CoolBrands - 'Around the World in 80 Brands'
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CoolBrands - 'Around the World in 80 Brands'



We travel the world - meet people with a vision and brands with a purpose.

We travel the world - meet people with a vision and brands with a purpose.
Project by CoolBrands
Authors: Anouk Pappers and Maarten Schäfer



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CoolBrands - 'Around the World in 80 Brands' CoolBrands - 'Around the World in 80 Brands' Presentation Transcript

  • Colophon The chances are, Creative Minds Anouk Pappers & Maarten Schäfer because of the fact Design Lonneke Beukenholdt & Laura van As, Blikveld Editor-in-chief that you’re reading Francesca de Châtel Writers this, you’re one of the 25.000 opinion leaders Mark Gray Cecily Layzell Pamela Rubin Daphne Pappers Partners / With collaboration of Gustavo Aguiar Carlos Vieira worldwide who receive this book. Nizan Guinaes Franklin Ozekhome Solomon Ikhioda Clara Chinwe Okoro “Your mission is, Marc Capra Hristina Vasileva Publisher should you decide to CoolBrands CoolBrands House #5 AMSTERDAM Contact To order books or to share your story accept it, to share these stories in your Disclaimer Printing The content of this book is based on reality, and could be true. Some situations have social networks, Printer Trento Srl – ITALIA been adjusted to fit the concept. Names of people, places and dates may have been ISBN 978-94-90900-00-7 altered to suit the narrative context. For example, the TED meeting with Richard Branson took place in 2007 in California. In the book it is set in the UK to match © 2012 CoolHouse BV Virgin’s “place of birth”. The story of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi was compiled Facebook, The CoolBrands book can be ordered at based on input from the Prince’s press office and our personal experiences during a visit to Masdar. All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored No animals were harmed during this trip. in a retrieval or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, CO2 emissions generated by travel by plane or car have been compensated by planting Twitter,mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written trees in the Atlantic Rainforest, by IPE in Brazil. permission of the publisher. All images are sourced from our own photographic archive, from brands themselves or from image data banks such as, except when image captions specifically The stories you are about to read are narrative and partially ficitional, mention a different source. Contributors who feel they should be credited for work LinkedIn...” meaning that not all content relies on actual facts. contained in this publication are kindly requested to contact us so that errata can be ISBN 978-94-90900-00-7 mentioned in subsequent editions.
  • 4 The storyteller and the brand anthropologist 100 Instituto e - Make sustainability cool 6 Amsterdam - In the footsteps of the great explorers 102 H.Stern - House of design 8 Red Hot Chili Peppers content 108 Oscar Niemeyer - The legend10 Rabobank - The secret of cooperative banking 110 Lenny - Carioca at heart12 Boom Chicago - Branded for life 114 Eike Batista - The power of passion14 London calling 118 Iguassu Falls - Fight with a toucan16 Richard Branson at TED 120 São Paulo - The city of many18 Virgin Galactic - Global cooling and space travel 122 OMO - Dirt is Good20 Berlin 128 Um Teto Para Meu Pais - Building a house in a favela22 BMW i - The mobility enabler 130 Irmãos Campana26 Henkel - Achieving more with less 132 Henrique Alves Pinto - The power of the mind30 Geneva 136 Pantanal - Close encounter with a jaguar32 Maximilian Büsser & Friends 138 Amazon - Swimming with pink dolphins34 Nespresso - Building a passionate brand community 140 Yucatan - The end of the world as we know it38 Paris 142 Bacardi - In search of the roots40 Louis Vuitton - Some journeys cannot be put into words 144 New York rocks42 Rabobank - Connecting to each other 146 Mark Sherwood - The Lovemarks Company44 Sol de Janeiro 148 GE - Healthymagination46 Bob Jeffrey - The man behind Woldmakers 150 Melissa - Plastic dreams48 Diesel - The go-to statement for a generation 154 Michael Mendenhall - What’s your Archetype?50 Gustavo Aguiar - PUNK 156 Route 66 - Born to be wild52 Dubai - To infinity and beyond! 158 Harley-Davidson - Mean but green54 Discovering The Ajman Palace 160 Disney - The mouse became a tiger56 The old spice Souk in Dubai 164 Liz Dolan - Satellite Sisters58 Kempinski Mall of the Emirates 166 San Francisco - Run for the sunset60 Abu Dhabi 168 Steve Jobs - Just three stories62 Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan 172 Shanghai - Lost in translation64 Etisalat - A sustainable contribution to healthcare 174 Tom Doctoroff - What Chinese Want68 Cairo - Descent into the Pharaoh’s Tomb 176 Pepsi - A thirst for creativity70 Serengeti - The Maasai wildlife channel 180 Shanghai Tang - The Nomad of Hong Kong72 AMREF Flying Doctors 182 Bangkok - Cutting-edge sightseeing74 Rabobank - Connecting to the society 184 Pen-Ek Ratanaruang - New Thai Cinema76 Cape Town - Queen of the skies 186 Greyhound - Original Thai lifestyle78 Sossusvlei - Big Daddy and I 188 Apollo Tyres - Entering the global arena full speed80 Deola Sagoe - The princess of African fashion 192 Sydney - Full-Frame84 Ken Egbas - Nigeria CSR Awards 194 Craig Davis - Brandkarma86 Clara Chinwe Okoro - The ICE lady 196 Rabobank - Connecting to the future88 Vlisco - The Afro-European love brand 198 Interview with Maarten and Anouk92 Rio de Janeiro - Cidade Maravilhosa ENDS Special Thanks To94 OSKLEN - Brazilian Soul
  • Maarten Schäfer A n o u k Pa p p e r s The Secret of a Brand Anthropologist Storyteller I was born in a small town in the south of the Netherlands. As long as I can remember, I dreamt of travelling the world and discovering other cultures, I have this joke I use to make a lasting impression when I first meet just like in the Jules Verne adventure novel ‘Around the world in 80 days’. In people. Instead of saying “I have dyslexia”, I say “I have sex daily”. I say it the story the main character travels by train, on ships, in hot air balloons and with a totally straight face, which makes people unsure of what I just said. on the back of an elephant through faraway countries. And I was determined to do the same when I grew up. “You have what?” they ask. I couldn’t wait to finish high school, move to Amsterdam and go to university. And with the same straight face I say, “I have dyslexia. You know: difficulties I choose to study Anthropology and Communication, because that would reading, a short attention span, mixing up words...” Most of the victims think prepare me for my trip around the world. The one thing about the course was it’s funny and do not forget me easily. that it consisted of reading books about other cultures and books written by other people who had travelled, not me. So I hurried to finish my degree so I Having a short attention span is not always a disadvantage. It actually helps could start doing the same. for storytelling, and allows me to get straight to the point and skip all the superfluous information. It forces me to talk to the right side of the brain I became a partner at an internet research company, where my job was to in emotions or images, instead of feeding the left side of the brain with promote a research tool called The Internet Monitor, worldwide. I travelled information. the world all right, but I stayed one day in New York, one day in Milan and if I was lucky two days in Stockholm. All I did, was doing presentations, staying In 2002 I started interviewing brands and my first question was, “So, what’s in business hotels and getting up early to get to the next airport in time. The your story?” only culture I experienced was dinner in local restaurants. So I decided to start The vast majority of interviewees started giving me a long official account a new company and create my own around-the-world project. or even showing me PowerPoint presentations. Which for me with my short attention span was of course hard to process. Since 2002, I have been interviewing brands around the world and publishing their stories in print in CoolBrands books and online on the website A few years later it struck me: brand representatives have trouble telling I was traveling the world, listening to brand creators, their story for two reasons. One, they know too much. They want to show you but also taking the time to immerse myself in different cultures. I could finally 5 all aspects of the brand and therefore can’t distinguish between want to be call myself a brand anthropologist! complete and do not want to leave anything out. Second, they aren’t dyslexic. They assume everybody has an attention span of 45 minutes or more, so they In recent years, I have noticed that the stories have changed as a growing number keep talking and think the information is being absorbed. of brands told us their story following the triple bottom line; People, Planet, Profit. The good thing about PPP is that it goes way beyond Corporate Social “Haven’t they ever heard of information overload?” I asked myself. “People Responsibilty. It takes the issues of sustainability and puts them at the heart of the don’t want more information, they want your story. company. People and planet are integrated in the core business, so profit depends And besides, most people have a genuine distrust of top-down narratives and on them. One can’t survive without the other, how perfect is that?4 corporate jargon. People trust information from friends and family. Something like 70 or 80% of all purchases are influenced by peer-to-peer communication. Following the triple bottom line gives a brand a better way to measure its real success along the three axes: economic, ecological, and social. In 2009, I decided to stop interviewing brands and go into third-party- While I was looking for these so-called ‘meaningful’ brands, I found some storytelling. I will tell the story for the brand. The tone of voice is horizontal, really good stories. Brands that understood that they should have a purpose like in peer-to-peer communication. The story is written in a narrative way in society. Increasingly, what differentiates brands from their competitors is in which I engineer the main message. The stories are fun to read, easy to purpose. In the long run, a brand without a purpose will have a tough time understand and easy to transmit. Ready for word-of-mouth. surviving. People buy into these brands not for what they do and make, but for why they do it and make it. The purpose of my trip around the world is to look for brands with a purpose and share their story.
  • In the footsteps of the great explorers AmsterdamWe are cycling through Amsterdam’s historic centre, a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site and an enduring testimony to the city’s rich history. Duringthe Golden Age in the 17th century, Amsterdam’s port was at the centreof a global trade network, with ships sailing to Asia, Africa, the Americas,and merchants trading goods across Europe. 7We pass in front of Paradiso, the iconic rock music venue where bandslike The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, The Cure and Nirvana performed,but also more recently Lenny Kravitz and Amy Winehouse. Along with thenearby Milky Way, it became synonymous with the hippie countercultureand the rock music of the ‘70s.We turn right and then left and cycle along the Prinsengracht, one of themain canals, where warehouses built in the 17 th century are still in goodshape. Much has changed since then: in those days merchants travellingto Brazil were away for months, maybe even years. Today, businessmenfly to São Paulo and are back in the polder within days.We pass the house where Anne Frank lived, talking about an authenticstory, and enter the Jordaan neighbourhood where strolling through thesmall streets and drinking caffé latte has become the favourite pastime ofthe locals. Our quest to travel around the world to write stories about cooldestinations, visionary people and brands with a purpose starts here inAmsterdam.We turn right at the end of the canal, zigzag through some smallerstreets and end up in front of Central Station. We now enter the oldestpart of town where the sailors and merchants set sail in their woodenships, ‘the port of Amsterdam’.Now, 670 years after Amsterdam received city rights, our trip Around theWorld in 80 Brands starts at the same point from where explorers left fortheir overseas journeys. And to where they returned with experiences,knowledge and... stories. Europe - Netherlands Amsterdam 38.774 miles to go Time of departure 10:07
  • Meeting We all look at the man and woman sitting at the table eating a salad. “Chad who?” I ask. “Chad... You know Chad the drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” Anoukthe Red Hot Chili Peppers replies, “I’ve been a huge fan of their music since I was 16. I’m sure it’s him!” “Well go say hello,” I say. “Chad is famous for his ghost notes, his beats and his fast right foot,” © Fedor de Lange Anouk continues. “Rolling Stone listed him as one of the ‘100 GreatestTonight we have the final meeting with the operational team in Amsterdam Drummers of All time’.”before we start our trip around the world with a flight to London tomorrow. “Well go say hello,” I repeat.We meet up with our creative designer and our chief editor in de Ysbreeker, “Nah.... He’s enjoying his meal in peace with his wife,” she says witha grand café overlooking the Amstel River. a touch of doubt in her voice. “On the other hand, I would have done“Every time we have a meeting with a brand,” I say, “somewhere around anything for this chance when I was 16... But then again, I am not 16the world, we will gather the input and write the first draft of the story. anymore. Let’s continue the meeting.”We’ll send this to you, together with the pictures we’ve taken or the “So we were talking about visual storytelling,” I continue. “We should usebrand’s image material.” the imagery as....”“Your job is to make sure that the style of the text is in line with our “Sorry, I’m going to say hello anyway,” Anouk says getting up. “I’ll be rightstorytelling guidelines,” I continue. “Personal, short, narrative with a back.” She walks towards the adjacent table and I see her talking to Chadwow factor. And the images are there not only to support the text, but to and shaking hands. I see Chad making a gesture inviting Anouk to sit downprovide visual storytelling at the same time.” at their table.“Sorry to interrupt, but isn’t that Chad?” Anouk says, pointing to the table Twenty minutes later I finish the meeting and Anouk is still chatting at thenext to us. other table. “Pssst... Pssst, Maarten, come sit at our table,” Anouk says. “Our table?” I say, “I thought this was our table.” “Come on,” Anouk repeats while pointing at an empty chair next to her. “I’d like you to meet Chad and his wife Nancy. Chad has invited us to come to the concert tomorrow, as guests of the band. ‘Meet and greet’ and 8 everything. Isn’t that cool?” “Very cool,” I say, “but tomorrow we have a flight to London, remember? Our trip around the world... Meeting interesting people and brands?” “Exactly,” Anouk replies, “Chad and Nancy are interesting people and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are a genuine rock brand. The brand, uh... band, was formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The product portfolio consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock, and psychedelic rock.” “And, if I may add,” Chad interrupts, “the Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy Awards and sold over 65 million albums worldwide. More than most consumer brands.” “Sorry, but you forgot something important,” Nancy says. “The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.” “They have brand awareness of close to 100%,” Anouk says. “Brand identity; cutting-edge rock,” Chad adds. “And the brand perception, even more rock,” Nancy says. The three of them start laughing. “Come on Maarten, London will still be there next week,” Chad says. “And you don’t have to travel,” Nancy adds, “we’re right here in Amsterdam!” I look at the three laughing. “Okay, okay,” I say, and sit down at “their” table. “But can I bring my camera to the concert?” “Of course!” Anouk says before turning to Chad. “Is that possible, Chad?” “That can be arranged,” Chad replies. “Well, in that case, I guess we could start our trip around the world next 9 week,” I surrender. “Excellent! Cool!” Anouk exclaims as if she had just turned 16 again. “Rock rules!”
  • The secret of cooperative banking “It’s quite amazing,” says Anouk as we drive through the flat polder landscape, We’re on our way to the Flevopolder in the Netherlands to meet Joost “while banks around the world are struggling, Rabobank seems to be going Augusteijn, Rabobank’s brand strategist. Instead of inviting us to his office, from strength to strength. I wonder what their secret is?” he has asked us to meet him at an organic dairy farm in the middle of the “Well, let’s find out,” I say as we pull up in front of a large estate. Dutch polder. “I think it will help you understand our story,” he told us over the phone. “Welcome to the countryside!” says Joost as he gestures towards the lush Meeting fields stretching to the horizon. “Let me show you around!” Rabobank As we enter the cowsheds, Anouk turns to Joost: “So we’re curious to know why you brought us here – what does organic farming have to do with in Rabobank’s ongoing success?” the polder Joost laughs. “Well actually, the two are very closely related: I brought you here to show you our beginnings. It all goes back to our cooperative roots. They continue to shape our vision today. “In 1896, a group of farmers started their own funds and financing system since official banks were reluctant to do business with them. And this is still who we are today: a bank founded by farmers who help each other in hard times. Failed harvest, floods, droughts, cattle diseases – you name it, and we’ve been there.” We continue our sightseeing around the estate and arrive at the fields behind the barn, where dozens of black and white cows are quietly grazing. “I still don’t get it though,” I say to Joost, “what makes you more resistant in the current crisis than other banks, what’s the secret?” 11 “The answer lies in our cooperative philosophy: we have no share­holders, only members,” says Joost. “This means that, unlike other banks, we don’t have to focus on short-term profit to satisfy others. We can fully concentrate on our customers and our long-term strategy. The only people we have to please are our customers.” “But how do you translate that into a model for growth and expansion?” I ask, as we enter a large room where the cheese-making process is in full swing. 45 “We work on the premise that together we can achieve more than alone,” Joost says as we walk into the storage space where large circular cheeses are stacked on shelves. “Everything we do is based on this conviction. It is 77 the reason we exist: what farmers couldn’t accomplish on their own, they achieved together. We still stick to this cooperative philosophy: making connections. We make connections to the customer, to society, to the future and to 195 each other. These are the four pillars of the Rabobank brand.” Joost stops and turns to us with a wink: “And that,” he says, “is our secret”. 196 w.aroundtheworldin8 0brands.comRead more stories on ww
  • I open my inbox and see that I have received an email from Saskia Maas, co-founder of Boom Chicago. “Hey Anouk, I saw on Facebook that you’re starting your trip Around the World in 80 Brands. I think we should meet before you leave. Why don’t you come to our show tonight? It’s called Branded for Life. It might give you some ideas for your project.” – Saskia Boom Chicago is an Amsterdam-based creative organisation that makes comedy shows and television productions. They also have a live show at Chicago Social Club in Amsterdam’s Leidseplein nightlife district. I’ve been to several shows in the last few years and was always impressed by the sharp sense of humour. I rang Saskia and set a meeting for tonight, an hour before the show starts. I cycle into the centre of town and park my bicycle in front of ‘rock temple’ Paradiso. I cross the square and enter the historical building on the far side of Leidseplein. Saskia is talking to the man behind the bar. 13 “Come in,” she says when she sees me. “I’ve reserved a VIP table for us.” I follow her into the theatre, which is still almost empty. Some people on Branded for Life stage are going through the last-minute details before the show starts. “Tonight’s show is called Branded for Life,” Saskia says, “it’s about brands, advertising and marketing, and the impact they have on our daily lives. We Meeting try to find the excesses, pull slogans out of context and make fun of it.” “Sounds interesting,” I say, “I’m always interested in brands. The marketing and advertising are often too simplistic and predictable... and Boom Chicago easy to make fun of.” “Together with Andrew Moskos and Pep Rosenfeld, who are Boom Chicago’s original founders, we come up with topics for new shows. We’re always looking at what’s going on, what’s at the core of things, what we can call ridiculous in modern life — and then we hold up a mirror to it. We make fun of nearly everything. In the end it really is just meant as a joke, so we try to stay respectful.” The men on stage finish their preparation and disappear through a door. In the auditorium, waitresses are arranging the tables, waiting for the first guests to arrive. “Just recently we came up with Deep Undercover,” Saskia says, lowering her voice as if somebody might hear her, “an interactive crime-solving game that takes place through Amsterdam, finding clues in Chinatown and contacting secret agents in the Red Light District.” Michael Diederich “I love interactive games,” I say, “interaction is something brands need to do to keep their customers involved.” “Our shows in the theatre are always interactive. It’s called improvisational theatre. One actor gives the others a starting point, the second replies, then the third comes in, etc. until the circle is complete. The starting point often comes from the audience.” In the meantime, people have started entering the theatre. First a few, then more and more of the seats and tables are filled. Drinks are served and the sound of talking and laughing gets louder. “Boom Chicago has been partnering with TEDxAmsterdam for some time12 now,” Saskia says. “Pep has hosted and spoken at previous editions and Boom will be the venue for the 2013 TEDxAmsterdam auditions round.” DrewDiFOnzo Marks Saskia Maas (l) “Cool. Boom Chicago has become a brand itself,” I say. “Why don’t we write a ‘Boom story’ for our project Around the World in 80 Brands?” “Now we’re talking,” Saskia says, as the lights in the auditorium dim, “show time!”
  • London calling London Europe - United KingdomWe’re crossing the Thames in a black cab, speeding over WestminsterBridge. On our left we see Westminster Palace, the centre of political Londonlife in the United Kingdom. The taxi driver turns around and says: “Its 223 miles fromClock Tower, known as Big Ben after its main bell, has become the iconic Amsterdamlandmark of London... and the United Kingdom in general.” Time of Arrival 13:12We take a right on Parliament Street and drive in a northerly direction.“That’s Trafalgar Square,” the taxi driver says, pointing out the frontwindow. “And up there is the Viscount Nelson, who won the battle ofTrafalgar.” I look out of the window and then turn to the driver, “Couldyou please hurry, we don’t want to be late.” The cab turns right ontoStrand and drives parallel to the Thames eastward, we turn left, thenright and pass St. Paul’s Cathedral on our left-hand side. “The dome is111 metres high,” our driver says, “it has dominated the London skylinefor 300 years.” 15Without looking out of the window, I bend forward towards the driver:“It is a beautiful cathedral, but can you please step on it!” The cabmakes a right turn on King William Street and turns left to exit on TowerHill. “This is the Tower of London,” the driver says while pointing outof the right window. “It was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. Itwas the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom in a certainperiod.”“Sir,” I say to the driver, trying my best to remain polite, “we’re nothere to make a sightseeing tour of London. We’re here for the openingceremony of the Olympic Games, which will start in 45 minutes. Could youplease hurry!” The driver nods without saying a word and accelerates.After 30 seconds of silence he turns around and says: “Did you knowthat the London Olympic Stadium is the most sustainable ever built? Itfeatures a low-carbon concrete, made from industrial waste.”
