December 16, 2011

Reflecting on the year that's ending... with the help of Google

For me, December, is always a month of reflection. What has happened around the World that was meaningful... what has happened in my life and with my Family that was meaningful?

I was thinking the other day in ways that I can explain to my daugthers this notion of reflection, the idea that there are certain milestones that we create that are wonderful opportunities to look back, reflect, learn, build on... so that we become more confident to move on. To start something new.

I loved the Google Zeitgest 2011 Year in Review video. When I get home after work, I want to show it to them as a reminder of some of the highlights of the year. Maybe there too young to understand the richness of Google's compilation... maybe not?

December 13, 2011

December 4, 2011

Latin American video game development

Good news on how Latin Americans are expanding in the booming market of video game development...

Mocotó - celebrating food from Brazil's Northeast

São Paulo is known for its amazing restaurant scene. Outstanding sushi bars, authentic lebanese restaurants, quaint French bistros, Portuguese bakeries and the very Brazilian churrascarias. But Brazilian food is more than meat on skewers.

Last night, we had dinner at a place that has been getting tremendous amount of buzz: Mocotó - a restaurant specialized in food from Brazil's Northeast and also a cachaçaria (bar specialized in Brazil's famous sugarcane spirit). The experience blew me away. Located in the Vila Medeiros - neighborhood - rather far from where you would expect to find a great restaurant. It took us about 35 minutes to get there but it was certainly worth the drive. Absolutely fantastic! Rodrigo Oliveira added some culinary magic to his father's already famous restaurant. Two generations coming together to celebrate the flavors, aromas, textures and drinks from one of the most culturally-diverse regions of Brazil.

I found this video on YouTube which gives you a little feel for this place. This is a must-go place when you come to São Paulo.

December 3, 2011

Pop-up mall made with shipping containers

What is it that makes the upcycling of shipping containers so interesting? These days you see them everywhere, from the Container pop-up stores here in São Paulo to a hotel made of containers in Chile.

I enjoyed an article on article on on Boxpark the World's first pop-up mall made with shipping containers that just opened up in East London's fashionable Shoreditch High Street. I'm always fascinated to see how so many cool retail concepts are created in London.

CNN also posted these other examples of how shipping containers are being used in other parts of the world...

November 30, 2011

Baguette vending machine that provides 24-hour fresh baked bread

It's fascinating to see the evolution of vending machines. I was amazed when I first travelled to Tokyo four years ago and saw machines dispensing all sorts of things, from electronics to bento boxes.

Recently, I read about Jean-Louise Hecht, the French baker who invented a baguette vending machine that provides 24-hour fresh baked bread. For businesses looking for ways to offer more convenience and reduce operating costs, this certainly is a fresh idea.

We're living in a 2-speed World

Here in Barcelona this week, I also listened to Anthony Pralle - one of the Boston Consulting Group's senior partners - talk about some of the trends that are affecting and shaping businesses around the globe. One of the concepts that I particularly enjoyed was the notion that we're definitely living in a 2-speed world: slow growth in developed markets versus the vibrant fast pace found in emerging economies.

As an example, he mentioned that 10 years have gone by and the Freedom Towers at Ground Zero in New York have not been completed. In contrast, he showed the video below of a hotel in China that was built in just 6 days.

Listening to Derek Redmond in Barcelona

Last night, I had the privilege of listening and talking to Derek Redmond - 1991 World Champion 4x400m Relay - and I was blown away by his personal and very inspiring story of determination, passion for winning and perseverance.

One of his stories was portrayed in a 2008 VISA 'Go World' campaign and he also appears in the Nike 'Courage' TV campaign.

Some are certainly destined for greatness.

November 27, 2011

New Milka Concept Store in Buenos Aires

Last week I spent a few days in Buenos Aires. I got to visit our second Milka Concept Store, this one located in Las Canitas, one of the city's cool neighborhoods. A great place for a capuccino with a Milka bom bom, to read the paper or go online. I love how Milka's strong iconography - lilac cow, alpine feel - works so well for in-store activation.

