in organizations, where functional teams also have to work together and how leaders must create a vision and inspire. 

I was struck by how much non-verbal communication goes on between the maestro and the musicians.  That any orchestra can perform without a conductor but how it takes an inspiring maestro who is passionate and engaging to transform ordinary classic music into a truly magical symphonic experience like I've never had before.  

Yes, leadership can be demonstrated in an innovative way.  An evening that only proves how, many times, it takes a beautiful metaphor to make an emotional connection on a theme that is so part of my day-to-day.

Click here to learn more about Roger Nieremberg and his Music Paradigm concept.

March 8, 2009

VISA scores with Ronaldo

A few minutes ago, Ronaldo - Brazil's most famous soccer player - socred his first goal playing for Corinthians. For those who follow the beautiful game, there was a huge expectation all over Brazil about Ronaldo's comeback after over a year away from the pitch. Corinthians, is more than a team, it's practically a religion for millions of fans, so signing a guy like Ronaldo was the big story this season.

The marketing question behind today's match - the classic Corinthians X Palmeiras - was what company would appear on Corinthians' jersey? Until a few days before the match, there were all sorts of speculations about who would be the main team sponsor. Well... it's VISA, and the images of Ronaldo's will be in all papers and websites tomorrow morning. Great timing.

March 7, 2009

Developing a social occasion for snacks

Tomorrow, we're launching a new Doritos® advertising campaign in Brazil:
"Wanna share something with friends, share Doritos."  

Consumer studies with Brazilian millenials show that getting together with friends is one of their favorite things in life. Special moments after school hanging out with their best friends or on the week-ends before partying, those are the moments they cherish the most.  However, when it comes to snacking habits, the main consumption occasion is alone in front of a TV set.  There's a huge opportunity to develop a social snacking occasion among friends.  Doritos, being such a cool brand among millenials, has all the credentials to be the brand that Brazilians grab when they're snacking among friends.

The TV campaign, created by AlmapBBDO and produced by Rodolfo Vanni from Cinema, uses funny situations that remind us that not everything should be shared with friends... if you wanna share something, share a Doritos.  We're also using two magazines that connect well with our target group:  Rolling Stones and Trip.  

The campaign has a very strong online component with a hot site created by cool digital agency CuboCC, a destination where teens are invited to upload pictures or videos of embarrassing situations they wouldn't want to share with their friends (or would they?). The five most voted situations will receive a year's supply of the world's most famous tortilla chip and a box with a special edition of Doritos with their picture on the bag (perfect for bragging rights). Take a look at

In the following weeks, more great news on Doritos...