  • Meeting The most exciting part is that we will get to speak to Richard after his talk and Richard Branson interview him for our storytelling project. at TED But first we’re spectators on the third row of the packed auditorium and we join in the enthusiastic applause as Richard emerges onto the stage: radiant smile, long hair, jeans and a shirt – his usual maverick look. We are on our way to an event organised by TED, a global platform for Chris launches straight into the interview and Richard talks about the sharing ‘ideas worth spreading’. Richard Branson is tonight’s main guest and beginnings of his business empire: how he started the Virgin record label in he will be talking to TED’s curator Chris Anderson. the 1970s, developed Virgin Airlines and how the business kept growing even with its ups and downs. Then it starts getting interesting. For us as entrepreneurs, Richard has long been a source of inspiration – we “These days I devote 50 percent of my time to Virgin Unite, a charitable are particularly interested in his vision for saving the planet. He believes in organisation that tackles some of the world’s most challenging issues,” making a difference and is always looking for the next big thing. I wonder Richard says. “I strongly believe that we cannot let ourselves become the what the next big thing is going to be tonight. generation that irreversibly damages the environment. We have the knowledge, the financial resources, and – most importantly – the willpower to prevent this.” Anouk turns to me and whispers: “This is what we want to talk to him about!” “We are dedicating the profits of our transportation business – around $3 billion – to developing renewable alternatives to carbon fuels,” Richard continues. “Not only is he a visionary, this man also puts his money where his mouth is,” I whisper back. “And then there’s the Virgin Earth Challenge, where we offer a $25 million prize to the first person to come up with an economically viable solution to the greenhouse gas problem.” Roaring applause from the audience – talk about ideas worth spreading! “We believe space is the solution,” Richard says. “Virgin Galactic is the solution. Researchers will be able to fly experiments into space more often and this will help resolve key questions about the earth’s climate. Virgin Galactic represents nothing less than the dawn of a new era.” “This is what we should ask him about,” Anouk says. “How can space travel save the world from global warming?” 16Photo: Robert Leslie - TED2007
  • Global cooling and space travel The dawn of a new eraWe’ve just attended a TED event where Richard Branson was in Richard sits up straight again. “This is where Virgin Galactic comes in,”conversation with TED’s curator Chris Anderson. TED is a platform for sharing he says. “Virgin Galactic heralds the dawn of a new era: the possibility for‘ideas worth spreading’ – we’ve been following it for years, regularly browsing ordinary people to travel into space, to carry people around the planet outsidethrough their video database for inspiration. the atmosphere with minimal harm to the environment. London to Sydney in 19 just two hours instead of 23.”Of course, for us as entrepreneurs, Richard is right up there on the list ofinspiring people, not just because of his business savvy, but also, more “This sounds spectacular, but where does global cooling come in?” I ask.importantly, because of his visionary views on the environment and the futureof our planet. “First we have to make Virgin Galactic a commercial success, then we can use space travel to fight global warming. Our aim was to find new technologiesAfter Chris wraps up the 40-minute conversation we head over to Richard’s that can drastically cut the cost of taking people into space in order to makepress rep who promised us a five-minute meeting with him. it commercially viable. To achieve this we teamed up with Burt Rutan’s SpaceShip One.She takes us to a private meeting room backstage, where we find Richardrelaxing on a sofa. “Sit down,” he says as he takes a swig from a small bottle “We asked people who said they wanted to be the first passengers what theirof Evian. key motivation was. They said they wanted to experience weightlessness and the classic view of the earthrise through the windows. If we can provide those“Richard, earlier on stage you said that you don’t want us to be the generation experiences, people will happily pay $200,000 for a seat on that flight. That’sthat irreversibly damages the environment – are things really that bad?” I ask. how we finance the project.” “Isn’t launching a shuttle into space very polluting though?” Anouk asks.Nine billion and counting “Bad for the footprint?”“The population of our planet is going to hit the nine billion mark by themiddle of this century.” He leans forward as though to underline the gravity of Richard smiles. “A NASA shuttle launch had the same environmental outputhis words: “Think about it: that’s three times more than when I was born. On as the whole population of New York over a long weekend holiday. A Virgintop of this, climate change is happening faster than most models predicted.” Galactic flight has a lower environmental footprint per passenger than a one-way business class ticket from London to New York on an Airbus A340. A“Ok,” says Anouk. “But earlier you talked about space travel. How can space different technique with a different footprint.”travel help fight global warming?”Richard raises two fingers: “One of the solutions is that we start taking some The big pictureof the most energy intensive-processes out of our fragile atmosphere. Put “Let me be clear, Virgin Galactic is about making money, but the exciting thingthem in space and power them through solar energy. Think for example of about this project is that it is not about space tourism in the end. It allowsserver parks for our constantly growing IT infrastructure.” He sits back and us to put things we don’t want in our delicate atmosphere in space – thingstakes another swig of water. “Aviation is often named as a key cause of climate like server farms. Remember, CO 2 emissions from IT are twice as high as thechange, but IT has overtaken aviation in terms of its CO2 output.” emissions from aviation.”“And secondly?” I ask. “You raised two fingers – what is the second way that “So you see space as the solution to global warming?” I travel can save the planet?” “Part of the solution,” Richard corrects, “as I said to Chris earlier during the“Utilisation of space is essential, not only for communications and GPS, but talk, all the profits from our transportation business, around $3 billion, willalso for agricultural monitoring and climate science. Researchers should be be dedicated to the development of renewable alternatives to carbon fuels.”able to ‘fly’ experiments more often to help us understand key questionsabout the earth’s climate.” “And then there’s the Virgin Earth Challenge,” I add.“But how?” I ask. “NASA has discontinued its manned space programme. The 18 “Exactly,” Richard says. “We offer a $25 million prize to the first person toera of the political ‘space race’ is over.” come up with an economically viable solution to the greenhouse gas problem. This is a huge challenge and I want all the best brains in the world thinking about it.” “Wow, Richard,” I say. “It seems that you have found the next big thing again. This really is an idea worth spreading!”
  • Checking in Berlin Our train slides smoothly into the Hauptbahnhof. “The largest interchange in the world,” I read on Wikipedia. “An unprecedented technological20 masterpiece.” “Look at that curved glass roof construction of the platform hall ,” I say to Anouk, “do you have any idea of its size?” Anouk doesn’t really seem to care, as she exits the train without answering. “321 metres long and 210 metres large!” I call after her. I get my camera out of my bag and take some pictures from the sunlight passing through the roof onto the trains. I focus on the passenger flow and push the shutter. Anouk is already on top of the stairs, looking at me impatiently. I know this look. It appears most of the time when I’m taking pictures of important things like a roof construction or a speeding train. “I am really craving a coffee at the Adlon Hotel!” she says. “The weather is nice so let’s walk to the hotel, check in and head for the coffee bar.” We walk along the river Spree in the direction of the Brandenburger Tor. When we reach the Reichstag, I see the sunlight reflecting in the dome that was constructed after the reunion of East and West Germany. Its transparency is a metaphor for the functioning of democracy, I read on my smartphone. “Shall we have a glance inside and take some pictures of the dome and the sun reflecting in the glass panels?” I propose. Anouk agrees, albeit reluctantly. Once we are inside, I start recording the best angles and perspectives I can find in order to show to full advantage both the old and new architectural styles. A few minutes later, Anouk shows up telling me that she is going to get some info at the entrance. “Sure,” I say, “I’ll take some more pics of the silhouettes of the people walking in the dome.” Twenty minutes later I take, what is probably shot number 100 of the Reichstag. “I must have covered every angle now,” I think to myself. “But, where is Anouk?” I walk to the entrance but she is nowhere to be seen. “I’ll just wait here for her, she will probably show up any moment now,” Europe - Germany I say to myself. “In the meanwhile I can check in on Foursquare and post Berlin a picture of the dome.” I take out my phone and open my Foursquare 678 miles from app. “Hey, Anouk also checked in on Foursquare: ‘Having a café latte at the Adlon, ready for some serious shopping on Unter den Linden’.” London Time of Arrival 10:18
  • Early this morning we left Hotel Adlon in Berlin and made our way Meetingsouth towards Frankfurt. A five-hour trip, giving us enough time to prepare A few minutes later we enter the parking lot in search of a spot to leave thefor our meeting with Uwe Dreher, responsible for global marketing of the Uwe Dreher car.BMW i brand. at “Here’s one,” Maarten says, pointing to quite a small space that needs someWe spoke to Uwe on the phone a few days ago. “Can we meet at Frankfurt advanced backwards parallel parking skills.Airport,” he suggested, “as I have a flight to New York later this week. I am Frankfurt Airporttravelling around the world to prepare the launch of the BMW i cars at the “I don’t really like this one,” I say, “I’d rather find an easier one.”end of 2013,” he said. “If you had a BMW i3, you would have a Parking Assistant,” Maarten says.Actually, we are lucky to be meeting him in between his travels. We pass “I quote: The Parking Assistant makes parallel parking easier by performingFrankfurt to the west, heading towards the airport. The traffic starts to get the entire parking manoeuvre automatically. Acceleration and braking is nowheavier as we get on the ring road. I turn to Maarten in the passenger seat, performed automatically, and if multiple manoeuvres are required, the vehiclewho is reading a presentation on the BMW i concept car that Uwe sent us can also automatically switch between forward and reverse direction.”in preparation for the meeting. “So, what’s so special about the new BMW isub-brand?” I ask him. “I really want a BMW i car,” I say, “but until then, maybe you can park.”“Well, to start with this is an entirely purpose-built car,” Maarten says. “Theconstruction of electric cars has, up to now, been based on the ‘conversion’approach – integrating electric components into vehicles originally designedto be powered by a combustion engine.” 22“So that means you can be really innovative, because you don’t have thelimitations of the existing car and can start with a blank canvas,” I say.“From scratch,” Maarten confirms, “which is reflected in the car’s architecture,which they call the LifeDrive concept. These are two separate, independentfunctional units. I quote: A Life module and a Drive module. The upper part isLife – the passenger compartment made up of a high-strength and extremelylightweight passenger cell made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. Thebottom is the Drive part, which brings together all the operational drivingfunctions and includes everything a car needs to do its job.““Shoot!” I say, hitting the breaks, “a traffic jam. Just what we need.” The carcomes to a complete standstill, before the cars in line start slowly movingforwards again.“If you were driving a BMW i3, which will be possible from the end of 2013onwards, you would now have a ‘Traffic Jam Assistant’ at your disposal,”Maarten says while browsing through the presentation. “It says here: By lettingthe vehicle ‘go with the flow’, it allows the driver to get to his destination in a relaxed state of mind. Like Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function,Traffic Jam Assistant maintains a specified following distance from the vehiclein front. Advanced camera technology allows the vehicle to follow the road.”“That’s exactly what I need right now... a more relaxed state of mind,” I saywith a smile. “Luckily here’s the exit to the airport. Uwe told us to meet himon the observation deck and to park near Terminal 2.” 23
  • We’re on the visitors’ terrace at Frankfurt Airport overlooking the BMW i “Have you reached the ‘über elite black card ConciergeKey frequent flyerairfield. At the gates at Terminal 2 we see people boarding planes that will status’ already?” Maarten asks. You said your life resembles George Clooney’stake them to São Paulo, Tokyo or Los Angeles. “My plane to New York leaves the mobility ‘enabler’ in Up in the air. In the story he’s trying to get to 10 million frequent flyerin three hours,” Uwe says, “so we have some time to talk.” miles.”Uwe Dreher is the global marketing director for BMW i. We spoke to him “I remember,” Uwe says, “No, it’s not that bad.over the phone a few days ago and asked him if he would share his story 25with us. “To prepare for the launch of the BMW i cars at the end of next year, “In my story, the idea is to answer the two trends,” he continues. “TheI’m having to travel extensively,” Uwe said. “My life resembles the George sustainability chic in San Francisco and the mobility issues in mega cities likeClooney movie Up in the Air. Maybe we can meet at the airport.” Tokyo. The car gives answers to the first one. The BMW i3 will be the most advanced electric car in the world. And it will be the most sustainable car inAnd so here we are, on the visitors’ terrace at Frankfurt International Airport. the world – in production, in use, and in recycling.”“The idea for establishing BMW i as a sub-brand of BMW started some years Uwe pauses for a few seconds to let his words sink in.ago,” Uwe says. “We did global research on mobility 10 years ago and werekind of shocked by the findings. Research in Tokyo showed a change in the “For the mobility issues in mega cities we had to come up with a conceptbehaviour of young people. Until then, when you turned 18, normal behaviour beyond the most advanced electric car,” Uwe continues. “In addition to thehad been that you wanted to get your driver’s license and bought a car. That vehicles themselves, the mobility services are another component of BMW i.meant freedom. Nowadays, in mega cities like Tokyo, having a car means hassle, Not everybody in the world’s major urban centres still wants to own their owncongestion, traffic jams, parking problems. And because public transport in a vehicle. Together with Sixt, the car rental company, we created a state-of-city like Tokyo is perfectly well organised, you need your own car less and less.” the-art mobility service called ‘DriveNow’, a free-floating car-sharing system, aiming precisely at this market. The special highlight of this service is that“For a car manufacturer these findings are kind of worrying,” I say. vehicles do not have to be picked up from and returned to specific locations but can be hired and left wherever the customer wishes.”“Another finding came from San Francisco, from the upscale residential areas,”Uwe continues. “Traditionally, in the parking lots in front of the expensive “So when I’m in San Francisco, in the Golden Gate Heights,” Maarten says,houses, you would find upscale cars, like BMW or Porsche. But research “and I want to go for a ride to Fisherman’s Wharf, I look on the DriveNow appshowed that, increasingly, cars like the Toyota Prius hybrid were replacing the on my mobile phone, to see where I can pick up a car?”high-end luxury cars. Sustainability was the new chic!” Uwe nods.“Interesting findings,” I say, “but that was 10 years ago. What has happenedsince then?” “So I drive my BMW or MINI to the Wharf to have lunch, overlooking the San Francisco Bay,” Maarten continues, “and I look on my app to see where there“We did some field trials,” Uwe says. “We developed our electric Mini E and is a parking space available for half a day?”BMW ActiveE fleet to gain widely applicable hands-on experience. The BMWGroup is the world’s first manufacturer of premium automobiles to deploy a Uwe nods again. “And if you want to leave the car at Fisherman’s Wharf...fleet of over 600 all-electric vehicles for private use in daily traffic. We knew that’s fine too,” he says. “Customised, flexible and above all uncomplicated.that putting electric components into a car designed for a fuel engine was not BMW i sees itself as a mobility ‘enabler’. The focus is on providing solutionsthe solution.” for more efficient use of existing parking space, intelligent navigation systems and premium car-sharing. More innovative services are coming soon in a“And behind the scenes?” I ask. “What was the secret plan, behind the scenes?” growing number of cities. We’ve actually only just begun.”“We started from scratch, defining the next generation electric car, an electric “Wow, can you tell us more about these mobility services?” I ask.born car,” Uwe says. “Why does a modern car look the way it does? Because itis based on the traditional conception of what a car should look like. Not this “I can,” Uwe says, “but then you have to take the flight to New York with me,one, which we call a purpose-built electric car.” that would give us an extra eight hours.”The sound of an aeroplane taking off, forces Uwe to pause for a second. Wefollow the plane as it accelerates down the runway and lifts off. “BMW i is not 24just cars,” Uwe says as the decibels fade away. “It’s a global mobility project,for which I travel a lot.” w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • We have known Alain for quite some years already and we spoke a lot about Meeting Henkel and sustainability. But we knew something new has come up. “Munich? “I asked. “The head office is still in Düsseldorf, isn’t it?” Alain Bauwens “Yes, it is,” Alain said, “but I would like to meet in our Wash & Coffee bar in and Lutz Mehlhorn Munich; that might also be of interest for you. It’s a laundrette re-imagined by Persil and our business partner Bosch-Siemens. Next to the washing part, in there is a part coffee shop and a part community hub, with events that include everything from stand-up comedy to live music to charity drives. A perfect Wa s h & C o f f e e place to meet and talk about Achieving more with less.” in Munich “That sounds like a plan,” I said, “see you tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow is today and we park our car in front of Wash & Coffee in the centre of Munich. We stand in front of this laundrette, look inside where we see Yesterday evening we received a phone call from Alain Bauwens, a very stylish interior. People sitting at the small tables having a coffee, eating responsible for International Marketing Laundry Care at Henkel. “Are you still a sandwich or surfing the web while waiting for their washing cycle to finish. in Frankfurt?” He asked. “I want to share with you the new sustainability strategy that we developed: Achieving more with less. Can we meet in As we enter the store we see Alain sitting at a table observing the screen of his Munich?” laptop. Next to him we recognise Lutz Mehlhorn, who is responsible for new business at Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business sector. As we come closer26 they look up and a smile appears on their faces. “Welcome to Wash & Coffee,” Alain says, “so what do you think?” “This is a real cool concept. What is the idea behind it?” I respond. 27 “It’s a Persil brand extension,” Lutz replies, “ a concept that goes beyond the product. Traditionally we put our products in the supermarket and wait for the consumers to come and make their pick. Wash & Coffee is an out-of- the-box concept; it gives us the opportunity to be directly in contact with the consumer. Beyond providing the best laundry care equipment, the personnel explain how to use the modern appliances, the detergents economically and with a maximum energy efficiency.“ “Consumer engagement?” I ask. “Yes... engagement, interaction,” Lutz continues, “but it’s not only about our products. By organising events like meetings or live music, we play a role in the local community. It gives us the opportunity to work our way up in relevancy.” “So, this is a way to connect to the consumer in an innovative way?” I ask. “Indeed,” Alain answers, “being in touch with, especially young, consumers gives us new insights, which helps us to adapt our products and services. “We opened the first Wash & Coffee concept bar here in Munich. And also in Amsterdam we created this consumer engagement tool. “By the way, would you like a coffee?” Alain says, “so I can tell you about our new sustainability strategy and our new targets.” “Café latte would be nice,” I say, “the sustainability story would be great... but do you think I can get our laundry out of the car and use one of the washing machines while we talk?”