Great partnership with Open 25 and La Tienda del Café.

November 19, 2011

Kinect Effect

I remember last Christmas when my brother-in-law James Maul gave my nephew an XBox 360 Kinect. Everyone in the house was in awe with this technology. In our house, we don't own any video game consoles but I have to admit I was quite amazed with this almost magical new experience.

I loved watching this video on how this technology is inspiring so many different applications. It's remarkable to see how technology is a beautiful way to open doors and inspire people to find new possibilities.

Importance of listening

Yesterday, I got back from our annual consumer relations meeting. It's always great to intereact with the team that engages with our consumers on a daily basis, specially in a time of social media and amazing brand advocacy. They opened the meeting using a TED video featuring Julian Treasure - Sound Expert. The speech covers the importance of listening to the quiet, subtle, understated.

A wonderful way to start a meeting on consumer relations.

October 15, 2011

Our new BelVita 30 TV Campaign

This is our new TV campaign for BelVita - a line of healthy morning cookies that provide sustained energy - that we started airing this week in Brazil. When a group of scientists inadvertently leaves behind a backpack with BelVita, a cute sloth comes around and... well, look what happens.

The voice over at the end is "Un-sloth your day with the delicious energy of BelVita". 'Un-sloth' is a made-up verb that does a good job describing the storyline.

Creative by Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky

October 7, 2011

Oreo - Cuento

Last week, I was in Buenos Aires. The team has been doing a wonderful job with our Oreo brand. Here's the latest TV campaign where a grandfather reads a fairytale, while his grandaughter performs the classic brand twist-lick-and-dunk ritual. The nice thing about this copy is the play of words. For each sentence of the storytelling, the girl uses the cookie and glass of milk to act out the story. Campaign beautifully created by DraftFCB.

September 2, 2011

How New York is going digital

I've been learning a lot in the past weeks with Vanildo Oliveira - who heads Kraft Foods Latin America's Consumer Relations - on the huge transformation he is leading with our brands in the social media space.

This is a pretty cool video he sent to me today with Rachel Sterne - Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York - on how she is strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications. Another reason why NYC is one of the great cities of the World. What a lesson for other cities...

I hope you like it.

PSFK CONFERENCE NYC 2011: Rachel Sterne from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo.

August 19, 2011

Inamo St James in London

Wow! The new Inamo St.James Restaurant in London is showing how technology can be used to deliver amazing consumer experience. Can't wait to check it out in my next visit to London.

August 15, 2011

Why No Apple In The Food Industry?

A collegue just sent me this interesting article wrtitten by Steve Denning and published on Forbes called "Why No Apple In The Food Industry?". An interesting read...

August 11, 2011

A journey through the world of flavors...

This week I've been on a fascinating flavor exploratory journey. I've had great meetings at IFF and Givaudan - flavor house partners - discussing consumer trends, the explosion of street & ethnic food, and going through some wonderful tasting sessions. Yum.

This beautifully-produced video, from STA Travel Australia (directed by Rick Mereki in collaboration with Andrew Lees and Tim White) captures the spirit of what my week has been like...

It is wonderful to work in food marketing!

July 30, 2011

Craft Beer Revolution

Check out UK's BrewDog and how they're out to change the world of microbreweries through their 'equity for punks' model which has led them to launch an online IPO movement... and they're even using a collaborative approach to their bar expansion, paying people to help scout for bar locations... a little craft beer revolution in the making.

July 7, 2011

Three amazing food experiences on one amazing trip

Two weeks ago, my wife and I were on vacation and we had three food experiences that were truly amazing. The interesting thing is that each one represents a different movement in terms of culinary experiences.

The first little story happened in Canada and it´s about the road food movement - locals (and sometimes tourists) who drive for miles to eat at authentic roadside eateries. While our daughters were at camp, my wife and I went exploring the Lake Muskoka area. We drove north on Highway 11 in Ontario, close to a town called Orillia, to experience what our resort concierge told us was the best burger experience in that part of the world. Half hour later, we arrived to Weber's Hamburgers. She was right. This place is like hamburger heaven. Simple charcoal BBQ'd burgers, friendly staff, picnic tables on a backyard park-like setting, railroad cars transformed into a dinning area, storage and restrooms... the place rocks!

