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.