  • Achieving more with less Alain takes his iPad from his bag and puts it on the table. “Have a look,” he I look at the tablet and try to figure out how to interpret the graphic. “Can you at the retail outlet. The smaller and more compact product leads to easier says pointing at the tablet, “Henkel is concentrating its sustainability activities give me an example of adding more value and decreasing the footprint?” I ask. handling by the consumer. Less plastic in the trash can. This increases what weH e n k e l ’s n e w on six focal areas. In each of these areas we aim at delivering more value, or call Social Progress. And last but not least, the quality, or performance of the reducing ecological footprint. “The permanent challenge the product developers of our laundry detergents detergent remains the same, which is also an important part of the strategy.”sustainability strategy and household cleaners are facing, is how to achieve ever better washing A graphic, showing six different elements appears on the iPad, and in the performance with even lower energy consumption. Persil Megaperls and Purex “You said that you involve all your stakeholders in the sustainability strategy, middle it reads: ‘Deliver more value at a reduced footprint’ Cold Water are two such laundry detergents that deliver their full cleaning so what can I do as a consumer?” I ask.We’re in Wash & Coffee in Munich, having a café latte and talking to power even at low wash temperatures. Energy savings of up to 40% can beAlain Bauwens, responsible for International Marketing Laundry Care at achieved simply by reducing the washing temperature by 10 degrees – from “Well,” Alain replies, “imagine if all consumers would wash on lowHenkel and Lutz Mehlhorn, who is responsible for new business at Henkel’s 40 to 30 degrees, for instance. temperatures and still get their laundry cleaned and fresh as they are used to.Laundry & Home Care business sector. The reduction in CO 2 emission would be huge. It’s one of our goals to cause“Actually, following our new Sustainability Strategy 2030,” Alain says, “the MORE VALUE “Another important aspect is the compaction of laundry detergents: By concentrating the liquid, the volume and the weight decrease. This means this behaviour change among consumers. Through targeted communication, we point out the advantages of our products and encourage resource-efficient20-year goal is achieving more with less and tripling efficiency. We summarize there is less material and less water used in the production process. Less CO2 use. Talking to our consumers here at Wash & Coffee is only one example. More value for ourthis ambition as Factor 3.” customers and emission during transport. These aspects also contribute to a reduction of the Another one is our laundry calculator on the internet which shows how much more value for Henkel footprint,” he says, pointing at the bottom part of the graphic. CO2 emissions can be avoided by washing at lower temperatures.”“That sounds ambitious,” I say, “does this include the entire value chain?” Performance Alain takes a sip from his coffee before continuing. “On the other side of “I understand,” I say, “and if you drive progress along the entire value chain“The entire value chain and all business sectors,” Alain says. “By 2030, we the model,” he adds while pointing at the top part of the circle, “we have with every product, you can obtain your sustainability goals by 2030. I’ll drinkwant to become three times more efficient. Triple the value we create without to deliver more value. We do that by using less space in the warehouse and to that! Let’s have another café latte!”increasing our footprint made by our operations, products and services.” More social Safer workplacesAlain pauses for a few seconds to stress the importance of what he is saying. progress and better and better health &“For this we need the commitment of not only the 47,000 Henkel employees quality of life hygienearound the world, but we also intend to involve our customers, consumers,suppliers and industrial users.” Social Safety and Progress Deliver Health“We know that sustainability has been in Henkel’s genes for many decades,” Isay, “but in the last years you have been accelerating the movement, haven’t moreyou?” value“That’s true,” Alain replies, “we are convinced that not only do we have aduty to future generations to pursue sustainable development; sustainabilityalso makes economic sense for us and is an important competitive factor. It Energy and Water andreduces costs, drives innovation, and strengthens our position in the markets climate wastewater at aof the future.” reduced“More and more brands understand that they should operate according to the footprinttriple bottom line of People Planet Profit,” I say. “This is where brands today canstill differentiate themselves from their competitors. People buy into these brandsnot for what they do and make, but for why and how they do it and make it.” Less energy used Less water used and and less greenhouse Materials and less water pollution“Exactly. We believe that sustainable business practices will contribute to our gases wastecompany’s success and strengthen our leading position. This leading positionin sustainability is regularly confirmed by independent external ratings andrankings,” Lutz adds. “One example is Henkel’s listing in the Dow JonesSustainability Index ever since this was established in 1999. Last year, the 29 www.henkel.comcompany was named sustainability leader in the Non durable HouseholdProducts sector for the fifth time in a row.” Less resources used and less waste“And now you came up with Factor 3,” I say, “how are you going to achieve generatedthis goal?” Henkel concentrates its activities on six focal areas that reflect the challenges of sustainable development as they relate to the company’s 28 REDUCED FOOTPRINT operations. w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Crossing the lake GenevaEurope - Switzerland From Vevey we are about to cross Lake Leman, to Geneva. Enjoying aGeneva boat trip offers a nice change when you mostly travel by car. At the CGN ticket booth, the next departure is listed for 1.22 pm. With only696 miles from 11 minutes left, too tight a schedule for a coffee really, that is, if it’s onBerlin time! “Let’s wait,” I propose and before we know it, the boat arrives.Time of Arrival 12:10 Sitting on the deck, I visualise Switzerland as a brand. What would its brand values be like? “Security, exactness, reliability, high quality would certainly feature on the list,” I enumerate out loud. Maarten doesn’t seem to listen, as he is looking at his watch all the time. “What’s wrong?” I ask, “Is your watch broken?” “No, no, nothing special,” Maarten murmurs, “just checking.” “Okay, let’s see, Switzerland is of course famous for its top brand watches, financial services and its favourable climate for entrepreneurs.” As we pass the beautiful vignobles de Lavaux cultivated as terraces, Maarten is still focusing on his watch. I rouse him, saying: “Have a look at this fantastic lake, surrounded by UNESCO vineyards and majestic Alps. I can already see the fountain, we’re almost there!” While Maarten keeps his eye on his watch, I admire Geneva’s architecture. Then, as the boat ties up, he suddenly stands up and cheers: “5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Yes, incredible, exactly on time! What you just said about Swiss brand values is absolutely true: a boat trip that is said to take 1 hour and 5 minutes, and which actually leaves and arrives on time, there is nothing 31 more accurate!” “True,” I agree stepping on to the quay, “but let me check out another Swiss value: I urgently need to test if Swiss chocolate also meets my high expectations!”
  • As I enter the boutique I see a sleek sit-on toy car with a huge key Charris pauses again to give me time to react. I’m impressed by the apparentMeeting sticking out of the boot, probably to wind up the mechanism. On the left is simplicity of the idea and don’t know exactly what to say. I look at C-3PO, a cool-looking motorbike, which is actually much too clean and shiny to be hoping for inspiration. “It’s uh... it’s awesome,” I say finally.C h a r r i s Ya d i g a r o g l o u a motorbike. The name on the tank reads Chicara Nagata. I look around and all I see are fantastical mechanics: a walking lamp, resembling some kind of “Isn’t it?” Charris says. “By working together with a team of talentedat science-fiction creature; not far from it is something that looks like the C-3PO individuals, using their passion and creativity and acknowledging each robot from Star Wars , as if I had been transported into the future, but then a individual’s contribution, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.Maximilian Büsser & Friends strange future imagined by George Lucas. “MB&F is above all a human adventure... a human adventure with just one All of a sudden I see it. “There it is!” I think to myself. “The MoonMachine.” goal: to create incredible horological machines.” I walk towards a table displaying an awesome-looking watch. I have been in contact with Charris Yadigaroglou who is Communication Director for MB&F, a high-end Swiss watch manufacturer. And when I say high end, I mean 32 HIGH end. They call their watches ‘horological machines’ because a watch is usually developed to tell the time, while MB&F’s creations are primarily micro- mechanical sculptures; timekeeping is secondary. “Anouk?” I hear a voice behind me. I turn around and see Charris standing next to C-3PO. “Welcome to the M.A.D. Gallery, a magical universe of horological machines and ‘Mechanical Art Devices’. Isn’t she cool?” he asks, pointing to the MoonMachine. “Awesome,” I say. “So this is the work of Maximilian Büsser?” “And friends,” Charris says. “The company is called Maximilian Büsser AND Friends. That’s very important because it’s exactly what makes us different. All luxury watchmakers work with the same top artisans, but don’t talk about them. A top luxury watch brand wants the watch to be produced by the brand. We want our watch to be a collaborative piece of art. We want to give our subcontractors recognition and mention them in our communication. We call them friends.” “I understand,” I say, “that way the subcontractors feel more involved because they get recognition for their work.” 33 “And they will take that extra step if necessary,” Charris says. “We create very complex pieces of art which demand a lot of extra steps. But everybody feels challenged and the starting point is always not if, but how to get the job done.” Charris looks at the MoonMachine again as if it could disappear into another dimension at any moment. After a few seconds he turns back to me and continues: “But that’s not the only reason. We all have corporate backgrounds. Before we joined MB&F we worked for large, hierarchical companies. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could work only with friends? With people who share the same human values?” Charris pauses for a moment and I wonder if he is expecting an answer. “That’s the philosophy behind the ‘and friends’ idea: to bring together talented horological artisans, artists and professionals – all friends – to design and craft each year a radical and original horological masterpiece.”
  • We are in Lausanne, on Lake Geneva, walking through the steep streets Meeting of the old town with Hans-Joachim Richter. We’ve known Nespresso’s Director of Corporate Communications for many years and meet every once in a while Hans-Joachim Richter to catch up with the latest developments at the brand.34 in “Let’s take a walk,” Jochem says, “and decide on which story to tell.” Lausanne We pass the Cathédrale de Notre Dame, one of Lausanne’s most famous landmarks. “I never get tired of the views here,” he says, looking up at the cathedral’s Gothic spires.= When we met in 2007 he told us about the company’s stringent coffee selection. Only the top 1-2% of all the coffee grown globally meets the quality, taste and aroma standards required for Nespresso’s capsules. In 2009 he told us about the success of the George Clooney campaign, which had just won a number of major advertising awards. In 2010 he updated us on Nespresso’s sourcing and sustainability efforts. This Ecolaboration™ approach enables Nespresso to secure the highest quality coffees and improve the standard of living for farmers by paying them a premium. In 2011 he told us about Nespresso’s Unique Business Model. The route to market, directly through the website, boutiques and call centres, provides a unique competitive advantage for the brand. We wonder what he will tell us today. We start walking up Rue Pierre-Viret. Jochem points out the Palais de Rumine, home to five of Lausanne’s museums. “Did I tell you about our Unique Business Model and route to market?” Jochem asks. “Actually you did, last year,” I say. We take a sharp right at Rue de la Barre and walk towards the towers of Château Saint-Maire. “And our AAA Sustainable Quality Sourcing Program. Did I tell you about that?” “Actually you did, in 2009,” says Anouk. “Of course,” Jochem says, as we reach the square in front of the castle. He looks pensive. Then he stops and turns to us. “I know what I haven’t told you,” he says, lighting up. “I have a great story about our global brand community. 35 Let me tell you about it over coffee. I know the perfect place.”
  • Building a passionate36 brand community We cross the Place Saint-Francois, heading towards the distinctive ‘N’ A waiter dressed in a black suit comes over to our table to take our order. “Let above the entrance of Lausanne’s Nespresso boutique. We have spent the me introduce you to some of our most characteristic coffees,” Jochem says. morning exploring the steep streets of the old town and are in need of a pick-me-up. “I’d like a latte please,” says Anouk. We are with Hans-Joachim Richter, Nespresso’s Director of Communications. “To me, drinking fine coffee is like drinking fine wine. I miss the subtle taste He pushes open the door and inhales deeply. “There’s nothing quite like the and aroma details if I add milk and sugar,” says Jochem before he gets back smell of freshly brewed coffee, is there?” he says. “And nowhere quite like our to his story. boutique to tell you about our global brand community!” “It’s crucial that the brand community is part of the business strategy,” We follow him past a curved coffee bar to a seating area, where people are Jochem continues, “not just the marketing strategy.” sipping coffee in chairs shaped like Nespresso cups and in the same colours as the capsules. “This is a real sensory experience,” says Anouk, looking around. The waiter comes back with short cups of black coffee topped with a dense crema. Volluto, he tells us, a lightly roasted blend of Arabica beans from small “That’s exactly what we’ve tried to create,” says Jochem. “Drinking coffee plantations in Brazil and Colombia. should be a pleasure, an event. The enjoyment is a combination of so many things; the flavour, aroma, temperature, who you’re with and even whether “This is very a refined way to discover coffee,” I say, taking a sip. “I can see you’re grabbing an espresso on the go or relaxing over a lungo.” why you chose George Clooney to represent the brand.” We sit down but at the last moment I change from a green to a purple chair. “It was actually our Club Members who chose George Clooney as their ambassador 37 “Green not your colour?” asks Anouk. in 2004,” says Jochem. “His charm and sophistication perfectly fit our brand identity, which is one of the reasons the campaign has been so successful. It’s also “Green is Capriccio,” I say, “and I’m more an Arpeggio kind of guy.” another example of how we engage with and listen to our consumers.” “A man who knows what he wants!” says Jochem. “We have a lot of The waiter brings us three Ristrettos. Anouk looks disappointed. “This is our consumers with very specific tastes, while others like the freedom to pick and most intense coffee. Unless you have a high caffeine tolerance, you might not choose. That’s the great thing about the capsule system – a different coffee want to drink all of it,” says Jochem. “There’s more on the way.” for every cup.” “The Nespresso route to market already means there are multiple touch He leans forward in his chair. “We currently have 16 premium coffees in our points between you and the consumer. What role does social media play in permanent range which we’ve developed to appeal to every taste preference. Nespresso’s brand engagement?” I ask. Only a small percentage of coffee grown globally meets our quality standards, so developing new products can be a challenge. That’s where our global brand “The Nespresso Facebook community has grown to more than 1.6 million fans. community comes in. Our members can play a part in this process.” Each post on our page can receive thousands of ‘Likes’ and hundreds of comments and shares. That’s an invaluable source of consumer feedback for us and a clear “Brand communities can be a powerful asset. How have you built yours?” I indication of the passion the brand inspires among coffee connoisseurs.” ask. The waiter comes back again with Naora, one of three Limited Edition “All our consumers have the option to become Club Members. Through the coffees created each year, he explains. “Continuous dialogue with our brand Club we engage directly with thousands of consumers every day, but we’ve community means we can anticipate and meet our consumers’ expectations, also seen something exciting happening beyond our control. Many of our but we also want to keep surprising them,” says Jochem. “We introduced members aren’t just consumers anymore, they’ve become brand ambassadors. Naora, a late-harvest blend with distinctive blackcurrant tones, in early 2012.” More than half of new Club Members experience Nespresso for the first time through existing members. You have to keep in mind that the brand community Anouk leaves her cup on the table. “All the coffees I‘ve tried have been great,” exists in the first place to serve the people in the community.” she says, “but now I’d really like a latte.” w.aroundtheworldin8 Read more stories on ww
  • The culture of strolling Pa r i s We’re enjoying a break on a small terrace in Paris’s Marais neighbourhood, sipping a café au lait and watching stylish people walk by. “This city is 39 amazing,” I remark, “each neighbourhood has a unique feel to it. What a difference between the small-scale boutiques here and the department stores in the Hausmann area. Not to mention the top brand stores based at Avenue Montaigne!” Mmm, by the way, where did that elegant Parisienne get that outfit? I ask myself. After a late lunch, we walk down the fashionable rue des Franc Bourgeois, approaching Centre Georges Pompidou – the modern art museum that is a work of art in itself. Maarten is determined to revisit his favourite Picassos. As for me, a museum visit would distract me way too much from that dress I cannot get out of my mind. How can I convince him to come with me? I wonder. Let’s try a game. “Maarten, here we go, let’s toss and see who wins. If I win, get over your endless cultural desires.” He now looks quite angry at me, glancing in the direction of the museum. As if he is going to visit his Picassos without me! Finally, he takes the challenge. I let him throw the coin… That evening, I more than happily put on my brand new purple Valentino dress, found at Avenue Montaigne…. What more can a man ask for? A stylish woman at his side to attend a special reprise of the 100-year- old Parade by the Ballets Russes, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Maarten is all the more happy because the cubist costumes and set were once designed by his other idol … Pablo Picasso.Europe - FranceParis256 miles fromGenevaTime of Arrival 11:04
  • An encounter with L o u i s Vu i t t o n ‘What’s a journey? on A journey is not a trip It’s not a vacation the Champs-Elysées It’s a process. A discovery It’s a process of self-discovery. A journey brings us face to face with ourselves A journey shows us not only the world,As we wander up the Champs-Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe, but how we fit in itwe pass the Louis Vuitton flagship store, a temple of chic that attracts Does the person create the journeystyle-conscious travellers from around the world. Some come just to Or does the journey create the person?worship at this temple of style and longingly eye the elegant products; The journey is life itselfothers come armed with a stack of credit cards and are ready to spend lavishly. Where will life take you?’“I often wonder how they can keep on doing what they do withsuch amazing success,” says Anouk as she walks up to the travelaccessories displayed in the shop window. “Not only are they constantly 41reinventing themselves; they are also redefining the concept of travel.”Established in the mid-19th century by Louis Vuitton himself, the LV brand soonchanged the way people perceived luggage: it was no longer just a burden,but could also be an object of beauty, not to mention that Vuitton introducedsafer and more practical ways of transporting precious belongings – a totallynew concept of travel.“Remember when we met the company CEO, Bernard Arnault, a few yearsago?” I remind Anouk.Anouk nods and replies: “He’s done an amazing job since he took over in1989, but his best strategic move was hiring Marc Jacobs as the company’screative director in 1997. Getting a young New York designer was exactly thefresh impulse that the brand needed.”“Yeah,” I agree, “Arnault was right on the money there. They’ve had someamazing collections since Jacobs joined.”“It’s more than just the collections though,” Anouk says, “they’ve alsodeveloped the Spirit of Travel concept as an elaboration of Vuitton’s19th-century ideas. The Spirit of Travel transcends the LV product range – you www.louisvuitton.comcould call it their purpose. What role does Louis Vuitton play in my life? Ithelps me make my journey, and my journey is my life. It’s travel reinvented ona new, more spiritual level.”“Remember that cool YouTube movie?” I ask. “Sort of sums up their core values.”“Yeah,” I say as we head into the flagship store, “it also pretty much sums upmy vision of travel. And I think that makes it quite appropriate that we shouldbe here at the beginning of our ‘80 Stories’ trip...I wonder where this journey will take us…”
  • Te r e o s F ra n c e Connecting to each other Joost Augusteijn, whom we met in the Netherlands a few weeks ago, sent us to Tereos, France’s largest agricultural producer that processes sugar 42 beet, grains and sugar cane. With strategic advice and syndicated loans from Rabobank, it has recently diversified to become an industrial powerhouse, creating Tereos Internacional as the basis for further growth and diversification. Networks around the world We talk to CEO Philippe Duval and President Thierry Lecomte about the major shift in direction: “Tereos Internacional wants to have the financial flexibility to move into countries with economic growth; the emerging markets. For such a major move, we needed a banking partner with experience in agro food. We have been with Rabobank for 15 years now because they have an international network of local banks, a significant presence in Brazil, and a large presence in Europe. Whatever emerging countries we would like to start operating in we know that we can count on their local network and global efficiency.” Local knowledge “In Europe, creating Syral made us a leader in industrial starch products made from grains. We bought five plants, whereas we only had one before. As such, it was critical for us to get proper advice. Thanks to the bank’s local operations in major markets and knowledge of our critical markets, we got what we needed. More than anything, we appreciate the fact that they are present wherever we are, connect us to local parties and have great experience in the agribusiness sector. There are plenty of reasons for us to continue our 15-year partnership; we want to remain part of this global food & agribusiness network.” 43 74 196 197
  • Meeting 45 “Exactly!” Marc says. “So together with some friends I created a new lifestyle brand: Sol de Janeiro. We shared a fair amount of nostalgia for the glory days Sol de Janeiro of the Bossa Nova period when Brazil captured the world’s attention with its cool beach lifestyle.” in He continues: “We had our brand, now we had to find a matching product.” Cannes “Let me guess,” I say, “Sol de Janeiro... it evokes Rio de Janeiro with its carnival... maybe a caipirinha-based energy drink?”We are in Cannes, on the French Riviera, walking on the famousBoulevard de la Croisette. We decided to come here for a few days for the “No,” Maarten says, “Sol de Janeiro means January sun, so it has to be aannual Lions Awards. A good opportunity to meet up with our global network product that has to do with the beach... Is it beachwear?”of marketing professionals. Marc laughs. “Beachwear could be one of the future brand extensions. In a“Hey, isn’t that Marc Capra?” I say, “there, walking just in front of us.” We country that was idolised around the world for the sensuality and charm of itsmet Marc a few years ago in Bangkok where he was the chairman of an beach culture, there was no sun protection brand that lived up to the dreaminternational agency. Then we somehow lost track of him. “Monsieur Capra!” 44 of the Brazilian beach,” he says, waving his arm in the direction of the FrenchI say, tapping him on the shoulder. Riviera beach.“I moved from Asia back to New York,” Marc tells us, “ready for a new We start strolling towards the Palais des Festivals, where the next seminarchallenge. I asked myself where I would like to live next. The country that first will start in 20 minutes. “So we assembled a team of cosmetic and prod-popped into my mind was Brazil. So I moved to São Paulo and started enjoying uct development experts,” Marc continues, “and created highly sensorial sunmy new life.” protection based on natural Brazilian ingredients.”“But one question intrigued me,” Marc continues, “why does Brazil have We reach the red carpet where the film stars arrive for the Cannes Filmthis positive image? And was this image widely recognised? As you know, I Festival. Marc walks up three steps and turns to us again. “We launched Solhave spent almost all my professional life working with brands. So I started de Janeiro in Brazil last year and this year the brand is making its entranceconsidering Brazil as a brand. Why do people around the world have such a on the international stage,” Marc says while impersonating a celebrity. “Nopositive brand perception?” pictures, please!”We start walking again and pass in front of the Carlton Hotel. We laugh and applaud. “Marc, instead of attending the next seminar, why don’t we have lunch in the sun at the Mocca, across the street? We can“I read a survey in Forbes magazine about the happiest cities in the world,” brainstorm some possible brand extensions for Sol de Janeiro.”Maarten says, “and Rio de Janeiro was number one.” Marc looks over his shoulder at the Palais and then towards the Mocca.“I know,” Marc says. “Brazil is associated with natural beauty, charm, “What an excellent idea. Right in the spirit of the brand!”sensuality and the energy of its beach culture. The perfect attributes for a brand.”Marc stops walking and turns to us. “Then it struck me,” he says, “why notcreate a lifestyle brand, using Rio de Janeiro’s positive image? It’s a perfectexample of building a brand outside-in.”“Smart thinking,” I say. “Some brands fight great battles to get the brandperception aligned with the brand identity. Starting with the positiveperception and then adapting the brand identity to it makes sense.”