My second story is about the farm to table movement, a movement that celebrates the people who farm and produce in your own communities, creating more awareness about the benefits of eating local. My wife made reservations two months in advance at Blue Hill at Stone Barn Farms in Pocantico Hills, thirty minutes north of New York City.

Everything about our dining experience was magical. When we arrived, the host asked if we wanted to have a drink at the bar or watch the fireflies. Obviously, we were curious about the fireflies. He walked us onto a terrace overlooking a moon-lit section of the farm and in complete silence we watched in awe thousands of fireflies creating an unforgettable scene. Back in the restaurant, we were delighted by a no-menu evening. Waiters brought five different courses all using ingredients from the fields and pastures of their own and surrounding farms. Each course with revernce and storytelling. At the end, a cart comes up at the side of your table and, after you sleect the type of tea you want, a woman clips leaves from pots and brews in front of you. I can easily say it was the best dining experience in my life.

My third story is about the Miami Food truck movement. Arriving in Miami for some business meetings, one of my best friends invited me to go with him to one of the many food truck festivals that happen every week in different locations around Miami. Different than other cities where I´ve eaten from one truck, these events bring together over twenty trucks with live music and a rock-concert-type feel with hundreds of people with their folding chairs. Just simple fun.

Three amazing... and yet totally different food experiences.

June 25, 2011

Rooting for the Chrysler "Born Of Fire" campaign at Cannes

Today is the last day of an inspiring and certainly memorable week at the 2011 Cannes Lions Festival. Later tonight, the final awards. In the Film Automobile category, it seems like everyone I've talked to is expecting VW "Force" - from Deutsche Lons Angeles - to win gold. It is, after all, a beautiful example of storytelling highlighting a cool feature of the new VW Passat. I love it.

However, I'm rooting for the Chrysler "Born of Fire" spot, one of the most talked about campaigns from the Super Bowl XLV. The reason is that marketing an American-made luxury car in a market dominated by European and Japanese imports is a huge challenge. Chrysler and Wieden+Kennedy Portland did a phenomenal job celebrating the Detroit heritage, taking what may seem to many as a liability and converting into a magnificent piece of advertising. The copywriting is just amazing.

I became an "Imported from Detroit" fan.

June 23, 2011

Tesco Homeplus Subway Virtual Store in Korea wins Cannes Grand Prix in Media

I was super happy to see the Tesco Homeplus South Korea Subway Virtual Store win the 2011 Cannes Grand Prix Media Award!

This is an outstanding example of combining a killer media idea, a true brand experience with e-commerce using mobile technology. Everything you dream about. You can only imagine how this case will open doors to all sorts of pop-up store ideas.

Someday in a subway station near you...

Listening to Malcolm Gladwell at Cannes

I've been having a fantastic time at the Cannes Lions 2011 Festival with jam-packed days filled with all sorts of stimuli from listening to speakers to reading submissions or watching the award ceremonies in the evenings. A week I certainly won't forget anytime soon.
One of the highlights, so far, was listening to best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell on Monday (one of my favorite) where he talked about the advantages of being third than first. Like in his books, inspiring story telling supported by stats and analysis on how companies who come in later can benefit from tweaking existing innovations.

Since Kraft Foods was the sponsor who brought Gladwell to Cannes, we had a chance of meeting him in the evening. He ended up talking about some ideas he's working on for a new book.

June 17, 2011

The WilliamsWarn Story

A food friend of mine, Juliano Mendes, was one of the guys behind creating Eisenbahn, one of Brazil's most successful beer brands. Another friend is working on a business plan to expand a retail store specialized in beers from around the world. Beer is one of those categories that generates a lot of passion.

