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!

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