  • Meeting Bob Jeffrey We’re sitting on the terrace of the Mocca across the street from Thirty minutes later we’re on our way to Theatre Debussy, talking to Bob Jeffrey.t h e m a n b e h i n d Wo r l d m a k e r s Le Palais. “This is the best place to meet people,” I think to myself. “The perfect pastime. Sit, drink coffee, meet interesting people.” I can see Anouk “Bob, thanks for talking to us,” I say. “How did the idea for Worldmakers come about?” coming across the road, apparently in quite in a hurry. “The Worldmakers are in Cannes!” she says. “Well, there are two main ideas,” Bob says. “It’s related to who we are at JWT. We are ‘Worldmade’. We seek inspiration from around the world and we find “Worldmakers?” I say. “Worldmakers? Do you mean The Elders? Nelson the spark of creativity in international interaction. We can learn a lot from the Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan...?” people I interview. People that make things happen.” “No, the Worldmakers. The interviews we watch on YouTube on the JWT channel,” We walk through the central hall of the Palais des Festivals, up a flight of Anouk answers. “The ones where Bob Jeffrey talks to thought leaders.” stairs, and turn left towards the theatre. “Oh, you mean the Worldmakers!” I say. “And the second?” I ask. “The second idea is...” Bob thinks out loud, “…that in addition to gathering Bob Jeffrey is JWT’s global CEO and we watch his interviews on a regular inspiration, JWT also wants to inspire the world by interviewing the world’s most basis. He is based in New York, but apparently he’s in Cannes during the Lions. respected thinkers. ‘Worldmakers’ is an interesting source of valuable knowledge.” “Let’s try and meet Bob,” Anouk says. “Does it have anything to do with talking the talk and walking the walk?” “Great idea,” I reply. “Let’s sit here, drink some coffee and wait ‘til he passes by!” Anouk asks. “When JWT is pitching multiplatform business, this is a nice little “Only joking,” I add. hook that could impress potential clients.” I leave some money on the table for the coffee, get up and follow Anouk “Of course,” Bob replies. “It shows the agency is doing the same sort of thing across the street. Instead of heading to the conference building, she turns left – online video – that we want our clients to do as well. It shows our expertise towards the beach. in the matter.” “Where are we going?” I ask. 46 Without slowing down Anouk answers: “We have to make a plan. I have to think.” We enter the theatre, which is slowly filling up with creatives from all around She goes down the stairs to the beach, kicks off her shoes and walks down the world. We stand in the passageway talking. On stage two men are testing to the sea. “This is the perfect environment to think about how to get hold of the cameras and lighting. Another is turning some buttons; probably testing Bob Jeffrey,” she says. the sound. “Testing 1, 2, 3,” suddenly radiates from the speakers. “We don’t have to get hold of him, we just wanna talk to him,” I think to “Alain de Botton is coming on stage any minute now,” I think to myself. “Now myself without actually saying it so as not to disturb Anouk while she’s is the time to ask Bob if we can interview him later today.” brewing up her ‘plan’. Behind us, the announcer takes to the stage, some people start clapping, and There are not actually that many people on the beach. On the boulevard there we still haven’t set a meeting with Bob yet. He takes a step towards his empty are quite a few with badges on a key cord though who are clearly attending seat... then turns back to us. the Lions festival. Out to sea, about 300 metres from the beach, a big yacht “Guys, how about we interview you two after you’ve finished your trip Around is preparing to enter the marina. “Maybe he is on that yacht, drinking the World in 80 Brands. Let’s discuss it over lunch after Alain de Botton’s speech.” champagne,” I joke. But Anouk’s not reacting – she’s obviously still trying to come up with a way to ‘get hold’ of Bob, while overlooking the Mediterranean. Bob walks over to his place and the announcer opens the session, “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome to the Lions stage in Cannes, writer and “I’ve got a plan,” she says all of a sudden. “In 45 minutes there is this philosopher, Alain de Botton.” conference with writer and philosopher, Alain de Botton. I can imagine it’s the kind of conference Bob would attend. The conference is taking place in Theatre We’re still standing in the passageway applauding like everybody else in the Debussy. We have to spot him as he enters Le Palais, which will give us four audience. “Wow,” I whisper to Anouk. “If we get interviewed on Worldmakers, minutes to walk with him to the conference room. In those four minutes we we’ll be the Alain de Botton of storytelling.” tell him we’d love to interview him and publish his story in our book Around the World in 80 Brands.” “Great idea!” I say, “let’s synchronise our watches and take up our positions at the entrance!” 47
  • MeetingDieselinMilanAh... Milan. If you want to submerge yourself in culture and the latestfashion and design, there is no place like Milan. The cathedral at the Piazzadel Duomo, the attractive squares, renaissance buildings and last but certainlynot least, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. 48I stroll slowly through the wide corridor of the Galleria, looking at the latestfashion creations in the boutiques. After a while I decide to stop for anespresso in Zucca’s bar, an Art Nouveau classic. “Un espresso per favore,” Isay in my best Italian.A sharply dressed local, who’s also having an espresso, tries a new openingline on me. “This gallery has a structure formed by two glass-vaulted arcades,”he says,“ intersecting in an octagon covering the street that connects Piazzadel Duomo and Piazza della Scala.” We walk further into the store and Christina takes a rough-looking pair of jeans from a rack and shows them to me. “Although we now all love vintage“Interesting,” I say. “Thank you for the information.” clothing, Rosso’s idea was quite revolutionary back then,” she says.“ He decided that raw materials, workmanship and the unbeatable combinationThe man smiles and continues his ‘history approach’. “Actually, this Galleria of comfort and style was exactly what the world needed. It was time forwas an important step in the evolution of the modern shopping mall, of which authenticity’s comeback. Not everyone got on board immediately though.”it was the direct predecessor. You could say that this is the mother of allshopping malls as we know them today,” he says. With a charming smile he We walk up the stairs, entering the men’s department. “It looks as if Diesel isadds: “Let me pay for your coffee.” selecting its people on good looks,” I say. “They all look amazing, ready for a Vogue photo shoot.”“Well thanks again,” I say, “but I have a meeting to attend. Next time I will buyyou a coffee, though.” I drape my bag over my shoulder and leave the coffee Christina smiles before continuing her story. “Diesel took the Italian jeans marketshop, waving goodbye to my new friend and ignoring his ‘when is next time?’. I by storm, giving Rosso the confidence to venture abroad. The brand hit the shelvescross the central part of the Galleria and walk towards the Piazza della Scala. in Germany in 1994, leaving an indelible mark on the industry and public alike. It’s what Diesel does best: make a lasting impression that not only creates brandMy meeting is in the Diesel flagship store, the largest Diesel store in the world. awareness, but also triggers curiosity and builds demand. Constantly.Three days ago I received an email from Christina Käßhöfer, the MarketingDirector for Diesel in Germany, one of its main markets in Europe. “I’m following “But it doesn’t happen without effort,” Christina explains: “Reaching the pressyour trip Around the World in 80 Brands on Facebook,” she wrote. “Can we meet and the retail industry is easy. They know what we stand for, and understandin Milan? It will give you the best possible Diesel experience.” the concept. But reaching the end consumers, touching them in their hearts, is more difficult. After all, people want long-lasting and authentic brands. As itI enter the Diesel store and am welcomed by a cool-looking shop attendant. turns out, Diesel is exactly that. We want to fit into a lifestyle in which people“Please have a look around,” she says. “And if you need any assistance...” cannot do without Diesel.” www.diesel.comBefore she can finish her sentence I see Christina beckoning me to come over. Ihave known her for some years already and she keeps me up to date whenever “Just like Converse,” I say, “Even if you don’t really need another pair ofsomething new happens in Diesel country. sneakers, you still go out and buy a new pair of Chuck Taylors.”“For me, coming to Milan is always a sort of pilgrimage,” Christina says with a “Exactly,“Christina says. “And so Diesel is going to further cultivate itssmile. “Renzo Rosso started here from scratch in the seventies. Our founder spent designated renegade status until the brand’s whole line of casual fashion 49countless nights brushing jeans to make them look and feel worn. After all, everyone becomes the go-to statement for a generation.”knows that the jeans you like best are the ones you’ve been wearing for years.”
  • Meeting We arrive at Milano Malpensa Airport after our afternoon meeting in Gus smiles again. “In the real world we work with artists: painters, sculptors, Gustavo Aguiar the Diesel flagship store. We check in for our flight to Dubai and we make our poets, photographers, etc,” he says. “Artists are more receptive to trends and way to the duty free area, to buy some magazines at the newsstand. “I want movements. Historically they have been at the forefront of all changes in © Flavio Teperman to buy Time magazine, Wallpaper and Vogue Italia,” I say to Maarten. “Can society and they have the skills to materialise their feelings.” you see whether you can find something on the new BMW i3 concept car in the car section?” “So to work with them,” I say, “to work in a PUNK way, let brands explore new possibilities for communication?” A few minutes later I’m heading to the checkout counter with my magazines where Maarten is already waiting. “I couldn’t find anything on BMW i, but I “Exactly,” Gus replies. “And to challenge brand elasticity beyond the found the new Donald Duck to give me some storytelling inspiration,” he says traditional boundaries. Actually, that is what PUNK stands for, Publicity Under with a smile. New Knowledge.” © Flavio Teperman As we walk out of the newsstand I see somebody we know, browsing through “And has it been successful?” I ask. the international newspapers. It’s Gustavo Aguiar, whom we met last year in São Paulo and who helped us to build our network with opinion leaders “For our client Triumph we first developed a campaign in the same way any in Brazil. He owns an ad agency, but he’s also involved in several other cool other agency would,” Gus says. “Then we developed a PUNK campaign where initiatives. I wonder what he’s up to now? “Gus, how’s life?” I say, while artists interviewed our client and us, and then created their own version of the putting a hand on his shoulder. campaign. The photo shoot they created was something different and brilliant! A completely different angle for looking at the brand. And why? Because it © Flavio Teperman He turns round and a smile of recognition appears on his face. “Guys, what was not done by advertising people or people from the brand who are limited are you up to?” he replies. by brand guidelines and commercial boundaries.” “We’re in the middle of our Around the world in 80 brands project,” I say. ”We “This the Punk revolution of the ‘70s all over again,” I say. “Opposition to might need your help when we get to Brazil. What are you doing in Milan?” mainstream culture in branding and advertising.” Gus puts back the newspaper, as if he’s lost interest all of a sudden. “Well, “It’s not a revolution,” Gus replies. “It’s about showing brands that there is I’ve started a new, very cool initiative,” Gus says. “It’s called PUNK. It’s a another way. Showing them there is a world outside the guidelines, the rules way of thinking... why do we do the things we do in the way we do them? and the way we are used to doing things.” Like the Punk movement in the ‘70s, it’s an expression of nonconformity and opposition to mainstream culture.” In the meantime we arrive at the gate where Gus is boarding his plane to São Paulo. “I’m really sorry we can’t continue this conversation,” Gus says. “Wow, what have you been smoking,” I joke. “Boarding is starting in a few minutes.” Gus smiles. “After several years in the advertising business,” he continues, “I “Yes, I’m sorry as well,” I say, “because this is really getting interesting.” began to see there’s an alternative way of communicating brands, products and ideas. The world is changing fast, technology is breaking down all the “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE,” the voice from the speaker says. “TAP FLIGHT limitations and former rules no longer apply!” 1233 TO SÃO PAULO HAS A DELAY OF TWO HOURS.” Gus pauses for a few seconds to let his words sink in. “To think in a PUNK way, is to feel, to look around, to understand the new rules and develop something Gus looks at the announcement screen above the gate, then at his watch, and then back at the screen again. “Great!” he says, ”That means I have enough 51 that stretches beyond the obvious. Something that provokes a conversation.” time to tell you the rest of the story. Come on, I’ll get you a coffee!” “Shall we walk? I don’t want to miss my plane,” Gus says. “What is your gate 50 number?” “We have another two hours,” I say, “but we can walk you to your gate. It all sounds very conceptual. How does it work in the real world?”Background design by Wagner Pinto
  • To infinity and beyond! Dubai Driving through Dubai is like leafing through The Guinness Book of World Records. The biggest shopping mall, the biggest dancing fountain, the biggest indoor ski slopes; if it ain’t larger than life, you’re probably not in Dubai. We decided to shoot for the stars: Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. A few thousand years ago you had to go to Giza, Egypt, to find the tallest manmade structure. The Great Pyramid was about 140 metres high and held the world record for over 4,000 years. In 1889 however, Gustav Eiffel designed his iconic tower for the 1889 Paris World Fair, the first structure to exceed 300 metres. But the ooh-la-las would not last long, because in the 1930s New York was gearing up for another whopper: the Empire State Building stacks more than 100 floors up to 400+ metres, a considerable feat that even King Kong could not ignore. Another 40 years later the ball was in Asia’s court, as the Taipei 101 shattered New York’s record with its ballsy 500 metres of towering glass and concrete.middle east - Leave it to Dubai to raise the bar once and for all. Burj Khalifa has 160 storeys, reaching the soaring height of 828 metres. The building is partUnited Arab Emirates of the two-square-kilometre flagship development along Sheikh ZayedDubai Road called Downtown Burj Khalifa. We enter the building through the2.912 miles from Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall of course. In less than a minute we rocket smoothly from the ground floor to the highestmilanTime of Arrival 21:11 52 observation deck on earth at 442 metres. The Burj Khalifa elevators firmly hold the world record of fastest elevators in the world. And did we mention that Burj Khalifa holds two other world records? It has the world’s highest mosque on the 158th floor and the highest swimming pool on the 76th. To infinity and beyond! © CoolTravel Kempinski
  • Discovering The Ajman Palace Memories brought back to life We rented a car at Dubai Airport and instead of driving into town, I picture an abandoned house on the beach, then the construction of hotels where the action is, we head up north towards Ajman, in search of a more along the shore, and other kids playing on the beach where Mohammed and his authentic Emirates experience – a place where you wake up in the morning and brother used to play. “It wasn’t that dramatic,” Mohammed says, as if he can immediately know you’re in the Middle East – not like most hotels in Dubai, read my mind. “A few years ago we decided that we could not lose our family which have the same interior design as hotels in Paris or New York. tradition. We decided to build a lifestyle resort where our holiday home used We enter Ajman and wind our way through the narrow streets of the city to stand, where we could receive friends and relatives, but also travellers who centre, passing the Gold Souk and on our way to the fish market where come to discover Ajman and want to experience Arab hospitality. This is also dhows are unloading the catch of the day, we make a short stop at the Ajman why we chose a classical Arabian style of architecture. We built a penthouse Museum. We head on through town until we reach the coastal road where for my mother where she can receive her friends and family members. You large residential towers line the beachfront. Between the high-rise buildings could call it next-generation Arabian hospitality,” Mohammed says with smile. we spot a heritage resort with an unmistakable Emirati feel to it. “This is it!” “Wow,” I say. “What a great story! Thanks for receiving me in your family I say, as I turn into the driveway. home.” Meeting Sheikh Mohammed, The future plans of Salem, the man behind the concept the family artist We walk into the hallway and look up at the central dome, a common feature A young man dressed in the same impeccable white outfit emerges from the in classical Arab architecture. On the left a staircase leads up to what looks like lobby and walks up to us. “Meet my younger brother Salem,” Mohammed a library, on the right a restaurant with a stunning view of the beach. “Can I says as he turns to the young man with a smile. “He has grand plans for the help you?” a voice behind us asks. We look behind us and see a man in a stylish development of The Ajman Palace.” uniform. “Oh… yes, hello,” I say. “We’re from CoolTravel and we’re admiring Salem orders coffee, which is served flavoured with cardamon in a tiny the Arabian architecture. Could you elaborate on the concept behind it?” porcelain cup. He sits down and rearranges his headscarf. “The idea is to use The man looks around the lobby area and says, “Maybe I can introduce you to 55 the venue as a platform for cultural exchange,” says Salem with a twinkle in H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal Al Qassimi, he is the creative mind behind his eyes. “I want to invite local artists to exhibit their art in the hotel. Besides the hotel.” The concierge leads us to a seating area where a man dressed in an authentic Arab hospitality, tourists and business travellers can also experience impeccable white dishdasha is talking to two other men. The concierge bends Arabian culture.” over and whispers something in the sheikh’s ear. The man turns to looks at us Salem pauses and takes a sip of his coffee, before he continues: “I want to and comes to greet us. “Welcome to The Ajman Palace,” he says, “my name is Meeting showcase both traditional and contemporary art and create a space for young Mohammed bin Faisal Al Qassimi.” painters and photographers to express themselves in a modern way… but   Sheikh Mohammed with an Arabian identity. They are influenced by the intrinsic values of our As we stroll down the terrace with him, Mohammed tells us the story of the society, like family loyalty and family honour.” Salem leans forward and looks hotel. “Several decades ago, my family built a holiday home on this exact b i n Fa i s a l A l Q a s s i m i at us intently. “I studied in New York for a few years and one of the differences location, where we would invite family and friends for the weekend,” he says as I noticed, is the respect we have for the older generation.” he leads to some empty sofas that overlook the beach and the calm sea beyond. A smile appears on his face as he continues, “And of course the belief that “Let’s sit down,” he adds with an inviting gesture. many things in life are controlled by fate, not by humans.” He sits back in “I was only a little boy, but I remember playing on the beach with my brother and his chair and drains his cup. “The Ajman Palace is a perfect place for cultural sisters, and the dinners with aunts and uncles.” We sit down and almost immediately exchange,” he says. “A place where open-minded people can meet and learn. a waiter appears carrying a silver tray with small glasses of mint tea. We sit back and Of course this is on a micro level, but wouldn’t it be great to take this to a look out over the beach where our host must have played 30 years ago. “As the years higher level?” went by the family grew bigger,” Mohammed continues. “Little kids grow up and get married and have children too. So the family house became too small, and we 54 couldn’t host our family gatherings anymore.” w.aroundtheworldin8 0brands.comRead more stories on ww
  • Here I am, on a deckchair overlooking the swimming pool. I just did 10 laps and I am now enjoying a café latte and the bestseller I bought at the beginning Meeting of the trip. I haven’t had time to read a single page so far, but now is the time. Maarten left the hotel early this morning to take some pictures of Dubai from Saleh Al Geziry the Burj Khalifa. When I mentioned he already has taken hundreds of pictures taken from there, he answered: “You never have enough pictures taken from in the highest building in the world. And this time I’m taking my new full-frame the old spice souk 57 Canon EOS 5D,” he added. “If you ask me,” I answered, “you’re better off by the pool.” That was three hours ago and just as I order my third café latte, I see Maarten arrive. “Great buildings, great architecture, everything is modern and everything is hi-tech,” he says. “I wonder whether we can find something authentic, something original. It would be nice to take some pictures of the authentic Dubai.” “I think I can help you,” I say. “I have a Facebook friend, Saleh Al Geziry, who is a director at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. If you want some help in your quest for authenticity, he’s the man. I just saw he posted something on Facebook,” I say while I take out my iPad. “I will try to reach him on chat.” A few minutes later I have an answer. “He wants to know whether we want to meet him at the old spice souk later this afternoon,” I shout to Maarten, who has just dived into the pool. “It’s on Sikkat Al Khail Road. I’ll tell him we’ll be there, okay?” It is almost four o’clock as we get out of the taxi at the old souk in the eastern part of town. As we enter, we’re welcomed by the powerful fragrance of thousands of spices. We continue along the narrow, meandering alleys, filled with open and closed-roof spice shops. “I feel as if I’ve been transported back in time,” I say. “Look at all these spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, henna.... They’re not just from the Middle Eastern region, they’re from Africa and Asia as well.” 56 “And look at the colours and the sunlight coming through the roof,” Maarten says, observing the spice souk through his camera. “Our meeting is set at the wind towers on the Deira side of the creek,” I say, while pointing in a random direction. “Let’s see whether we can find Saleh.” We walk along the winding streets and see traders and shoppers haggling with the shopkeepers. “Bargaining gets an entirely new meaning when you watch the professional hagglers in action,” Maarten says, pointing his camera at the scene. We turn right, then left and right again, and leave the souk after 20 minutes. The sun is blinding and it takes several seconds before I can see clearly again. When my eyesight returns to normal I see Saleh standing in front of me. “So how was your souk experience?” he asks. “Authentic enough?” “Saleh...” I say, still a bit blinded by his impeccable white kandoora. “It was great, we took some cool pics for the book, the aroma of the spices is tantalising and I even bought some saffron.” “Ha…I’m glad you liked it,” Saleh says. “Let’s have a mint tea in in one of the cafés. Then I’ll take you to the textile souk in Bur Dubai area. I’m sure you will like that as well.” w.aroundTheworldin8 0brands.comread more sTories on ww
  • The dancing chefs “Nothing special,” I reply. “Go to the mall, have a shrimp dynamite at We arrive by metro at the Mall of the Emirates, a huge shopping mall in P.F. Chang’s and maybe go to the cinema.” Dubai’s Al Barsha district. It is one of the largest in the Middle East and has “I have a better idea,” Alejandro says. “Why don’t you come to the over 500 stores and about 80 cafés and restaurants. But the main reason poolside restaurant around 8 pm. The restaurant is closed for maintenance we’re here is our hotel, the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates. on the terrace, but I have a surprise. You remember Sudqi Naddaf, the We turn right and arrive at the mall’s centrepiece, the Galleria. We chef at the Kempinski in Aqaba?” continue and pass in front of various luxury boutiques until we arrive at “How can we forget Sudqi,” I say, “and the great fish dishes he prepared the VOX cinema complex. We go down a level and take a sharp left at the for us? Why, is he here?” Virgin Megastore. On we go until we hit the indoor ski resort and see some “I asked him to come and spend some time in Dubai,” Alejandro says. people in kandoora sliding down the slope. We turn right and enter the “He is training the kitchen staff this afternoon and that always ends in... lobby café of the Kempinski hotel. something special.” “Do you want to stop for a café latte or go straight up to the pool for a It’s almost eight o’clock as we take the elevator again, down to the second dip?” I ask Anouk. floor. We exit and turn left towards the poolside restaurant. On the door “No café latte today?” a voice behind us says. We turn around and see is a sign that says the restaurant is closed for maintenance. The door is Alejandro Bernabe, the hotel’s General Manager. We met Alejandro in closed but as we try the handle, it opens. We enter the restaurant and it Aqaba, Jordan where he was GM of the Kempinski Hotel. He showed us the is empty and the lights are dimmed. We continue walking and hear music hidden city of Petra and took us diving in the Red Sea. We stayed in touch coming from the kitchen. “Hello!” I shout in as civilised a way as I can, not and met again when we came to Dubai for business. forgetting it is a five-star hotel. “How was your day?” he asks. The kitchen door opens and Alejandro comes out. “Anouk, Maarten, come “Interesting,” I say. “We spent our afternoon in the old town of Dubai, taking in,” he says. “You’re right on time.” We enter the kitchen and see ten chefs 58 pictures of the spice souk. It’s a pity the aromas won’t show up on the images.” busy cooking and preparing a large dish. In the middle we see Sudqi giving “What are your plans for tonight?” he asks. tips and tasting from the various pans. As he sees us, a smile appears on his face. “Welcome!” he says, “I’m training my chefs and we’re preparing a Mansaf. It’s a traditional Jordanian dish.” We follow him further into the kitchen. “The lamb is cooked in a broth made with a fermented then dried yoghurt-like product called jameed,” he says pointing at a large pan. “It’s traditionally served on a large platter with a layer of flatbread topped with rice and then meat, garnished with Meeting Alejandro BERNABE almonds and pine nuts, and then sauce poured over all it.” Sudqi turns to us and comes a step closer. “A spice mixture called baharat adds distinctive flavour,” he adds in a low voice, as if he’s telling a secret. at Kempinski It is traditionally eaten collectively from a large platter in the Bedouin and rural style, standing around the platter with the left hand behind the back and using the right hand instead of utensils. Mall of the Emirates “Sudqi, don’t forget to mention it is often eaten at joyous occasions,” Alejandro says while giving him a mysterious wink. “Oh, of course... I almost forgot,” Sudqi continues, “Mansaf is eaten at joyous occasions, where we also dance the Dabke.” Sudqi claps his hands and says something in Arabic to the other men. One of the chefs takes out what looks like an MP3 player and speakers, which starts playing Arab music. The other chefs stand in line holding each other’s shoulder. We take a step backwards and stand with Alejandro and Sudqi next to the big platter of Mansaf. On the other side ten men are dancing and laughing. Instinctively I start clapping my hands. Alejandro picks up a bag and takes out two Jordanian scarves and hands them to us. “Here you are,” he says, “with the compliments of Kempinski.”© CoolTravel Kempinski