Below you'll find an interesting story of how a New Zeland brewmaster identified an unmet business opportunity and through ingenuity and hard work created a pretty revolutionary product concept. If you're into beer, captivated by the surge of microbreweries and believes in the power of customization, you'll like the story of WilliamsWarn.

June 11, 2011

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore iPad App!

Last night, my daughters and I enjoyed "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" iPad edition.... the most visually stunning iPad app for children so far.

This is certainly an awesome example of the future of how the editorial market for children is going through a revolution. This app elegantly combines wonderful story-telling, a fantastic soundtrack and engaging visual effects that will leave any children amazed.

June 10, 2011

A brand that embodies the Colombian spirit

When traveling, I love to see brands that embody the spirit of the country you're visiting.

Juan Valdez is a great example of a brand that has a true Colombian feel .

I just back from a few days in Bogota (a city that I've always felt has a wonderful vibe). There's something special about the Juan Valdez brand, from its well-recognized iconic fictional character with the mule 'Conchita' to its cafe lounges decorated in a way that makes you feel like you're on a cool version of a coffee hacienda.

Since my wife can't live without great coffee, I brought home three bags from the Juan Valdez Gourmet Selection: Organico, de la Finca and del Bosque.

¡ Maravilloso !

June 5, 2011

E-Z-GO 2Five

After my previous post, I got an e-mail from a friend who mentioned another cool-looking street-legal vehicle from the famous golf cart manufacturer E-Z-GO, called the 2Five.

Hey, I hope this becomes a movement...

Not your ordinary golf car

As a golfer, one thing that has always intrigued me is why haven't golf cars evolved to become an eco-friendly alternative to urban mobility. So, I was happy to learn about the beautiful Danish-designed street-legal Garia LSV. For those who don't know LSV stands for low-speed vehicle.

This not your ordinary golf car. These vehicles are manufactured at the Valmet Automotive factory in Finland, the same place where Porsche Boxsters and Caymans are produced, with a few nice touches like hand-stiched water-resistant upholstery, built-in refrigerator, 768 combination of colors, styles and upgrades.

There has been so much buzz around electric cars these days. This week, São Paulo hosted the C40 Summit - bringing together mayors from the World's 40 largest cities - and the official automobile for the event was the Nissan Leaf.

In a world where it would be wonderful if we could slow down and get around in a way that is more environmentally-conscious, it's fascinating to see how electric cars are finally getting the attention they deserve.

June 4, 2011

Introducing the New Food Icon: MyPlate

Tremendous buzz today on the news that the Food Pyramid is out... and MyPlate is in. MyPlate is the new USDA Food Icon to remind people of how to eat healthier. Watch the official video produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

May 31, 2011

The Food Truck Movement

Food trucks are becoming quite a movement in cities around the World. One of my childhood memories, growing up in Virginia and Ohio, was the ice cream truck that showed up in my neighborhood after school. There was something irresistible about the bell ringing and kids lining up to choose their favorite flavors.

It's interesting to see how some brands are riding this new food truck wave. One example is the Oscar Mayer brand which is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Wienermobile vehicle in New York City by unveiling the first Wienermobile Food Truck, in partnership with celebrity chef Tyler Florence to christen the new vehicle and continue the Good Mood Mission by making a $50,000 donation to Feeding America.

People gathered in Times Square for a chance to see the Wienermobile Food Truck, get a free Oscar Mayer Selects Beef Frank and enjoy special toppings created by Tyler. The new Wienermobile Food Truck will be giving consumers a chance to taste Oscar Mayer Selects Beef Franks throughout this summer.

A book was recently published called "Food Trucks - Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels" , written by Heather Shouse, with reviews of the many food trucks that you can find in North America.

I'm very curious to see if gourmet food trucks are starting to show up in Latin American cities.

May 27, 2011

Software that reduces cyberbullying

Bullying and cyberbullying are important themes being discussed in our daughter's schools. Themes that my wife and I are particularly concerned about, like any parent. So, I was happy to read about a company called Crisp Thinking that has come up with software called Crisp that polices cyberbullying activities and other bad actors online.

Below an interview with Adam Hildreth, a British entrepreneur, one of the company's founders.

