March 31, 2010

Ice creams and gelatos I love

Those who know me, know how much I love ice-cream.  Last week-end in New York, I had a chance of visiting 
il laboratorio dei gelato (95 Orchard Street - Lower East Side), a gelateria that was on my wish list ever since I read an article on how Jon Snyder (founder of Ciao Bella where my wife and I used to go when we lived in the city) was creating some very unique flavors. I end up tasting toasted sesame, amareto crunch and lime fresh mint.  Absolutely fantastic!

Here is my list of great ice-creams and gelatos that I have tasted over the years (in no particular order)...

Gelateria di Piazza (San Gimignano, Italy)
Maison Berthillon (Paris)
Ben & Jerry's Factory (Waterbury, Vermont)
Ferris Acres Creamery (Newtown, Connecticut)
Mil Frutas (Ipanema, Rio)
Freddo (Buenos Aires)
Persicco (Buenos Aires)
Gelateria del Teatro (Rome)

If you know of any other great ice-cream parlors please let me know.

March 30, 2010

Making it easier for people to keep medical files

In the beginning of the year, I took my annual medical check-up. A few days later, I received an oversize envelope with the results of practically a full-day of tests.  How do those tests relate to previous check-ups?  I have no idea.  It doesn't help that I've never had a family doctor mainly because I've lived in 12 cities in three different countries.

The other day, I went for drinks with my brother-in-law James Maul, a techie who is very wired (every family seems to have one), who told me about Google Health - a service that allows people to store, organize, consult and share historical health data with a doctor or physical therapist.  It sounded like an interesting concept especially when you think how important health is to our lives and yet not everyone seems to keep good records.

Coincidently, on a flight back to São Paulo the other day, I read an interesting article in Time Magazine called "Paging Dr. Google - the search giant wants to help you compile your health records online. Is that a good idea?" written by Bonnie Rochman.

On the week-end, I ended up reading a little bit more about the service and I even found this very useful video resource in YouTube.... a pretty powerful concept.  


March 19, 2010

Another cool augmented reality idea... from Doritos in Brazil

After the tremendous success we've been having with Doritos Sweet Chili and our augmented reality packaging, our digital agency CuboCC came up with another cool idea.  This time, they asked us if we wanted to put together the world's largest augmented reality event.  Why not?

Take a look at the video and see who appeared on top of the PepsiCo office building the other day?


March 16, 2010

Packaging redesign for Brazil's favorite tuna brand

Packaging innovation for Coqueiro - Brazil's most traditional tuna brand with over 75 years of history. Hitting stores all over Brazil this week, our new Coqueiro Tuna cans are moving from traditional paper labels (wrapped around the can) to easy-open full litographed cans more than doubling the area for product information and branding.

Consumer research showed that one of the main complaints from shoppers when buying tuna & sardines is the difficulty in identifying the right option among solid, grated, in olive oil, different flavors, light... which led us to create a very simple easy-to-read color-coded area where the product variant is written in bold font to stand out on shelf.

Morning newspaper and an oatmeal cookie

When it comes to new products there´s nothing like simple sampling. The more you get people to try, engage, experiment, the more chances are you´ll start forming a consumer base. Sounds simple but I have made a few mistakes in the past of not sampling enough.

For our Quaker On-the-Go line, we teamed up with São Paulo's Metro Newspaper and used their army of distributors at traffic lights to give morning commuters a sample of Quaker oatmeal cookies and mini squares.

March 6, 2010

Electric bike to the rescue.... to jump-start your car

Dealing with a dead car battery is not something people are happy about.  For those who have auto insurance with Porto Seguro - Brazil's most innovative insurance company - things are little different.  You call their 1-800 number, tell them where your car is located and you may end up being rescued by an electric bike (apparently service is restricted to certain metro areas).  What a fantastic way for the insurance company to reduce operating costs, get through chaotic traffic found in metro areas like São Paulo, jump-start the car using the bike's battery and help the environment.  Absolutely brilliant.

The interesting thing is that Porto Seguro is also marketing the electric bikes, which they co-developed in collaboration with engineer Felicio Sadalla (an engineer who designed Brazil's first electric bike a few decades ago) and Pro-X bike manufacturers.  This morning, I met Patricia Collese from Porto Seguro who showed me the bike and told me the story of how the project got started.

I found this video on YouTube (in Portuguese) covering the story...

March 2, 2010

NatuChips - made from Brazilian roots

In a few days an exciting new snack concept we have been developing for the past year will hit the shelves all over Brazil: NatuChips.

There has been a growing interest among Brazilians consumers for products that celebrate local food staples. The growth of açai, coconut water or guaraná-enhanced energy drinks are examples of how Brazilian are re-discovering local tastes... from fruits to roots.

NatuChips is a great way for Brazilians to try something completely different in terms of snacking... different, but very close to their food culture. NatuChips comes in two great-tasting options: Inhame chips (known in English as taro) and Mandioquinha chips (known as arrancacha). We're very excited with this launch.

Try them out and drop me a line with your thoughts.