  • Where tradition and modernity meet Abu Dhabi As we have breakfast overlooking the Arabian Gulf, we think about our programme for today. It’s not our first time in Abu Dhabi, and we know from experience that there are always new things to discover in this rapidly growing metropolis. If your idea of Abu Dhabi is just desert, think again! middle east - United Arab Emirates During our last visit we made a few laps on the Formula 1 circuit on Yas Island. Not really my cup of tea, but “you have to try everything in life”, abu dhabi my grandmother used to say. But then again, she has probably never 92 miles from driven a 500 horsepower Nissan GT-R. dubai Time of Arrival 23:45 On Saadiyat Island a modern version of the Louvre is being built. A Guggenheim museum of modern art is also planned for 2016. “No time 61 to wait for the Guggenheim to arrive,” I say. “Let’s visit the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque.” Known as the Grand Mosque, this edifice is on a different scale from anything else you will see in the UAE. With about 80 domes topped with 24 carat gold, more than 1,000 columns, and four minarets rising to a height of over 100 metres, it is one of the largest mosques in the world. As I enter the premises, I’m asked to cover my hair and put on an abaya before entering. “This makes the experience even more authentic,” I think to myself, “as it is the same veil worn by women who come here to pray.” I open Wikipedia on my phone and read some background information. The marble-covered courtyard can accommodate 30,000 worshippers, while the prayer hall itself has the capacity to hold another 14,000 people. I cross the courtyard and stop right in the middle. The outside temperature must be over 40 degrees and the sun hitting the white marble floor merciless. “Let’s see if it’s true,” I say to myself as I kneel down and put my hands carefully on the marble. “Wow, incredible! The Italian marble that covers the courtyard does stay cool, even in the stifling Abu Dhabi summers.”© CoolTravel Kempinski
  • MeetingGlobal knowledge hub Sheikh Mohammed “Secondly, Abu Dhabi has traditionally played a leading role in global energy markets as a significant hydrocarbon producer. Now Abu Dhabi aspires tofor renewable energy“Welcome to Masdar City,” Sheikh Mohammed starts. “Today, the bin Zayed Al Nahyan be an international hub for renewable energy and sustainable technologies, thereby balancing its already strong is facing serious challenges, finding scalable sources of clean energy, inproviding fresh water and battling climate change. In the spirit of global “And last but not least, Abu Dhabi has embarked on a two-decade programmecollaboration, it is a pleasure to welcome you all to discuss ways to find an effective Masdar City called vision 2030 to transform its economy from one based on naturalinternational response.” He pauses for a moment and looks into the audience. resources to one based on knowledge, innovation and the export of cutting- edge technologies.“The United Arab Emirates have made a long-term commitment to investin renewable energy and sustainable technologies. The UAE is giving a high “Thank you for your attention,” Sheikh Mohammed says. “If you have furtherpriority to sustainable development as a key driver in improving the lives of questions, I will be available after the first part of the programme.”future generations.” I open my Twitter app again: “ Abu Dhabi is transforming its economy from“Masdar City will become a modern Arabian city that, like its fore runners, exporting oil and gas to exporting knowledge. AND we have the possibility tois in tune with its surroundings. As such, it is a model for sustainable urban speak to Sheikh Mohammed later today. A great opportunity to look into thedevelopment that delivers the highest quality living and working environment future!”with the lowest possible ecological footprint. Masdar City, masdar meaningsource in Arabic, aims to become a source of knowledge for renewable energyand sustainable development.”I take out my iPad, open the Twitter app and start typing a post: “We’re in AbuDhabi at the World Future Energy Summit, listening to the opening speechof the Crown Prince. Why is the UAE a frontrunner in renewable energy?”“Why is the UAE commited to invest in renewable energy?” Sheikh Mohammedsays, as if he can read my mind. “Abu Dhabi is home to 8% of global crude oilreserves, the Emirate has enough hydrocarbon reserves at current productionlevels to last another 100 years. So why are we investing billions of dollars to 63develop Masdar and establish Abu Dhabi as a global centre of excellence inrenewable energy and clean technologies?”I tweet again, knowing my followers around the world will re-tweet my posts.“The answer will be given by Sheikh Mohammed himself in 1 minute. Stayposted!”Abu Dhabi vision 2030“First of all, here in the UAE, we have a heritage tied to life in the harsh andunforgiving desert, where sustainable practices and resource conservation arenot just slogans, but are essential to survival. That’s why we understand the www.masdar.aetremendous challenges posed by climate change, environmental degradationand the need to find sustainable energy sources.” Sheikh Mohammed pausesand takes a sip of water before continuing.
  • We follow the driver out of the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel. It is Meeting Etisalatearly morning but the heat hits us immediately. In front of the hotel, limousines arewaiting to pick up guests and dispatch them to their appointments in Abu Dhabior Dubai. The driver leads us to a powerful-looking four-wheel drive. “Strange,” Isay to Maarten, “the Etisalat offices are just a few miles from here. Why would we inneed an SUV?” We leave the hotel’s landscaped gardens and turn east. The carpicks up speed on the wide boulevard and the city is soon behind us. Abu DhabiWe are going to meet Essa Alhaddad, the Chief Commercial Officer of EtisalatGroup, a telecom and internet provider serving over 170 million customersacross the Middle East, Africa and Asia. “You said we were meeting him indowntown Abu Dhabi,” Maarten says to me. “I assumed we were,” I say,watching the passing landscape turn from urban to desert.I am just about to ask the driver if he has understood Essa’s directions correctlywhen we slow down and turn onto a sandy track. Two kilometres further, thedriver shifts into four-wheel drive. The motor roars and a cloud of sand shootsinto the air behind us. We climb a steep dune and see another jeep waitingfor us at the top.As we get out of the car, a man dressed in a white kandoora comes towards us.“Welcome, I’m Essa,” he greets us. “I arranged for you to come here becauseI wanted the right setting to share my story.”He walks round to the front of our car. “We connect and empower people toachieve what they aspire to in life,” he says. “In urban areas, our advancedinfrastructure makes reliable mobile coverage and fast internet connectionseasy.” He points to Abu Dhabi’s skyline, which is just visible on the horizon,then nods towards the desert behind us. “In remote areas like this, that’s muchharder. Harder but not impossible.”He puts an iPad on the bonnet of the car. “In parts of Nigeria, where peoplecan’t access essential services such as banking, our mobile services allow 64them to manage their finances without ever having to go into a bank.”He picks up the iPad and shows us some of Etisalat’s latest mobile innovations.“One of the services I’m proudest of is Mobile Baby,” he says. “It’s a perfectexample of our purpose to ‘connect the unconnected’. Hundreds of thousandsof pregnant women die each year because they can’t access proper medicalcare. Through Mobile Baby, we connect women and hospitals.”“Wow,” I say, “Etisalat has really created a higher purpose for mobile servicesand given new meaning to the word ‘connecting’.”“Absolutely,” says Essa. “In our business, the right connections are everything.” 65
  • Etisalat Mobile Baby A sustainable pointing in different directions. He follows the arrows with his finger. “We’ve developed a business model that generates revenue for all members of the ecosystem. Midwives, for example, are trained and paid by local government contribution to or NGO schemes for each successful delivery; pharmaceutical companies 66 receive money from medical facilities for their products; and Etisalat earns income through mobile equipment leasing and data consumption.” healthcareWe are standing on top of a sand dune in the Arabian desert outside “It sounds like a win-win model,” I say. “Have you been tracking the results?”Abu Dhabi. We are with Essa Alhaddad, the Chief Commercial Officer of “We first launched Mobile Baby in Tanzania and the initial results haveEtisalat Group, who is using the bonnet of a jeep as a desk, putting his iPad been impressive,” he says. “One of the Millennium Development Goals is toand smartphone on the hot surface. reduce maternal mortality in childbirth by 75% and deliver universal access to“You probably have far fewer interruptions here than in your office,” I say.“Talking of mobile devices,” says Essa, “people in remote regions of Nigeria 67 reproductive health by 2015. In Tanzania, in the clinics where Mobile Baby is used, maternal mortality has already dropped by 30%. On a business level andnow have access to financial services through our mobile Commerce platform. a human level that’s a good investment. The value of the service has also beenThe platform was recently extended to Afghanistan, where 300,000 customers recognised internationally. In February 2012, Mobile Baby won two awards atcan pay their electricity bills via their mobile phone.” the prestigious GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.”“The ability to move money empowers people and businesses in emerging Essa looks out over the dunes “The wind is always moving the sand,” he,” I say. “You make the mobile phone the bank in your customers’ pockets.” “Even if you came here every day, it would never be the same desert twice.“Definitely, and don’t forget the safety aspect. People are not walking the Our industry doesn’t change quite that fast, but we have to keep innovatingstreets with cash anymore,” Essa adds. to keep up.”“But banking is only part of what we do,” he immediately continues. “Access to “What innovations do you have planned for Mobile Baby?” I ask.other essential services such as education and healthcare is just as important. Essa turns back to me. “Like all healthy newborns, Mobile Baby is growing quickly,”That’s where Mobile Baby comes in. It’s an application that was launched in he says with a grin. “As we speak, we are rolling out the service to several other2011 to bring affordable healthcare to pregnant women in rural parts of Africa.” countries in Africa and Asia. Running alongside that is an educational programme“I know you’re not in the hospital-building business, so how does Mobile Baby to train medical professionals on how the service works. We’ll use feedback fromachieve that?” I ask. these users to continually improve and optimise the application.”“You’re right that we can’t increase the number of hospitals, but we can use mobile He picks up his smartphone. “This is what the Mobile Baby interface looks like intechnology to bring mothers and medical care closer together. Let me explain. Arabic,” he says, showing us the screen, “but we also support local languages.”“Many women in remote areas give birth at home, either out of necessity or “So is it available in Swahili in Tanzania, for example?” I ask.cultural beliefs,” he tells us. “As a result, the Mobile Baby application targets “Swahili, yes, as well as a number of other African languages. We’re alsoboth traditional birth attendants and midwives. All the medical professionals currently developing Urdu and Pashto for our Asian rollout. Regionalregistered with the Mobile Baby programme are given a handset with the adaptation really helps to boost take-up and acceptance of the service.”application already installed and are fully trained on how it works. He walks to the back of the jeep. “We’ve been talking a lot about health in remote“It’s a simple, effective process,” says Essa. “Using Mobile Baby, a midwife registers areas,” he says, “so let’s not forget our own. Even with Etisalat’s coverage out here,”a pregnant woman with the nearest medical facility and sends regular reports on her he waves his phone, “it’s good to be prepared. 40° in the desert is a cool day.”status, including any danger signs. We even developed a mobile ultrasound device He opens the boot and hands us some soft drinks from a cooler. “It’s customarythat can send sonogram images to the local hospital. In other words, the health of in many countries to drink to good health. That seems very appropriate today,”the mother and baby can be monitored remotely throughout the pregnancy.” he says, raising his water bottle.“What if there are complications during the delivery?” I ask. By the time we say goodbye to Essa, the sun is high in the sky and the sand“Midwives and traditional birth attendants attending home births update feels warm under our feet. “I’m grateful for air conditioning,” I say when ourthe hospital during every delivery. But if there are any complications, one of driver turns on the engine, “but it’s not every day you get to have a businessthese,” he thumps the bonnet of the jeep, “can be arranged and paid for using meeting in the desert.” mobile Commerce service.”“That’s a great way of using your reach to benefit the communities you serve,”says Maarten, “but at the end of the day you’re still a business and you haveto generate revenues. Is Mobile Baby sustainable in the long term?”“We call Mobile Baby an ‘mHealth ecosystem’ because it brings togetherhealthcare professionals, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, NGOs andgovernments,” says Essa. He shows us a diagram on his iPad with arrows w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Descent into the Pharaoh’s Tomb Cairo It is 6 am as we head out of Cairo along the west bank of the Nile. “We’re not going to Giza,” our guide Eman says decisively. “That’s for tourists.” Instead we are going south to the Red Pyramid in Dahshur, the first sheer-sided pyramid, which was built around 2600 BC. “We will even be able to go inside to see the tomb!” Eman says excitedly. 69 As we stand at the foot of the 101-metre-tall pyramid, Eman explains that we have to clamber up the sloping stone face to reach the entrance, which lies at a height of 27 metres. The site is deserted and as we squeeze through the low narrow entrance we feel a sense of trepidation, as though we are about to discover a secret treasure. Half bent over, we make our way down the long steep corridor. After about 40 metres we emerge in the first burial chamber which is covered in hieroglyphs. “Here you can see the name of the pharaoh,” Eman says while she scans the walls with her torch. “And this passage is about his life...” “You can read hieroglyphs?” I exclaim in amazement. “Yes,” she says with a smile. “I studied this language for four years. Here is a list of what the king wanted to take to the afterworld. The Ancient Egyptians believed that everything depicted on the walls of his tomb would materialise in the pharaoh’s afterlife.” We start wondering if she could be the reincarnation of Imhotep, King Djoser’s doctor and high priest, and the architect who created the first step pyramid. The first chamber leads to a second chamber, which in turn leads to a third, all connected by low tunnels. We are at the very centre of the pyramid – deep, dark and mysterious. This is how the first archaeologists who entered these tombs must have felt. After more than an hour of exploring we make our way back up into the world of the living and are welcomed by bright sunlight and dry desert air.middle east - Egypt We head for Memphis, one of the oldest cities on earth and the capitalCairo of the Old Kingdom.1.462 miles from “Can we also go to the Great Pyramid in Giza?” I ask tentatively. Eman,abu dhabi who abhors anything to do with mass tourism, frowns but eventuallyTime of Arrival 22:22 gives in with a smile. “Ok, but only to take a picture of the Sphinx!” © CoolTravel Kempinski
  • The Maasai wildlife channel Serengeti We are in a camp in the middle of the Serengeti. The sun is rising as I get out of the tent, where I meet a group of Maasai security guards. They tell me that they are warriors who are here to protect us from the wild animals at night. After all, we are in the middle of the savannah. “We do the same in our village: we protect the sleeping women and children and the cattle.” Later that day, we visit the village and we are received by Akida, the leader of the tribe. He gives us a little lesson in Maasai matchmaking. “Men marry at the age of 27, women at the age of 18,” Akida explains. “All 27-year-old men and 18-year-old women in the vicinity gather during a special ceremony where women choose their husband. The men perform a ritual dance and show off their strength by jumping as high as they can. The higher you jump, the more likely you are to be chosen. After the wedding, the woman leaves her village to live with her husband. The bride’s family receives a dowry of about 30 goats.” Africa - Tanzania Serengeti We watch a group of men perform an exuberant dance. “Singing and 3.207 miles from dancing is one of the most important social activities for the Maasai,” cairo Akida says. “That explains why I haven’t seen TVs in any of the huts” I joke. Akida looks at me and says, “I will show you our TV.” I follow Time of Arrival 07:03 him along a trail and climb to the top of a rock where he tells me to sit 71 down. We have an unobstructed view of the savannah and the setting sun. “We only have one channel: the wildlife channel,” Akida says with a broad smile.© CoolTravel Kempinski
  • “Karibu. You made it,” she says. “I’m glad we’re able to meet here and not in Meeting our office.” Jacqueline Lampe She leads us into the village, the children still jumping around us excitedly. “We work with a number of nomadic groups in this area, such as the Maasai, who from are often beyond the reach of public health services,” she tells us as we walk. AMREF Flying Doctors “How do you reach them?” Maarten asks. “We adapt our projects to their lifestyle. We train health workers within the We leave our lodge in the Serengeti National Park early in the morning, community and provide mobile clinics.” heading in the direction of Lake Magadi. Our jeep bumps over the unpaved road, clouds of dust obscuring the back window. But on either side of us we As we walk through the village, we see women preparing the next meal and a can see the steep sides of Olduvai Gorge. small group of men discussing something more important than world politics. 73 Jacqueline continues: “Nomads still live according to old traditions, some of We pull up at a Maasai village, a cluster of about 30 huts protected by a thorny which pose health risks. Female circumcision, for example, is a rite of passage fence. Parked outside the fence is a Land Rover with ‘AMREF Flying Doctors’ on that prepares girls for womanhood and marriage. It’s often carried out without the side. “I wonder if the Land Rover can fly?” I think to myself. anaesthetic and in unsanitary conditions.” The sound of our engine brings a group of children running out of the village. Jacqueline stops and turns to us, lowering her voice as if the kids can We climb down from the jeep and hand out the sweets we’ve brought. I look understand her: “As well as being extremely painful, the procedure can lead up and see a woman walking towards us. “There’s Jacqueline,” I say, waving. to immediate problems such as infection or difficulties later during childbirth. We’ve known Jacqueline Lampe for several years, but as Director of AMREF And, circumcision limits the woman’s sexual enjoyment and therefore limits Flying Doctors her work often takes her to Africa and this is the first time the right to safe and healthy sex.” we’ve been able to catch up with her for a while. One of the children tugs at my skirt. I crouch down to her level. She starts talking to me in Swahili, probably telling me she didn’t get any sweets. I give her a lollypop. She turns around and runs away. Jacqueline continues. “Because most of our employees are African and know the local 72 cultures and traditions, we’ve been able to find a solution to female circumcision.” “What is it?” I ask. “It’s an alternative ritual that celebrates girls becoming women without any physical damage. A health worker spends several days with the girls discussing health issues, like safe sex. As part of the ritual, the girls walk under a ceremonial arch from the village elders. The arch shows that the new ritual and the young women are accepted in the community.” Jacqueline beckons to a girl who is making a bead necklace outside one of the huts. “Here’s one of the girls,” she says. “This is Miali. She can tell you more about the alternative ritual and what it meant to take part.” Miali smiles at us but I can see she is not totally at ease. I turn to Maarten. “Why don’t you go and grab a latte macchiato at the local Starbucks?” I say. “This is girl talk.”© Anja Ligtenberg
  • 74 Rabo Development Rwanda Rabo Development focuses on providing people with access to financial services to build a better existence. Established in 2005, it has since acquired Connecting to the society holdings in partner banks in developing countries, mostly in Africa, including Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda and Mozambique. These countries lack a well- developed financial infrastructure in rural areas. Bruce Dick, Rabo Development’s Managing Director, explains: “Over 100 years ago, Rabobank started with the ambition that everyone should be able to participate fully in the economy. In our home market in the Netherlands, this ambition has been realised. So, we have taken the initiative to help a number of partner banks in developing countries, fully in line with our cooperative roots. We are looking to provide small agricultural and commercial companies, as well as private individuals, with affordable credit facilities and other banking services. Before we arrived, these were pretty much unavailable. We always aim 75 to provide both financial aid as well as experience, know-how and expertise.” Going local “Our work in Rwanda is a good example. Almost 80% of the population depends on agriculture as its main source of income, but rural areas have poor access to financial services. Professionalising the sector is vital for achieving higher production levels. While the sector is generally organised through cooperatives and associations, their somewhat unprofessional nature means they struggle to get loans they need to invest in storage, mechanisation, etc, to help farmers earn more money by improving yields and reducing poor harvest losses.” Double-pronged approach “In 2008 we acquired a 35 percent share in BPR, a local bank, to shore up and shape the long-term cooperation through management and support. In tandem with a capacity-building programme, we’ve introduced an extensive technical assistance programme with BPR to build the products and the desired services, such as ATMs and mobile banking, which the associations and farmers desperately need. “BPR is the people’s bank and the only bank in Rwanda that now has a real network in rural areas. So, BPR will eventually enable the Rwandan economy and society to take a major step forward in terms of financial services.” 42 196 197 w.aroundTheworldin8 0brands.comread more sTories on ww
  • Queen of the skies C a p e To w n This is it! We’re going paragliding today! I have been waiting for this moment for years... We are taking off from Lion’s Head beside Table Mountain, which is also where we meet Stef, who has prepared all the equipment. As there is a good wind we can use the lower take-off point, a gentle downward slope covered by a green net.77 After some fussing about with the equipment, I am all set: helmet on my head, a harness on my back. Stef is right behind me and the ocean lies at our feet. “Just remember, keep on running until I say ‘ok’, then you can sit back and relax.” We get some help to lift the wing off the ground and before I know it we are running downhill; after just two or three steps I am peddling in the air, not running – we have lift-off! Amazing! The wing gently pulls us upward as Stef seeks out good thermal currents to take us higher: 548 metres, 549 metres, yes, 550 metres! “Want to go up to 600?” What a question! Of course I do: the wind is perfect and the view is beautiful, overlooking the 12 Apostles on one side, Table Mountain on the other and the ocean ahead of us. A strong gust pulls us upward and within a few seconds we shoot up over 600 metres. Stef lets go of the wing and we are simply gliding on the wind. Awesome! Stef suggests we make a spiral – if I am up to it... Of course I am, bring it on! I fold my left leg over my right and lean to the right with all my weight. Africa - South Africa There we go! Oh help! It’s going pretty fast, we’re spinning like crazy. Cape Town The ocean, the beach, Table Mountain, all the 24 Apostles flash by in an 2.898 miles from instant. Hold on, weren’t there 12 Apostles? Whoa... serengeti We sit up straight again and everything falls back into place. Phew... that Time of Arrival 08:15 was unbelievably cool and exciting! After our little acrobatic stunt it is time to land. Touch down in three, two, one... The wing falls into the sand behind us and here we are, landed at Camps Bay. “So, when do I get to go up again?”