Trident campaign nominated for Cannes

I'm very excited that I'm scheduled to go to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity next month. As I look through the work being nominated this year, I was happy to see Trident White campaign called 'Sniper'. This is an awesome example of the use of big screen cinematography techniques to speak about a product benefit in a very subtle and non-conventional way. The suspense is amazing.

Campaign created by JWT Puerto Rico and directed by Luis Gerard and Jaime Costa as Director of Photography.

Congratualtions to the gums & candies team here at Kraft Foods... great work!

May 9, 2011

Oreo Celebrating Mother's Day

There are a few brands that are able to strike an emotional chord among consumers of all ages. Oreo is certainly one of those brands with its 'twist, lick & dunk' ritual that has sparked child-like delight and family connections for generations. The more I study this brand, the more I become passionate about it.

Here's the Oreo campaign that was the most effective Mother's Day ad to break in the U.S. this year according to Ace Metrix. The ad, which scored an Ace Score of 628, compared to a norm of 522, took a 55-point lead over the next two favorite ads from Procter & Gamble and Verizon.

The beauty is in its simplicity

May 8, 2011

Enjoying great packaging work after a perfect weekend in Rio de Janeiro

We spent a wonderful weekend in Rio de Janeiro. Saturday was practically a perfect day: Lounging at the Copacabana Palace pool, running on the sands of Copacabana Beach with my daughters, late lunch at Astor, walking on the Ipanema boardwalk at sunset, ice-cream at Mil Frutas (which I've loved since we lived in Rio in the mid 90's), a stop at a great bookstore called Livraria da Travessa and ending the day with a passionfruit caipirinha with Cachaça Lua Cheia by the pool. If yesterday had a soundtrack it would have been 'Acanjú' by Bebel Gilberto.

At Livraria da Travessa I ended up buying a book called "The Package Design Book". I've always had a passion for packaging, both the power of graphic design and the beauty of great structural packaging. It will certainly be fun reading for the flight back to São Paulo. I'll post some of the highlights in a separate post.

April 30, 2011

National Geographic Store in London

I was in London this week and after the our meetings were over, I was able to rush out and catch the amazing vibe in the streets as people from around the World were celebrating the royal wedding. On my walk back to the hotel I went into the National Geographic London Store. I had read about it but this was my first time visiting one.

Stretching a brand into a completely different category is not an easy task. I was delighted to see what a wonderful retail and café experience they were able to create. I have always been a huge fan of Nat Geo's media properties and my daughters enjoy National Geographic Kids which I bring back from my trips.

London is such a fascinating city in so many ways. I particularly find it a great place to see different retail concepts.... always something new to explore.

Looking for more family moments...

As the father of two children, I find my self looking for more ways to create family moments. With our 12-year-old's increasing interest in technology and my business traveling, finding ways to connect has become particularly important for me and is a feeling that, in certain ways, is influencing my shopping considerations.

So, I was very happy when I received an e-mail from our younger daughter while I was in Miami this week asking me to go to Williams-Sonoma (which unfortunately we don't have in Brazil) to look into a gift she was suggesting for Mother's Day. She had gone online, found a product called Zoku Quick Pop Maker she thought her mom would like and saw some tutorial videos on all the cool ways to make popsicles. It sounded like a good project for the family on a Sunday morning. So, sure enough I went to the store and bought the equipment and a recipe book.

This morning, un-boxing, reading through the instructions with them and planning tomorrow's first production was already very fun. Simple family connctions.... those are the priceless moments I'm looking for these days.

April 18, 2011

Cannes Lions 2011

Yupeee! Today I received confirmation of my 2011 Cannes registration.
Can't wait to spend a week immersed in stimulating brand campaigns from around the world.

April 13, 2011

Traveling with Kids

One of the most rewarding experiences for my wife and I is traveling with our daughters. We all learn on so many different levels and I believe we're providing our girls a wonderful window to the World. This year, we are focusing more on Brazil. We loved the Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul) and its amazing biodiversity and now we have trips planned for Tiradentes, Rio and the magnificent Iguaçú Falls.

