September 29, 2009

Disconnected in Paradise

My Family and I just got back from 3 days in Itacaré, a tropical paradise located on the southern coast of Bahia north of Ilhéus - Brazil's cocoa capital. Fortunately, we spent three magnificent days with no mobile phone (no coverage from the carrier I use), no BlackBerry, no TV... and I realize that this is exactly what time off is supposed to be. Disconnected.... and yet connected to what matters the most.

For those who want a tip on an absolutely stunning place to go for vacations:
Txai Resort. Thousands of coconut trees, miles of pristine beaches, hiking trails through lush tropical vegetation hydrating ourselves with coconut water, and a spa at the end of a long day with a view you'll never forget.

What makes the resort even more special, is that they were awarded
Sustainbale Resort 2009 by Brazil's best tourism publication 4 Rodas. Food is made with organic vegetables and fruits which they cultivate on the property and they support local organic argriculture. Excess production is sold at an organic farmer's market which they helped organize in Itacaré. The resort sells handicrafts from local vendors and they also run a number of socially-responsible programs focused on developing local communities. A cool example of their concern for the local community is the support the resort gave in starting up Bahia's first public Waldorf shool (providing building materials) located a few miles down the road. Our daughters loved the news that Txai also has their own sea turtle conservation program called 'Txaitaruga' (which is one more reason for us to go back since we're not in nesting season yet).

This is a video on how Txai is building a sustainable model...

This is a great reminder that Brazil has a tremendous opportunity to leverage its enormous tourism potential through an environmentally-friendly model similar to what happens in Costa Rica. We can't wait to go back.

These are a few photos I took...

Making it easier to add the benefits of fish in your diet

One of the challenges we face in our canned fish business is that housewives will say they want to add more fish in their families' diet but not always know simple recipes. Our Coqueiro marketing, with the help of São Paulo-based food consultancy SC, produced 10 videos with creative recipes made with tuna & sardine that will help people add the benefits of fish and more Omega-3 in their lives. At the end of each video, a list of all the ingredients needed for each dish.

It's fascinating to see how cooking, especially gourmet cooking, is becoming big in Brazil. From specialized magazines to radio programs to TV shows and gourmet festivals throughout the country. Maybe one day we will have our own version of the Food Network. Who knows.

Here's one example, 'Acarajé Coqueiro', from the wonderful cuisine from Bahia. You can find all videos at


September 24, 2009

Role reversal

I've always believed that role reversals are great ways to see the world with different eyes.  Many years ago, I took part in a role reversal process with our advertising agency which was a wonderful experience.  

Last night, my wife and I went to a PTA meeting at our local Waldorf School.  Our second grade teacher surprised all the parents with a role reversal session.  Parents were asked to line up to go into the class and we spent two hours going through a class routine.  I loved the exeprience in many ways.  It was very engaging.  First, it made me feel closer to what our 7-year-old goes through.  As the teacher talked us through the learning objective of each exercise, I felt that the experience will certainly raise my awareness on how I can help our daughter learn even more. 

As a marketing professional, it made me think that there is so much we can learn if we get out of our ordinary role and temporarily live a completely different one.

Role reversal....  certainly a powerful concept in any innovation process.

September 17, 2009

Big News for Brazilian Business

I've always believed that emerging markets, like Brazil, India or China, will need to build strong global brands and not only become commodity powerhouses.  So, I was very happy to hear yesterday's announcement that JBS-Friboi (Brazil's beef giant which acquired Smithfield Beef last year and Swift & Co. back in 2007) just acquired Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride and merged with Betin - another Brazilian meat company - to form the World's largest meat producer. Big news for Brazilian business.

From a purely marketing standpoint, the question is...
Will JBS-Friboi be able to build a company with global brands that resonate emotionally with consumers aroung the globe?

Brands managed by Brazilian companies, many of them amazingly successful locally, haven't been that successful becoming truly global.  I'm curious to see if JBS-Friboi will change the game...

September 9, 2009

Brazil's first institutional campaign promoting fish

This is Brazil's first institutional campaign promoting the consumption of fish. Brazil has one of the World's largest coastlines (7491 km) and yet a low per cap consumption of fish - only 6.8kg/year versus a world average consumption of 15.6kg/year. The World Health Organization recommends the consumption of 12kg/year of fish. The campaign was created and produced by the Ministry of Fish and is part of a comprehensive plan called Fish Week that happens every year.

Within our PepsiCo Brazil portfolio we market a line of canned sardine and tuna products under the Coqueiro trademark. So, we're very happy to see this institutional effort.

September 8, 2009

The return of a snack classic

A lot has been wirtten about how retro is cool and how some . I'm a huge fan of the movement (probably why I bought a New Beetle when they first came out and why I drive a Mini Cooper today). Well, here at PepsiCo Brazil we're also riding the retro wave by bringing back a snack classic from the 80's and 90's: Doritos Original.

Since 2001, the only Doritos flavor sold in Brazil has been nacho cheese (in the famous red bag) and earlier this year we launched Sweet Chili as a limited edition (in a striking silver bag). Answering the call from hundreds of Brazilian fans who have posted that they want the return of Doritos Original, in the following days we're bringing back the classic tortilla chip that comes with just the great taste of yellow corn in its famous yellow bag. And to go in true retro style, we even decided to use the old classic Doritos logo from the 90's.

One of the fun things about social networking is that marketers can quickly identify and respond to consumer requests. We had tons of fun last year producing a 5kg bag for die-hard Doritos fans and now we have a chance of bringing back a classic from the past.

Videgame recreates the magic of the greatest band in history

Tomorrow's global release of "The Beatles: Rock Band" videgame for PlayStation3, Wii and XBox360 is a fantastic step forward in the mash-up between music experience, videogaming, documentary... revolutionizing the concept of home entertainment. This much anticipated release is a dream come true for music fans and gamers from around the world.

For those who don't have the game on their buy list, it's worth watching the Gametrailers review below.