  • Big Daddy and I Sossusvlei We have one more challenge ahead of us before we leave Namibia: conquering Big Daddy, one of the highest sand dunes in the Namib Desert, and maybe even in the world. We are accompanied on our mission by Alpheus, a desert specialist who was born and raised in the Kalahari Desert. “Our people are used to temperatures of up to 50 degrees,” he says. “We have sand dunes for breakfast.” Big Daddy lies on the edge of the Sossusvlei, a dried-out lake surrounded by tall sand dunes that is (very occasionally) fed by the seasonal Tsauchab River. We stayed the night at the Sossusvlei Lodge. Thanks to our staying at this lodge, justly called Gateway to the Namib, we could leave at 6 am and be the first ones on site 30 minutes later. The next lodge is six hours further down the road, so we really were lucky, again. We arrive at the site after a short drive, covering the last kilometre on foot. The dry riverbed is lined with ancient camel thorn trees that survive on the water they collect at a depth of 50 metres. “This way,” Alpheus says, pointing south. After a few hundred metres we arrive in the Deadvlei, another lake that hasn’t seen water for decades. Here nothing has survived and the trees are withered skeletons on the white cracked earth. It is an eerie atmosphere, almost like walking through a Salvador Dali painting... “There it is,” Alpheus says, pointing at the dune, a towering 240-metre- tall beast. “Shall we do it?” he asks. The sun is burning hot, and the wind is blowing the sand over the dune’s sharp ridge which creates a dramatic ‘smoking dune effect’. “Ok... let’s go,” I say meekly as we look up at the mass of sand. After a 90-minute battle against the shifting sands, we finally reach the summit. Panting and spitting the sand out of my mouth, I look down victoriously: “Who’s your daddy now, huh?” Africa - South Africa sossusvlei 1.020 miles from cape town 78 Time of Arrival 14:38© CoolTravel Kempinski
  • “Welcome to Nigeria!” he says with a smile. “My name is Fauzi, I’m the fellow Meeting you’ve been chatting with via email. This way… the car is waiting.” I am immediately struck by his perfect British accent. Deola Sagoe Our chauffeur-driven car heads towards the city and we soon hit dense traffic.80 the princess As we inch forward in the Lagos rush hour, Fauzi briefs us in preparation for our meeting with Nigerian fashion designer Deola Sagoe. “Deola started of African fashion working in fashion over 20 years ago when she joined her mother’s label as a junior designer,” he says. “Her style really comes from her culturally diverse education. She picked up different ideas and cultural trends from around the world, but Nigeria remains her greatest inspiration – different textures, colours, cultures, people, the whole vibe!” Meanwhile our driver has managed to extricate us from the traffic jam and turned onto the 12-kilometre Third Mainland Bridge. “We’re going straight to Deola’s atelier on Victoria Island,” Fauzi says as we speed across Lagos Lagoon. “She’ll meet us there.” Surrounded by Lagos Lagoon to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Victoria Island is an upmarket area of Lagos with brand-new high-rise office buildings, modern hotels, fancy shops and residences. “So how successful is Deola’s brand today?” I ask. “It’s a respect thing really… The more people know the brand, the more there is this kind of instant recognition of status,” Fauzi says. “Deola Sagoe today is essentially three elements: first of all, the haute-couture label, which has been known for sometime locally and internationally. Then there is the DEO label, the prêt-à-porter line, and there’s DS, which is a further diffusion and serialisation of brand merchandise. 2011 alone has seen a major growth in customers globally. It’s great when you get a customer enquiry from Japan or New York; they are always so intrigued by the philosophy behind the brand. I mean, they appreciate the ‘different-ness’ of what Deola is doing, but they can’t explain how totally connected they feel. I think it’s like the feeling you get when you read your favourite author, and the words on the page shock you because it feels like it’s written from your own mind…” “How do you see her wider role as an influencer of African fashion though?” Anouk asks. “She has given 21 st-century African fashion design a tremendous boost – her work is the clearest expression of the complexities of the African identity imaginable. Through her designs, Deola is spreading African culture, even influencing the image of Nigeria.” It is early afternoon when we touch down at the Murtala Mohammed Our car stops in front of a sleek two-storey building with white pillars tapering International Airport Lagos. As we walk out of the arrivals hall we are imme- off to pointed ends at their tops, evoking the idea of giant, upright, elephant diately engulfed in a wave of hot, humid air. I take off my jacket and before I tusks – an unmistakable African look and feel. “This is it!” I tell Anouk as we even start looking where to go, a smartly dressed man walks up to us. get out of the car. “Get ready to meet the princess of African fashion.”
  • bodice meets implies an Asian sensibility, but the materials are unmistakably Sophisticated fashion African.” Indeed, the design combines clean lines with innovative material use and subtle detailing to produce a uniquely rich style. with an African soul “It’s beautiful,” says Anouk. “I understand the concept of bringing different cultures together and fusing them into a collection, but what message do you We are meeting Nigerian fashion designer Deola Sagoe in her atelier- want to convey?” store on Victoria Island in Lagos. We enter the airy open-plan atelier where 82 mannequins are positioned throughout the space to display the brand’s latest Deola smiles. “I travelled the world and was struck by the huge diversity in designs. cultures and mentalities. I don’t want us to lose this; I think identity is key – to know it, love it, know how to develop it… because identity is not stagnant, it On our way from the airport Fauzi told us that Deola embarked on her fashion grows… metamorphosises. I don’t want the world to become a uniform entity. career more than 20 years ago. He also said that all she wants to do is create On the contrary: I love to celebrate differences. It is very important for us to beautiful things – and now we see what he means: each piece is like a work be confronted with difference, to get out of our comfort zone. This is what I of art, carefully crafted and exquisitely finished. Deola is known for combining try to do with my designs: to show people how beautiful things can be when a variety of fabrics – cotton, silk, velvet and lace – and incorporating subtle cultures meet – but always with the underlying conviction that the African details into her designs. soul links us all. Africa is where it all started, it continues to live within us.” As Anouk weaves her way between the mannequins, admiring each design As she says this a Bob Marley tune starts playing in my head and I softly sing and touching the delicate fabrics, Deola enters the atelier. “Welcome!” she along. “One Love, One Heart…” Deola looks up at me: “What did you say?” says with a warm smile. She is wearing a simple but stylish dress and exudes a sense of understated sophistication. As she talks, I sense that beneath her “No, nothing,” I mumble self-consciously. “Your story reminded me of a Bob confident and outspoken personality, there is also great warmth and openness Marley tune, sorry about that.” – a desire to listen and learn from others which, I suspect, forms one of the core strengths of her design work. “That’s a great association!” Deola replies eagerly. “I was at the Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica a few years ago, and I felt the same connection! Deola shows us some pieces from the new collection and explains the creative That’s the African soul you feel around the world. That’s my inspiration!” process – how she chooses, or creates, the various fabrics, what determines the cut and what inspires the careful detailing on all her designs. Deola’s eyes light up. “I have a personal interest in an old ancestral fabric of ours called ‘Aso Oke’. It’s such an imaginative, evocative fabric. It is a “I’m intrigued by the mix of cultural references in your work,” says Anouk. hand-loomed cloth woven by the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria; it is “Where do you pick them up and how do you blend them together?” usually woven by men… I love to play with this fabric, add new ‘ingredients’ to it to make it new.” “I think it has to do with how I was educated. I was fortunate enough to be educated on three continents and naturally you absorb the different “In addition to your job as a fashion designer, you are a mother of three. But I cultures and ideas along the way. Things come together in my subconscious also heard that you have taken on an ambassadorship?” I ask. and this shapes my design style. In Europe, I was inspired by the tradition of luxury brands, in the United States I came in contact with modern trends and “Ha ha! That’s right,” she says with a little smile. “I’m the self-appointed contemporary, while in Asia you have the ethos of simplicity and spirituality.” Ambassador of the African Soul! I want to promote Africa in general and Nigeria in particular because I feel we need an image boost. What Fela Kuti “And Africa?” I ask. did with music and Wole Soyinka with poetry, I want to achieve with fashion. Those men are a great example to me, but you know it always takes a woman’s “Africa is my main source of inspiration. Africa is the soul of the world, isn’t it? It touch!” is the cradle of mankind. If you go back in time to the roots of European tradition, you’ll find Africa; at the beginning of American modernity lies Africa; at the source “Wow,” I say. “You’re not setting yourself an easy task.” of Asian spirituality is Africa – and this all comes together in my designs.” “Well…” Deola replies. “Easy doesn’t change the world! Becoming a haute- “Look at this design for example,” she says as she walks over to a fitted couture fashion designer in Africa wasn’t the easiest career choice… but hoping brown jacket on display in the middle of the room. “You see the shoulders? to raise the bar a little bit is always a good thing… as they say fortune favours They are inspired by 19 th-century European military uniforms. And the way the the brave. Ok! Let’s democratise this, I now say anyone who buys my designs immediately becomes an ambassador of the African soul. How about that?!” w.aroundTheworldin8 0brands.comread more sTories on ww
  • “Personally, I want to ensure that our living environments remain in good condition for the present and future generations,” Ken says. “And the best way to do this is to encourage organisations to take their Corporate Social Responsibility seriously. The business entity should be used as a vehicle for delivering stakeholder value and not just for maximising shareholder profit.” 84 Ken reaches behind him to push a button on a fan. “It’s getting hot in here,” he says. The fan accelerates and Ken continues his story. “In 2007, very few organisations had sustainability reports to present,” he says. “Some international organisations were reporting on the global level, but very few were talking about the Nigeria situation. A very limited percentage of corporations were willing to disclose the actual figures in terms of funds committed to the CSR portfolio. “The overall goal is to promote behavioural change in Nigeria with regards to sustainability, or the triple bottom line. We do this on two different axes, sharing knowledge and creating awareness. The first is done through the annual report with best practices, and the second by the awards.” “Awards?” I say. “Tell me about the awards.”Meeting Ken looks at Arit. “We organise an annual award ceremony to reward the best CSR practices,” she says. “It shifts the attention to issues of sustainability andKe n E g b a s On our trip around the world, we want to experience cool destinations, attracts a very high-profile audience of top industry and political leaders.” meet visionary people and brands with a purpose. In recent years, we have comethe man behind across more and more brands that tell their Corporate Social Responsibility “How do brands participate?” I ask. story according to the triple bottom line; People, Planet, Profit. These criteriaN i g e r i a C S R Aw a r d s measure the real success of a company from an economic, ecological and 85 “Participation in The SERAs is voluntary,” Arit says. “Corporations subscribe social perspective. I follow these brands, which understand they should have and commit to the terms. This includes disclosing information and cooperating a purpose in society, with increasing interest. during the verification by the field research team. The outcomes of the field research are captured in the annual report and documentary.” In Lagos I found someone who shares my interest; Ken Egbas, founder of The SERAs, which he describes as a ‘new way of promoting behavioural change “Are you satisfied with the results so far?” I ask. and adoption of sustainable practices by corporations in Nigeria’. It takes a few seconds before Ken answers. “I think we started an important The meeting is set in Yaba, in the office of TruContact, Ken’s PR agency that trend back in 2007,” he says, “and a lot has changed already. Nowadays, more founded The SERAs. The office is filled with books from floor to ceiling. I try organisations are looking at their operations with a sustainability focus and to read some of the titles in the semi-dark – all the curtains are closed to have committed to conducting their business in a socially responsible way.” keep the sun and the heat out. People, planet, profit by Peter Fisk, Brand New Justice by Simon Anholt, No Logo by Naomi Klein... Ken pauses for a few seconds before concluding. “But there is still a lot of room for improvement,” he says making a wide gesture with his arms, The door opens and Ken enters the room. He is tall and slim, wearing an elegant probably to indicate the margin for improvement. striped shirt. Behind him a woman enters, armed with a notebook and a smile on her face. “Welcome,” Ken says, “I like you to meet Arit Oku, she is second “I think you’re doing a great job,” I say. ”It is important that companies are in command here at TruContact. Without her...” Ken doesn’t finish his sentence beginning to understand that being responsible brings huge rewards – both but shakes our hands instead and invites us to sit down around a large table. financially and in terms of social capital.” “Good to meet you at last, Ken,” I say. “You founded The SERAs, Nigeria CSR “So true,” Ken replies. “If you’ve finished your trip around the world by Awards back in 2007. Why did you decide to do this?” October, you should stop by in Lagos again, for The SERAs award ceremony.”
  • We met Clara Chinwe Okoro in Cannes during the Lions Awards Festival. “I’m from Nigeria,” she said. “I love the landscapes , the untouched virgin Meeting spaces and the almost invincible way of life that defines my country.” We were having a coffee at the Mocca, opposite the Palais des Festivals when she said: Clara “If you are looking for a true definition of the word ‘chaos’, you need look no further than the way we live. But the chaos has steeled my spirit.” the ICE lady As to our question what she was doing at an advertising festival in Cannes, in Lagos she answered: “I’m the founder of a company called Brandworld Media, which was set up to preach the gospel of branding to Africa. I am here to listen to and interview people with an interesting vision on branding. I can then share those stories back home with my audience.” “Interesting,” I said. “What was your vision on brands and branding when you set up Brandworld Media?” “My belief was that brands were the new wealth creator in any modern economy and my assignment was to use the media as a tool for bringing prosperity to Africa. Twelve years on and the dream is still soaring, despite the scars and sometimes even nightmares. “Actually, speaking of the people I am interviewing,” Clara continued, “why don’t I interview you for Brandworld Media here in Cannes. When you come to Nigeria for your project Around the World in 80 Brands , you can then interview86 me for your book.” “That sounds like a plan,” I said. And here we are, in Lagos, Nigeria, six weeks after our first meeting in Cannes. The meeting is set on the campus of the University of Lagos, bordering the Lagoon. “I love this place,” Clara says. “It’s like an oasis in this huge city. I come here quite often and just sit by the waterfront overlooking the lagoon.” We look at the large surface of water, which is cut in half by the Third Mainland Bridge that connects the mainland to Victoria Island, aka VI. “Another reason why I like it here is being in the presence of young people. Not too long ago I started ICE, a platform for trend forecasting on how youths consume brands.” “Interesting,” I say. “What does ICE stand for? I’m curious to know what this word inspires in a tropical country.” Clara laughs: “ICE is an acronym for Intelligence, Culture and Evolution,” she says. “Through ICE Magazine our role is to provide the market intelligence for brands on one side and define and safeguard the cultural context on the other. “I am determined to use the ICE medium to transform the thinking process of the Nigerian youth,” Clara continues. “I want them to understand that the 87 power to create the future they desire is theirs.” “That’s cool,” I say. “What’s cooler than cool?” Clara asks. “ICE cool!” we say at the same time.