One of our good friends from Coral Gables is planning to visit all 50 U.S. States with her five kids. I can't wait to follow her adventures and learn from her experience on a blog she's planning to write.
On my flight to Mexico, I read a great article on Condé Nast Traveller called Perrin Report: The A to Z Guide to Traveling with Kids with so fun tips on how to make the most of your next Family vacation.

Our 9-year old snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Rio Sucuri - Bonito, Brazil

March 18, 2011

When it comes to where your brand is made... do you care?

Connecting flight in Lima. Newstand at the airport. Picking up some reading material on my way back to Sao Paulo. The Wired Magazine cover catches my attention and the question makes me think. Are we going to see a rise in consumers mobilizing to hold brands more accountable for all aspects of the supply chain?

The flip side of that is a Maytag print campaign I saw a few weeks ago in USA Today. The message was "Better Build With American Pride... designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S.A." The tagline is also quite powerful: "Maytag - What's Inside Matters". There's also logo "From Ohio to You".

Is there a trend emerging?

No more excuses to pack light... The Westin & New Balace get it right

I just love it when a company clearly identifies a relevant insight and creates a useful product or service. I'm constantly travelling on business and for someone like me there's always a conflict between packing light and staying fit. I want to be ready to work out when I'm at a hotel but packing athletic shoes is a hassle.

This week I stayed at The Westin Santa Fe in Mexico City. I was surprised to see that the hotel chain partnered with New Balance allowing guests to borrow shoes and apparel during their stay. Going online, I found out that there's more to it:

Westin guests will also benefit from travel-specific fitness content and added-value experiences provided by New Balance. New Balance Fitness Ambassador and Exercise TV celebrity trainer Holly Perkins will develop exclusive in-room fitness and equipment-free content that includes stretching and strengthening workouts, cardio and yoga. The program includes “Wellness in Travel” tips from Holly on nutrition and creative ways to combat jet lag and healthy living. In addition, New Balance is working with individual Westin properties to enhance its current three- and five-mile local area running maps. As part of the partnership, participating properties will provide guests traveling to a city for a major athletic event, such as a marathon, with wellness amenities, including turn-down gifts with “performance/fuel” goodies for the race and “good luck” wake-up calls.

That's a great example of a brand identifying a powerful insight, creating a service that connects with a very specific target: business travellers.

Next week, I have to travel to Mexico City again. I'm packing light and staying at the Westin.

March 5, 2011

Entertainment vs Improv

Wednesday night I went to the American Airlines Arena in Miami to watch the Miami Heat play Orlando Magic. It has been years since I've been to an NBA game. I'm not a huge fan of basketball, but I have to admit it's an amazing super entertaining sports event. Everything was so well scripted. Its all comes together beautifully: the announcer, the suspense, the lighting, the music, the fans, even how sponsorships blend well to the spectacle.

When I think of Latin-American soccer, the differences are abysmal. While American sports follow a wonderful choreography, the beautiful game in my part of the World is performed with so much improvisation. While Brazil slowly gets geared up for FIFA World Cup 2014, there's a lot that can be learned from watching a live NBA game.

February 26, 2011

Cool campaign from Land Rover on the iPad

Land Rover's advertising campaign within The Daily Ipad application is one of the best things I've seen in this new space. This is a brand that is leading the way in this new brave iPad world when it comes to creating messages that are cool, engaging and entertaining. I love it.

One-stop shop for urban essentials in Buenos Aires

I love cities that invite people to walk and explore. New York, London, Paris, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, my São Paulo doesn't quite make the list. The beauty about these cities is that by walking you feel the city vibe and get the pulse of what's happening on the streets.

From a trade perspective, cities with large pedestrian areas tend to be a wonderful playground for marketing people. I was in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago and it's probably one of the best place in terms of kiosks. Kiosks are the perfect stop to get a candy bar, refresh, get a copy of Clarín one of best coverages of soccer, buy credits for a mobile phone or go online. It's pretty much a one-stop shop for urban essentials. No place in the world, are kiosks so well developed like in Buenos Aires. Next time, you're in town, check them out.

