March 30, 2013

What does the Seal Dribble and the Easter Egg have in common?

Sports is always a fertile territory to find inspiration in creative thinking, a key ingredient in innovation.   

Years ago, I was captivated by this young Brazilian soccer player who had a rather peculiar dribbling talent.  In a world of Ronaldo, Messi and Ibrahimovic, you probably never heard of Kerlon Souza.  

Well, Kerlon became relatively well known among soccer aficionados, thanks to Youtube, with what became known as the seal dribble.  A creative name for the skillful ability to flick a ball and bounce it on your head while passing opponents and running into the penalty area making it difficult for defense players to disarm you without fouling (it's a lot more difficult than it sounds).  Anyone who follows the beautiful game knows how the chances of scoring increase significantly if you're able to take the ball into that precious 18-yard box.  So, Kerlon found an ingenious way of dribbling - using head instead of feet, going aerial instead of trying to dribble the defense on the ground.  A solution that was surprising, unexpected and rather disruptive.  

So today's reflection is: what spaces are we not using to increase our chances of scoring?  If the games's on the ground, how can we occupy a new space to fight our battles in an unexpected way?

This week, Kerlon's seal dribble came to mind because of what happens during Easter Season in Brazil's dynamic chocolate category.   Anybody who has been to a Brazilian supermarket in March has seen how Easter eggs are hanged over the store's main aisles creating a very festive in-store theater., captivating shoppers like you can see in the photo below.  Lacta - Brazil's quintessential chocolate brand - was the brand that initiated this tradition decades ago.

How can this in-store success story inspire us in other categories?

Happy Easter!

March 26, 2013

Guest blogging at Eat Big Fish

I'm now a guest author for the EatBigFish Blog, writing about different challenger brands that I have come to admire in Latin America.  The first post was about Havaianas and this week I talk about Juan Valdez Cafes, a beautiful story from Colombia...

March 24, 2013

Media mash-up

With the explosion of video-sharing sites, I wasn't at all surprised to see in my Saturday newspaper a print ad for Hyundai's i30 asking people to check out a video posted to that reinforces the main message in the ad.  I couldn't resist and ended up watching a rather amateur video taken at the Frankfurt Auto Show of the president and chief designer of a German competitor commenting on the qualities of the i30.   More and more we start seeing a clear invitation to continue a story through the second screen concept.  I love how we're living in a time of complete media mash-up.

March 16, 2013

Visiting Wayra São Paulo

Last Thursday, I went to visit Wayra São Paulo - Telefonica's global start-up accelerator initiative - and met Carlos Pessoa, who took me on a tour of this fascinating one innovation project.  Below a video I found of him talking a bit about the what they're up to and a few tips on he keeps tabs on the 16 start-ups he currently hosts in his space.

New times require new approaches and I love how they found a way to tap into creative work that is going on in Brazil`s start-up environment.

March 5, 2013

Startup Fever in Brazil.....

Since I've been studying Mondelez' Mobile Futures project in North America - partnership  with mobile start-ups to develop new ideas for brands like Oreo, Trident, BelVita -  it seems like everywhere I look there's something about start-ups. 

Here in Brazil, Endeavor has announced a documentary telling the story of six start-ups, called "Vai Que Dá" (Go and make it happen).  I can't wait to see it.

This is the cover of this month's PME Magazine (Brazil's largest publication on small businesses)...