  • Meeting It’s early in the morning in Accra and we have just been picked up from our hotel. We are with Roger Gerards, Creative Director for Vlisco, a fashionRoger Gerards and fabric brand whose colourful Dutch Wax textiles are worn across Central and West Africa. “I know you’ve seen our textiles being designed and produced in Pa t r i c k L i v e r s a i n Europe; now I want to show you where the brand becomes part of women’s lives,” he says. in Accra The driver navigates through Accra’s busy streets and drops us off outside Makola Market. “I’ll wait for you here,” he says, then adds, “Don’t mess with 88 Makola Market. Go with the flow, give in or go under.” “What does that mean?” I ask Roger, as we merge with the crowd of market goers. “I think it means that it’s a big market and easy to get lost,” he replies, “but don’t worry, I’ve been here before.” We head into a labyrinth of stalls piled with food, household goods and fabrics. We zigzag left and right until we see a small shop selling Vlisco’s distinctive Dutch Wax textiles. A woman is looking through the different designs. “Once she finds one she likes, she’ll buy six yards of fabric – the standard length needed for a complete outfit – and ask a tailor to create a unique piece for her,” Roger tells us. “Vlisco is a fashion brand that can be completely customised.” As we walk towards the shop, the woman wraps a turquoise bird-print design around herself. She looks in the shop’s small mirror and smiles. The shopkeeper gets out her scissors. “Vlisco has many facets,” Roger says. “It all starts with our designers, artists working in their ateliers, imagining and creating. Then there are the people working in the production plant, in charge of producing a high-quality fabric. From there the product goes via our trade partner to the wholesalers and retailers and on to the end users in West Africa. The end users take the fabric to the tailors and transform it into customised fashion.” We ask the shopkeeper about the fabric she just sold. “The bird design is called ‘fortune’,” she tells us. “If the woman wears a dress made from that fabric, it will bring her good fortune. She said she is applying for a new job, so she made a good choice!” We leave the shop and turn right. “Isn’t that the way we came?” I ask. Anouk looks uncertain but Roger seems confident. We follow him down another narrow alley. “Most of our customers are currently in West Africa but it is clear that there’s a market for Vlisco fabrics in other regions too. As part of our development, we want to open a centre of excellence in Accra where our African and European designers and brand, marketing, retail colleagues can exchange knowledge and inspiration,” he tells us, turning left again. We stop to orientate ourselves. “Isn’t that the same shopkeeper we spoke to 89 20 minutes ago?” I ask, pointing to a lady in front of a textile shop. “And isn’t she standing in front of the same shop we visited 20 minutes ago?” “I’m afraid you’re right. We’ve gone in a circle,” says Roger. “Let’s ask her for directions.” “I’ll ask my son to show you back to your car. He’s only 10 years old but he’s Makola born and raised,” the shopkeeper says with a smile. “And we don’t want the good people of Vlisco to lose their way.”
  • We have just left Makola Market, a huge market in the “Welcome to the Woodin showroom,” a man says, walking up to us. “My Patrick takes over: “The name and its meaning may be one reason why a centre of Accra, where we spent the morning getting lost in name’s Patrick. I heard about your adventures at the market this morning. Did woman chooses a fabric, but the pattern is also critical to the final garment Vlisco – The the labyrinth of narrow alleys and discovering Vlisco’s striking you see how Dutch Wax is sold, in lengths of six yards? From there the fabric she creates. Together with a tailor, she’ll decide on details like the position of Dutch Wax textiles. We are now driving towards the Osu district is taken directly to a tailor to be transformed into a unique outfit.” a flower or the direction a bird is flying for maximum impact and individuality.Afro-European of the city. We are with Roger Gerards, Vlisco’s Europe-based “It says Woodin above the door,” I say, pointing behind me, “what does that mean?” This makes every piece of clothing unique.” Creative Director, who is taking us to meet Patrick Liversain, his “Vlisco is an Authentic Dutch Wax brand that has been around since the “There’s something special about Vlisco,” Roger continues, “it’s become a ‘love love brand Africa-based counterpart. 1800s,” Patrick says. “But it’s also the parent of three African brands: Woodin, brand’. People here in Africa feel they own the brand. We’ve built our reputation We pull up in front of a glass-fronted building on Oxford Street. Uniwax and GTP. I’m the creative man behind Woodin, Uniwax and GTP.” on original design and quality, but the brand has transcended the product.” “Here we are, Vlisco’s home ground,” Roger says as we get out “Are your Woodin clothes still at the tailor?” Anouk asks, indicating his black “Many brands would envy that kind of emotional attachment, but I’m sure you’re not of the car. shirt and trousers. Patrick laughs. “I’m so submerged in design and colours all going to take your success for granted,” says Anouk. “What’s your next challenge?” “Are you sure we’re in the right place?” I ask. “It says Woodin day that I prefer to have a neutral wardrobe.” “Our end users see us as a fashion brand, and we’ve been re-enforcing that view above the entrance.” He leads us to a table at the back of the showroom where we sit down. “I’ve for a few years by creating a new collection every season,” Roger says. “The “Patrick can explain,” Roger says as we go inside. We are lived in Africa for 40 years and feel more African than European these days,” difference with traditional fashion brands is that we create the design of the fabric immediately surrounded by lengths of colourful fabrics and he says. “Vlisco has both an African and a European side, which appeals to me. and the end user creates the model. That’s what I call ultimate customisation.” ready-to-wear pieces of clothing hanging on racks. The company was founded in 1846 in the Netherlands, where the textiles are “Counterfeiting is a problem for many high-end fashion brands. How will you still designed and produced, but the brand really comes alive in West Africa. tackle it?” I ask. Now the world outside Africa is starting to understand that deep connection “I’ll show you,” Patrick says. He stands up and leads us to the shop floor with the brand, and wanting to feel it too.” where a mannequin is draped in a length of colourful fabric printed with specific geometrical patterns and objects. “We spoke to a shopkeeper in the market about the names that are given to “We regularly introduce new designs like this one. It’s part of the new spring the fabrics once they arrive in Africa,” I say. collection. Copies can only reach the market a few months after its release. By “The designers in the Netherlands have their own concepts and thoughts that time we’re ready to launch our summer collection,” he says. “Launching new about their drawings before they go into production,” Roger says and shows concepts and designs on a regular basis will generate continuous excitement us a swatch of different colours and prints. He points to one of them. “And around the brand and make it harder for anyone to copy the designs.” sometimes names change. This one was originally called ‘leopard’ because of all “We’ve already talked about the emotional ties our consumers have with the spots. We saw it later at a market in Nigeria and found out that it had been the brand, but the brand also has strong emotional ties with the African 90 renamed ‘housegarden gravel’, after the little stones. The retailer said the design was like the stones you put around your house to warn you if anyone gets too continent,” Roger says. “Vlisco is positioned as an Afro-European brand, but we want to expand our target group to global. A design house which is used Vlisco close. Someone walking on your pebbles is like being hurt by a person close to in more than fabrics for clothes.” you. It wasn’t the meaning the designer had intended at all, but it shows you the “A brand extension,” I say, “interesting. What kind of products are you thinking of?” Wo o d i n emotional ties that our retailers and consumers have with the brand.” “We have several options in mind,” Roger replies, “like fashion accessories or home decoration. That will take shape in the coming years. To be continued in Uniwax the next edition of the CoolBrands book.” “By the way, did I tell you about Ubuntu?” Roger asks. “It’s an African philosophy GTP which for us means: I am what I am because of who we all are. It’s part of how we do business,” he continues without waiting for our answer. He tells us about the ‘together and exchange’ aspect of Ubuntu and the centre of excellence the company plans to open in Accra. “Our goal is to share our knowledge and expertise, and to support local entrepreneurs. But we are also quite aware that 91 we are working in Africa, a continent with many social and economic needs. So apart from our work with young designers we also work with people who have less opportunity to enable them to make a living as a tailor, probably not – immediately – working with Vlisco fabrics. The bright ones will get there eventually and for the others being a tailor is an honorable profession in its own right. We strongly support that. And we plan to do more….” “That sounds like a unique way of adding value for your West African partners and for setting yourself apart as a brand,” I say. Roger nods. “It’s our purpose as a brand; to share ideas and create prosperity.” “I can see why you want to position Vlisco as a design house,” Anouk says, browsing through the fabrics. “I could get very creative with these.” I turn to Patrick. “I think you’re going to have to recommend a tailor to Anouk before we leave Accra.” w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Maravilhosa! Rio de Janeiro We’ve been to Rio before, but this time it’s different. On previous occasions the purpose of our visit was to check out the destination for our CoolTravel project. We did intensive sightseeing in Rio and the surroundings. We went to Parati, a historical city to the west of Rio, we made a trip to Ilha Grande, a beautiful island with unspoiled nature. Like so many people before us, we fell in love with Rio, the hills, the sea, the beaches and of course the people. But this time is different, this time we’re here to talk to interesting people and brands. For this purpose, we contacted one of the best connected people in Rio. His name is Carlos Vieira and he’s a television actor. Rio is the home of Globo, one of the biggest television stations in Brazil, famous for its tremendously successful soap operas. Carlos has a natural talent: networking. Talking to people, interacting is like breathing to him. “I’ll put you in touch with Rio de Janeiro’s local heroes,” he said over the phone. “Oskar Metsavaht, Lenny Niemeyer… maybe even Oscar Niemeyer. And who knows who else.” We came up with a nickname for Carlos: ‘actor, cool connector’. “I like that,” he said, “it has an interesting sound to it.”92 As our plane makes its final approach into Rio’s airport, we see the bridge over the Guanabara Bay leading to the city of Niteroi, on the other side of the water. People from Rio, called Cariocas, always make this joke about their neighbouring city. “Do you know what the most beautiful thing about Niteroi is?” they ask. “The view of Rio.” South America - Brazil Rio de janeiro 3.499 miles from accra 93 Time of Arrival 11:35
  • MeetingWe walk through rua Vinicius de Moraes in the direction of IpanemaBeach. On the corner we pass a small café where the same Vinicius wrote the O s ka r M e t s a v a h tfamous song The Girl from Ipanema, which was performed by Astrud Gilberto,Frank Sinatra and other legends. atWe’re on our way to meet Oskar Metsavaht, a man of many talents: fashion Arpoador Beachdesigner, creator, filmmaker, artist, entrepreneur... the list is long, the talentsare diverse.For some time now we have been hearing about Oskar and his ground-breaking work on sustainability and the environment. His fashion brandOsklen focuses strongly on the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle, usingalternative natural fabrics and addressing important environmental themes inhis different collections. 94When we arrive at the beach we take off our shoes and walk through the hotsand in the direction of the ocean. Ipanema is one of Rio de Janeiro’s mostfamous beachfront bairros and the source of inspiration for the Cariocalifestyle, a laidback way of life that centres on sports, beach life and partying.It is also where Oskar gets much of his inspiration.Over the years, Oskar’s reputation as an environmental visionary has spreadfar beyond Brazil’s borders, earning him a place among the 100 most creativepeople in the world of business. More recently, he received the title of UNESCOGoodwill Ambassador in 2011 for his ongoing efforts to promote a culture ofpeace, social inclusion and sustainable development.We’re walking in the direction of Arpoador where the beach ends and thewaves crash onto a large rock, turning the ocean into a surfers’ playground.We know that Oskar himself is a surfer and imagine that he might even bringhis surfboard to the meeting...A few years ago Oskar founded instituto e, a non-profit organisation thatpromotes sustainable human development. Since then, instituto e hasspearheaded several environmental and social projects across Brazil to protectand preserve the country’s natural resources. Projects range from the creationof the ‘selo e’ – a sustainability index for food, fabrics and other products – tothe pro tection of parts of the Brazilian coastline and the creation of naturereserves.After a 15-minute stroll, we reach our rendezvous spot: Arpoador. On thebeach some people are playing foot volley and a group of surfers in the waterwaits patiently for the perfect wave. As we are early, we sit down on the stonewalkway overlooking the ocean, still clutching our shoes. “I love Rio, where elsecan you have business meetings on the beach?” 95
  • As soon as we arrive in Oskar Metsavaht’s atelier, we are caught up Brazilian Soul in a flurry of models, make-up artists and stylists who are getting ready for a fitting session of the new Osklen collection. In the main studio, racks of clothing are lined up along the walls and studio lighting has been set up in front of a makeshift catwalk. Several Osklen staff members are sitting on the floor surrounded by sketchbooks, cameras and laptops. Leaning back in a black director’s chair at the far end of the room, Oskar is critically sizing up a slender black model in a dark-green voile dress. His fashion coordinator Juliana Suassana walks over to the model and pulls up the skirt. “It needs to be shorter at the back,” she says just as Oskar notices us standing by the door. “Come in, come in!” he beckons. “Welcome! We’re just starting!” We join Oskar and Juliana and watch the next model head down the runway in a long black and gold dress with a low back. At our previous meeting on Arpoador Beach, Oskar told us about his vision of Brazil as a global role model for sustainability. He sees it as his personal mission to make sustainability cool, and to make the sustainable lifestyle something that people want to be a part of. Oskar gets up and goes over to the model in the middle of the room. He gently tugs at the dress to expose more of the girl’s back, while Juliana pins the material down into this new shape. “I find women’s backs very sensual,” Oskar says as he turns to us with a smile. He takes a step back and considers the adjustments before sending the model off to the photo shoot in the next room. “Let me show you how we work,” he says and leads us to a table in the corner where a series of design sketches and photos are laid out. “These are the design sketches for the new collection. Every time one of these outfits has been fitted, we send the model over to the photo studio and we replace the sketch with a photo. And by the end of the day, we have a collection!” “I don’t know how you do it,” I say, leafing through a photo portfolio of 96 previous collections. “Where do you get your inspiration? It must be such a challenge to keep developing a new concept that fits within your broader vision.” The secret of Oskar’s inspiration Oskar lowers his voice as if he’s about to let us in on a secret: “Osklen draws its inspiration from the Rio way of life – a balance between the simplicity of nature and urban sophistication. I get inspiration from many sources: a natural phenomenon, a personal experience… oceans, the Amazon, wind, rain… “For instance, the first idea for the Vento collection came during a party on a Rio rooftop where I was observing the wind playing with people’s clothes. I 97 started thinking about it: wind has no colour or form, so how do you design clothes on the theme of wind?” w.aroundTheworldin8 0brands.comread more sTories on ww
  • “It seems that with every collection you are taking your designs and the message they carry to a higher level,” Maarten says. “I guess that’s true,” Oskar says pensively. “The further I explore the theme of sustainability, the more I have come to realise that it is not just about ecology and nature, but that there are strong cultural and historical elements as well. For years, I have wanted to explore the theme of Brazil’s cultural heritage, but I never found the right spark to make it happen.” Maarten smiles with an air of disbelief: “It sounds more like a theme for a PhD thesis than for a fashion collection. How are you going to translate such a complex topic into design?” Oskar laughs. “Actually I already have – it’s the collection you see here,” he says pointing at the photos and sketches on the table. “As you may know, 2011 is the UN Year of African Roots, which led me to explore the connection between Africa and Brazil,” he says. “Brazilian culture has strong African influences: in music, in dance – even in our local religion, Candomble. 99 “And this is the result,” he says with a smile as he looks at the models preparing themselves, “the Royal Black collection.” A tall blonde girl struts through the atelier wearing large sunglasses and a short orange overall. Oskar goes over and walks around the model with a thoughtful air. eFabrics - sustainability all the way “By the way, this is an eFabric,” says Oskar. I get out my camera to take a close-up shot of the shiny texture. “What is it made of exactly?” I ask. “e-Fabric is actually not just the material itself, it is a broader concept that covers all aspects of the sourcing and production process. It looks at everything: who we buy the raw material from; how we interact with those communities; and the environmental impact of tanning processes, it’s one whole.” “And fish skin?” I ask. “I heard you use that in your designs – what is that like?” Oskar points at the orange overall. “This is it!” He explains that in the food industry fish skins are usually thrown away, despite the fact that they are perfectly usable as a leather substitute. “Fish leather appears soft and thin, but it is often more resistant and sturdy than bovine leather. Because social awareness is an important part of the Osklen brand, we source our fish leather from indigenous tribes in the Amazon basin, thus allowing local communities to maintain their traditional lifestyle.” Oskar shifts his attention back to the catwalk, while we sit back and watch the Osklen team at work. The Royal Black collection is coming together right in front of our eyes: simple, clean lines and natural tones – greys, beiges and whites – combined with black and gold. The last model makes her way98 down the catwalk, showing off a light cotton pantsuit. She strikes a pose and gives us a cool look through her large sunglasses. We get the message: sustainability can be cool!
  • “I think I can guess what you think the right path is for Brazil: using theWe have arranged to meet Oskar Metsavaht at one of the small Brazilian soul to promote a sustainable way of life.”beachfront cafés on Arpoador Beach, where we find him sitting on the terrace “Exactly,” Oskar answers with a twinkle in his eyes. “This is why I createdgazing out at the waves and the quiet ocean beyond. instituto e, a non-profit organisation based here in Rio that promotes sustainableAs soon as we introduce ourselves he leaps up with a big smile and warmly human development,” he continues.shakes our hands. “Welcome, have a seat, come and enjoy the view!” he says “The aim is to make sustainability cool: too many people continue to associatewith a broad gesture. sustainability with woolly jumpers and saving the birds and the bees.” Make sustainability cool“Congratulations on your new UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador title!” says “So how do you change that image and make sustainability aspirational,Anouk, as we sit down. something that people want to be part of?” I ask. “Aha!” says Oskar with a grin, “this is where the e-brigadiers come in!” HeOskar recently received the honorary title of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador explains that this team of cool, savvy young people transforms the instituto’sfor his work on sustainable development and social inclusion. And he is in ideas into action and implement a range of environmental, social, culturalgood company: former UNESCO ambassadors include personalities such as and educational projects across Brazil. “The e-brigade works to promoteformer South African President Nelson Mandela, Spanish soprano Montserrat sustainability in combination with design and lifestyle, making it cool to buyCaballé and French musician Jean Michel Jarre. socially and environmentally conscious products.”“It’s an honour to have received such a title,” he says with a modest smile, “butyou know, what is most important now is how I use it – if I can use it to show the “So what does that mean in practice, what kind of projects do the e-brigadiers work on?”world that sustainability is the future and that Brazil can lead the way towards “Well, for example, one of the projects to come out of instituto e is e-Fabrics,the sustainable lifestyle, then I will be one step closer to reaching my goal.” which focuses on identifying materials that respect fair trade criteria and sustainable development. e-Fabrics are made from all sorts of raw material,As he talks, the waiter brings us two lattes and an espresso for Oskar. “So tell ranging from recycled plastic bottles and reused jeans to organic cotton and silk. “us more about your vision for a sustainable future – what would that look “But how do you make that cool? How do you make people interested inlike?” asks Anouk. using or buying e-Fabrics?” “By using them in my collections and showing their versatility and attractiveness. That’s how I get other companies interested. KENZO has also started using e-Fabrics for example.” 101 The more Oskar talks, the more impressed we are with the sheer scope and“It is all about what I call the ‘Brazilian Soul’,” he says. “This is what I think diversity of his activities, which all come together around that central andwe Brazilians can really bring to the world: the energy of our people and our all-encompassing theme: sustainability.natural resources.” He looks out over the ocean as if he can see this sustainable world he wants toOskar believes that the ‘Brazilian Soul’ has the potential to be one his country’s create right there, and as he talks, we understand that every single one of hiskey assets on the international stage – Brazil’s premier export product. “Every ideas, projects and community initiatives is geared towards realising his vision.region has its strength,” he says, waving his hand towards the ocean. “The He sits back in his chair and looks down the beach. A big wave is rolling in fromUS stands for entertainment, Europe for culture and luxury brands, India for the ocean. A surfer who was waiting for this wave now climbs onto his board,spirituality and Asia for technology.” accelerates, swerves onto the crest, jumps and disappears under water. Oskar turns back to us, as if he has been teleported from the surfboard back to the table.He pauses and takes a sip of his espresso. “And Brazil? Brazil has nature:rainforests, water, rare plant and animal species, minerals... a huge wealth “So, to summarise,” I say, “you are using your name and brand to promotewhich too many of us don’t properly appreciate,” he points up the coast sustainability as a way of life – a cool way of life. Starting in Brazil, but I’mtowards the Amazon Rainforest that lies 3,000 kilometres northwest of us. sure you’re looking to make an impact internationally as well.”“Preserving this wealth is the mandate we have been given.” Oskar looks at the beach again, where the surfer is paddling along, waiting“So how are you going to make that happen – do you think people are aware patiently for the perfect Hawaiian wave. “The world is changing,” he says asthat this is your country’s mandate?” I ask. he turns back to us. “I can see it happening. Soon it will be irrelevant whereOskar raises two fingers and says decisively: “We have two options: exporting you are from – there will be no more geographical nations. Instead thereraw materials as we’ve been doing for the past five centuries, or creating will be lifestyle nations, people all around the world will connect based onvalue by taking care of our natural resources and ensuring sustainability.” ideas and attitudes.” He pauses for a moment. “It won’t matter where youHe pauses and looks at us to make sure we understand the weight attached to are born, or where you live – lifestyle will connect us. I want to be part of theeach of these choices. “So you’re saying that Brazil is at a crossroads – it is a sus tainable lifestyle nation and I want to make sure it is a cool place to be.”choice between further exploitation or preservation?”“Exactly, that’s it,” he says. I look at Oskar and Anouk and then turn to the surfer floating on the waves, and I realise that I already live there, in a place that is not defined by geography but by connections to like-minded people around the world. My lifestyle nation.