January 23, 2011

Reading on my way back from Jakarta

I just got back this morning from a week in Jakarta at a global marketing meeting. On one of the afternoons, we went on a trade visit. It's always fascinating to visit stores in a different market than your own. Just observing how the trade is organized, listening to a local salesperson and just observing consumer dynamics is one of those experiences that you always learn from.

Not surprisingly, the traditional trade in Jakarta is very similar to what we find throughout Latin America. Small mom & pop stores with extremely limited space, many products being sold in single-serve sachets. In our case, the importance of securing space on the counter making our brands as accessible as possible, avoiding people having to ask for your products.

It was a long trip flying back to São Paulo, so I used the time on flights to read Buyology - Truth and Lies About Why We Buy - by Martin Lindstrom. When the book first came out, I was a little skeptical. I decided I needed to read the book to form an opinion about the intersection between neuroscience and marketing. A rather intriguing and controversial subject. The author carried out extensive research using brains scans to try and find patterns on what actually triggers people to make purchasing decisions.

I particularly enjoyed chapter 5 on the power of rituals, where we cites examples like Oreo's classic 'twist, lick & dunk', Corona with lime and Guinness' phenomenal 'good things come for those who wait' strategy.

January 10, 2011

A long wait for TinTin on the big screen re-created by two of the World's greatest

As a die-hard fan of The Adventures of TinTin - magically created by Belgian artist Georges Rémi (1907-1983) who wrote under the name Hergé - I just can't wait for the release of the feature film 'TinTin in The Secret of the Unicorn' being produced by two of the World's greatest: Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. What a dream team to bring to the big screen one of the best comic strips of all times. Combining Classics have this amazing quality of timelessness, becoming part of pop culture without trying to be. Exactly what brands try so hard to do and so few succeed.

I introduced TinTin to my daughters a few years back, we read and watched all the DVDs. They became huge fans as well. The film is scheduled to hit theaters in Dec.'11... a long wait that will certainly be worth it!

Here are a few images released by Empire Magazine...

January 6, 2011

The joy of stats

Messages have a greater possibility of resonating when they are based on hard data and delivered with a touch of theater. Some people have that talent. I really enjoyed the video below “200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes from the BBC 4 Series "The Joy of Stats" hosted by Swedish Professor Hans Rosling graphically illustrating global development over the past 200 years.

We're only scratching the surface of how new media has the power of transforming education and impacting millions of people around the world. Fascinating times.

January 2, 2011

Disconnecting to reconnect while following the river's flow

To celebrate the new year, my wife chose an unusual destination: Bonito - one of Brazil's many eco-tourism havens. If you haven't read about it in National Geographic or Lonely Planet, this place is worth checking out. Hard to describe and certainly hard to forget. Bonito is a region cut by beautiful rivers of crystal-clear waters due to the high concentration of limestone. Rivers with romantic names like Rio Formoso, Mimoso and Rio da Prata, with amazing waterfalls and a wildlife that makes you feel like you're on a Discovery Channel show. In the five days we were there, we spotted macaws, alligators, armadillos, capuchin monkeys and a 3-meter anaconda, which we saw while snorkeling close to the source of Rio Formoso.

One of the things that amazed me is how the entire community seems to be dedicated to promoting a sustainable eco-tourism model. As a marketer, I love to see when a destination carves a well-defined position. Speaking to tour operators, the owner of our B&B or to the many guides who showed us around, there was always a genuine concern around preservation. Bonito seems to be moving in the right direction.

In this remote location, it wasn't easy to get a mobile connection, which was just wonderful. We ended up disconnected and yet very connected as a Family. One of the guides who took us snorkeling down the Rio Sucuri, told me that he tends to ask those coming from the big cities to just relax and let yourself follow the river's flow. What a wonderful way to start a year....

I found this video on eco-tourism produced by the Brazilian Government we some images of Bonito.