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.