  • Meeting Roberto Stern House of design in “Roberto, jewellers have traditionally been a fairly close-knit group, sticking Ipanema to tradition and running their business with a certain degree of secrecy. How come you have broken the mould?” “When I took over in the 1990s,” Roberto says, “I took over a very successful business created by my father. He was an innovator from the start. Like you say, before him the world of top-quality jewellery was very much a closed book, but he opened up our doors to the public to demonstrate our craftsmanship. He was also the first jeweller in Brazil to use Brazilian gemstones like aquamarines, amethysts, topaz, citrines and tourmalines. Without his vision, these stones might well still just be the domain of stone collectors. Nowadays, they are used in jewellery around the world and are known as Brazilian coloured stones. We created a new demand.” “You’re something of an innovator yourself,” I say. “Where does your drive and creativity come from?” “I think I get it from my dad. The only way he could express himself was to do things differently, and I have the same passion. Although I am originally an economist, which helps me with my function as CEO, I got into design because I wanted to do things that people thought were impossible. Create shocking, imperfect, organic design. I also wanted to make the brand attractive to all generations and so transformed the business into a house of design.” “Why did you decide that was the best way forward?” I ask. “Since I started in 1995, globalisation has swept the world and consumers everywhere want the same thing: style. They are looking for creativity, simplicity and straight elegant lines. Being ostentatious is out. It takes significant effort to stay on the cutting edge but we are out there with ourBeauty amidst beauty global team anticipating trends, fashion and behaviour. It’s a far cry from theWe’re in Ipanema, the heart of Rio de Janeiro, and it’s quite simply traditional artisan shops jewellers were known for. In the past few years westunning. Its art galleries, cafés and restaurants and of course its famous have launched collections inspired by the arts, architecture, music and fashion.beach lend it an air of sophistication and elegance. If there’s anyone in this Recently, we asked Oskar Metsavaht to design a watch for us, and we havemagnificent city who really understands beauty, it’s Roberto Stern, CEO and just launched a unique Oscar Niemeyer line inspired by the curves he uses inCreative Director for H.Stern, one of the world’s leading, most innovative his architectural designs. But while we have grown younger, we still respect www.hstern.netjewellers. It’s our lucky day – we’re meeting him for coffee. and preserve our roots – top-quality craftsmanship.” 102
  • Genius images Moving with the times Masterful collaboration H.Stern has always been innovative. Founding father Hans was “We understood you work together with artists from all disciplines, what’s of genius the first to open up the traditionally closed world of high-quality jewellery the story behind that?” Iask. Roberto smiles secretly before he answers, design to the general public. He also pioneered the introduction of new, “That’s a good question. Our greatest change lies in our special collections coloured gemstones in design jewellery, creating an entirely new global and the people who inspired them. The principle behind this shift in direction demand. His son and successor Roberto continues along the path of was my desire to move from being ‘just’ jewellers into being a fully-fledged innovation as the first to collaborate with non-jewellers – artists, architects house of design. I got into design originally because I was curious and and even movie stars, successfully taking the company along paths unknown wanted to do things people thought were impossible. When we came up in the industry. And to the heady heights of the highest high society. We talk with the idea to work with others, it was not for marketing purposes, but to Roberto while enjoying another café latte. rather to create new, fresh ideas. I wanted to work with people who had no background in jewellery, but were masters in their own fields so we could “When I took over at the helm of H.Stern in 1995,” Roberto says, “I realised create a crossover between the two professions. We try to create one new the huge opportunities presented by the wave of globalisation of the last collection each year, and every two years we collaborate with a third party. 20 years. Looking to modernise the company, rejuvenate the existing, loyal I am intrigued though, because nowadays everyone seems to have jumped Carlinhos Brown clients and seek out a whole host of new ones, I became a pioneer in on the bandwagon with collaborations, although for them it’s still generally collaboration. about marketing.” The collection that really brought H.Stern into the media frontline was “And so, since taking over, I have taken the company in an entirely new the 1980s launch of the Catherine Deneuve Collection, inspired by the direction. While remaining true to the roots of the artisan jeweller in which unforgettable muse of Bunuel’s Belle du Jour . Within no time, the jewels specialist craftsmen create handmade pieces, our market and target group and the muse’s diamond-set initials ‘CD’ were seen on the necks, ears and have changed completely, or at least, expanded significantly.” wrists of stylish women around the world. This was the start of what was to become a huge success story. ‘Girl’ power Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Stern “Can you tell us what has changed?” Maarten asks. “For us, one of the Courageously curvaceous most interesting market developments in recent years is women’s greater Oscar Niemeyer is Brazil’s most famous architect and is considered one of purchasing power and independence,” Roberto continues. “Where in the the most influential names in international modern architecture. He never past husbands made almost all jewellery purchases, and hence often also tires of repeating that “architecture is of no interest, what is of interest is the underlying decision as to what to buy, contemporary women choose and life,” and his stunning work is defined by his own style – the lightness of purchase their own jewellery, and they have different tastes. They also wear curved forms that create spaces full of harmony, grace and elegance. It was jewellery day and night, combining a range of styles that are increasingly the basis for a beautiful marriage between two hugely different disciplines. non-standard. We have adapted to this development and closely observe “Just like yourselves, I was impressed by meeting Oscar Niemeyer in person Diane Von Furstenberg and Roberto Stern and interpret behaviour, style and fashion trends. In 2004, we made headline and getting to understand more about his work,” Roberto says. “What I news when Angelina Jolie wore a $10m H.Stern Athena necklace to the like most in his work is the way he plays with curves. He is right, we do not Oscars. Publicity doesn’t get much better than that.” find straight lines in nature, so we concluded we both like asymmetry and irregular contours, which are more human and natural.” It was the first time Niemeyer approved a collection of jewellery created in his honour, and based on his own sketches and curved lines. The pieces in the H.Stern Collection by Oscar Niemeyer are named after some of his works and famous projects. Find them on the net. They’re stunning. Oscar Niemeyer with H.Stern Designer 104 Tim Burton
  • Wonderfully audacious Marrying static art and fluid artLiving flowers, coloured mushrooms, a bird from the topiary garden, the Roberto is unstoppable, here is the next example: “Another collaborationCheshire Cat and the Jabberwocky Dragon. Sound familiar? Probably not was back in 1998 with Grupo Corpo, a flamboyant modern Brazilianif you’re a jewellery expert, as one of Stern’s most flamboyant collections dance troupe. Journeying into the universe of modern dance, our jewellerywas inspired by Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and made in collaboration design team studied all aspects of their renowned productions, from thewith Disney. conceptualization of each ballet’s theme and its choreography to costume and set design. This was something entirely new to our team, a very exciting“How did the collection come to be?” Maarten wants to know. “After a process.”detailed study of Alice’s universe,” Roberto explains, “our designers decidedthat the film’s underworld and its gothic mood would be our source of The resulting group of avant-garde jewels transcends the concept of jewelleryinspiration. Moving away from the obvious, well-known characters, we as objects, and creates an ensemble of unique artistic interpretation. Eachchose natural elements and spectacular creatures to give shape to five rings piece in this collection expresses fluidity of movement, and has its originsthat follow the intrinsic organic forms to the creative DNA of the brand. in a complex world where imbalance can be more important than planned, rehearsed steps.“We developed the pieces by starting from the natural elements, broughtto the jewels with tremendous detail and demanding intricate workmanship Roberto sits back and clearly remembers some of the events during the creationand incredible patience. Dozens of versions were made before we reached of this collection. “Expressing the energy of dance in a solid form requiredthe final result.” a new approach to tri-dimensionality and presented a unique dilemma when working with metal. We had so much material to work from, to work with…“I have seen the rings,” Anouk says. “They’re rings unlike I have ever seen textures, depth and movement that are dynamic, ever-flowing… but needed tobefore.” “That is exactly what we wanted to achieve,” Roberto adds proudly. be captured.” A short silence follows. “This project required a level of intuition,“In the film, Alice changes size several times, and so there are two sizes of of feeling and improvisation we had not experienced before,” he adds.ring: ‘human dimension’ and ‘extraordinary dimension’.”The latter really are remarkable – enormous sculptures that go beyond Enduringly innovativeanything known in terms of jewellery, measuring 10 cm in height. Yet, in our Roberto continues to innovate. With his collections, his target groups and hishumble opinion, no more extraordinary than merely having the idea in the technology. He is constantly on the look out for ways to change the industry,first place. How many times have you said to yourself “I could have invented including new gemstone cutting and polishing techniques. Time and time again,that?” Fact is, it never was you. It’s the pioneers out there that shape our you’ll find him rethinking established processes and relearning centuries-oldworlds. techniques from different points of view. With his courage, innovative strength and creativity, Roberto Stern has turned the world of jewellery upside down. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. 107 106 w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Today is a very special day. We are on our way to meet the legendary architect and artist Oscar Niemeyer in his office in the upmarket Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood of Copacabana. Located on the Avenida Atlantica, it has stunning views of the bay and the long oceanfront boulevard. Meeting Inside, we get a glimpse of how the mind of a creative genius works. The walls are covered with hasty sketches, detailed drawings and photos of completed Oscar Niemeyer projects; the desks are overflowing with papers and notebooks, and there are books everywhere. Niemeyer receives us in his library, surrounded by his books, and starts talking about Rio, which is for him all about the Brazilian soul – and youth. “Le Corbusier once said that I had Rio’s mountains in my eyes,” he says. “I laughed.” While Niemeyer celebrated his 100 th birthday in 2007, his mind remains as sharp as a knife and his spirit is young. I mention that it is a great honour for us to meet him, and he replies: “I am very happy to meet you too, I am happy that young people are interested in my work and that I can transfer my knowledge and experience to the next generations.” I ask him what his favourite building is. “Tough question,” he replies, “there are many that I like and several that I don’t like so much anymore. But let me turn the question around: what is your favourite building?” “We visited the modern art museum that you designed in Niterói during one of our previous visits to Rio and loved it,” Maarten says. “What do you think?” “Niterói was easy to design,” Oscar replies, “the site is so beautiful. There is a single central support with the architecture rising up around it, like a flower. Then the ramp, inviting people to visit the museum, a gentle curving walk through the architecture and the beautiful landscape, running under the building. “I don’t see my architecture as an ideal solution but, modestly, as my architecture. It is not the 90-degree angle that attracts me, nor straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve – the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of a beloved woman.” 109 “What was it like to work on creating the new Brazilian capital, Brasilia?” “It was a three-hour flight from Rio to Brasilia, which meant I had to live there for the duration of the project. I confess I did not have a good impression of the site. 108 Far removed from everything, it was an abandoned, empty land. When I moved to Brasilia, I invited some friends along – a doctor, two journalists and four other comrades who were not into architecture, who were funny and intelligent – because I didn’t want to spend the nights talking about architecture.” “The most important thing for me is not architecture, but family, friends and this unfair world that we need to change.”Photo by: Giuseppe Bizzarri / Folhapress
  • Meeting Carioca at heart Lenny Niemeyer An icon of the Brazilian fashion scene, Lenny Niemeyer started designing in swimwear in the 1980s when she moved from São Paulo to Rio. It all started when she was looking for bikinis – for herself and for friends back in São Paulo Botafogo – and was disappointed by the choice. “So I started designing them myself,” she says with a smile. “I started looking for different fabrics and prints and soon enough not only my friends were buying my designs, but also fashion stores.” But it was when she opened her own shop in Ipanema that she really got a feel for what women were looking for and how she could help women feel confident and beautiful in swimwear that suited their bodies. This continues to be her goal. “My main aim is to help women feel perfect,” she says. She explains that – unlike in São Paulo where you will probably go out to dinner or a play – in Rio you’re more likely to end up at the beach. “On the beach, you can’t hide and so you need the very best tools to present yourself. My beachwear is there to help you do that.” Using natural materials like cotton and different types of silk, she designs Brazilian bikinis, elaborate bathing suits and a wide range of after-beach wear and wraps – all with the aim of making every woman feel at ease in Rio’s glamorous beach scene. “So where do you get your inspiration?” I ask as we scan the colourful designs crowded on the clothing racks around us. “From around the world,” Lenny says with a sweeping gesture. “I travel to Asia and Africa to find new themes and designs and I bring them to Brazil.” Bringing together materials and designs from different cultures, she weaves them together with the ‘Brazilian soul’ to create signature designs. Yet, while she draws her inspiration from around the world, Lenny and her brand are inextricably linked to Rio. Even though she was born in São Paulo, she has become a Carioca at heart and, as a Brazilian celebrity, is strongly associated with the laidback Rio lifestyle and its famous parties. Right now she is working on a new collection inspired by 20 years of Lenny, revisiting signature designs and giving them a fresh twist. “If you really want to From Rio with love understand how I work and how I translate inspiration into pieces of swimwear, We meet Lenny in her spacious atelier in Botafago, one of Rio’s you should join me in making my new collection.” beachfront bairros. Surrounded by racks of clothing, print samples and piles110 of books, she welcomes us as though we have known each other for years. She immediately starts telling us about her new collection – a retrospective of Awesome! We’re super excited: we get to take part in designing Lenny’s retro- spective collection and will see the process unfold from today until the after- 20 years of Lenny – and asks for our input. party at Fashion Rio in three months time.
  • The coolest thing about being part of the preparations for Lenny’s In the midst of this whirlwind, Lenny is calmly sitting on the sofa in her office20-year retrospective collection at Fashion Rio is that we really get to see sipping a cafezinho. “Hey guys,” she says with a relaxed smile. “Everything A Brazilian soulthe creative process unfold, with all the excitement, the challenges and the under control?” Anouk asks hesitantly. “Ready as can be,” she says with ahesitations. It’s like getting a glimpse into the mind of an artist, and seeing twinkle of excitement in her eyes. “The catwalk is floating on the lake, against with inspirationhow her thoughts take shape, how she overcomes the obstacles and translates a backdrop of city lights reflecting in the Lagoa. You’ll see – it’s fabulous.”her ideas into a collection. from all over the world She describes the party venue, built entirely of sustainable materials,In the weeks leading up to the show, we see her creative genius at work at decorated with fresh flowers, with a rotating dance floor, two bars – one for 113the fitting sessions. As she critically reviews each piece, she doesn’t hesitate Absolut, one for champagne... “We even planted some extra palm trees toto rework a design from scratch. In other cases, she tweaks just a tiny detail give something back to the community.” We’re starting to get excited – she’sthat makes all the difference. even hired Brazil’s best DJ!But when we meet Lenny for lunch a few weeks later she seems preoccupied. “Before you go,” she says as she gets up, “I have something to show you.“I decided to do something different this year,” she says. “Instead of going to Come with me.” We follow her into the design studio where the collection isthe Pier Maua where most of Fashion Rio takes place, I am staging a catwalk on display. “Recognise this?” she points at a silk chemise. It’s the tinga tingaon the Lagoa.” design! Lenny has interpreted the image of the swimming fish and created a whole style around it. “It’s beautiful!” Anouk exclaims. So this is how ideasThe Lagoa is a lake on the edge of Ipanema with beautiful views of Rio’s famous travel and inspiration makes the world go round – from the outskirts of DarCorcovado Mountain with its iconic Christ statue. It’s an amazing setting for es Salaam to Amsterdam, into a book, and onto a Rio de Janeiro catwalk...a catwalk – especially for Lenny’s designs, which are often inspired by nature. When I ask Lenny how the evening is going to unfold, her eyes light up with“I decided to use only natural materials to build the catwalk, the audience anticipation. “For me the evening will start with interviews at the Lagoa –seating and the after-party venue – but construction is taking much longer I love this moment just before the catwalk. There will be a great buzz and lotsthan I expected,” she says with a sigh. of running around – models getting dressed, doing their make-up. The girls know each other so it’s almost like a get-together, with lots of giggling and“And then there’s the collection: it consists of 40 styles, and I’m still looking joking around – it’s lovely to watch... And then it will be show time!” she saysfor inspiration for the last style.” She gazes into the distance. “Actually,” she with a laugh.says as she turns to us with a little smile, “there was something I wanted toask you: remember that book you gave me?” A couple of hours later, the cream of Rio has gathered at the Lagoa venue. Everyone who is anyone on the Rio scene is here, not only to see Lenny’sLast time we saw Lenny we gave her a copy of our latest CoolTravel book, for new creations but also to be seen and mix with the celebrities and models.which we travelled around the Middle East and Africa. The catwalk starts, creating a huge impact on the audience, beautiful models, cool, energetic music and at the end a sparkling Lenny. The after-party kicks“When you were in Tanzania, in Dar es Salaam, you took a photo of a painting off with a spectacular firework display over the Lagoa. Champagne is flowing,of fish swimming in concentric circles,” she says. “I love that image. It’s like the DJ is working his turntables and Brazil’s jet set is gearing up for anthe flow of life.” unforgettable party.“You mean the tinga tinga artwork! It’s made with bicycle paint – that’s why it’s We push through the crowds, past the dance floor and the lounge area, inso shiny and vibrant. We actually liked that painting so much that we bought it.” search of Lenny. We find her in the garden beside the venue with a group of friends. “It was so amazing!” Anouk congratulates her. “The catwalk, the“Do you think I could use it for the collection?” models, the music – it was just perfect!” Lenny is radiant – proud of her“Of course – next time we go to Tanzania we’ll visit the artist to pay him the team, pleased with her new collection, and now enjoying every moment ofroyalties,” I say jokingly. this celebration.A few weeks later we’re back in Rio, heading to Lenny’s atelier. It’s D-Day: “I have something for you!” She rummages in her bag and brings out a smalltonight her new collection will be launched on the Lagoa catwalk, followed by white box with a black ribbon, which she gives to Anouk. It’s a bikini witha dazzling after-party. the tinga tinga swimming fish print. “Wow Lenny, this is great! Thank you so much!” “No – thank you for giving me your book and inspiring me. AndAs soon as we enter the building we are caught up in a flurry of activity: thanks to the artist as well obviously,” she says with a smile. “I’ve named theassistants whizz back and forth with phones glued to their ears, models line ‘Anouk’.”are trying on bikinis and beachwear, and stylists are making last-minuteadjustments. In the design studio, the head of PR is telling journalists about “Now that is really cool,” Anouk says, “having a bikini line named after me!the new collection, while staff carry large parcels towards the entrance, ready Lenny certainly does know how to make a girl feel special.”for transport to the venue. w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • 115 Two days ago we met Joel Renno in restaurant Forneria in Ipanema. During our conversation, we found out that Joel works for EBX, a huge company involved in mining, crude oil and lately in developing Brazil’s new super port. “This is going to be the Brazilian counterpart to Rotterdam and Singapore,” Joel told us.Meeting “Wow, that big?” I said. “But doesn’t EBX belong to Eike Batista, Brazil’s most successful businessman? What’s the man like?” I asked Joel.Eike Batista “Probably not at all what you’d imagine.” Joel says: “But, why don’t you findon out for yourselves? I will pick you up from your hotel Wednesday morning at 11am sharp.”Corcovado And here we are, Wednesday morning, driving through the streets of Rio, towards… “In fact, where are we actually going, Joel?” I ask. “Wait and see,” he says. At the end of Copacabana we turn left into a tunnel and exit in the Botafogo neighbourhood. “All we know about Eike is that he’s the most successful businessman in Brazil. What’s so special about him?” Anouk asks. 114 Joel waits a few seconds before answering. “The man has a super power. As he says himself, he has a special link with Mother Earth. And it’s as if Mother Earth is telling him where to find raw materials – like iron, gold and oil.” “What’s he like to work with?” Anouk asks. “Professional and very passionate,” Joel says. On our right there’s Sugar Loaf Mountain, one of Rio’s famous landmarks. The rock is almost 400 metres high and sticks out of the Atlantic Ocean at the entrance to the bay. A glass-walled cable car takes you up a 1400-metre stretch to some incredible views. “What is he passionate about?” Anouk asks. “Everything he does,” Joel says. “If he’s not passionate about something, he’s not doing it!” Before reaching Flamengo Beach, we take a left turn and make our way uphill. We turn right and left and then right again. And just as I want to say I have lost my orientation, Joel says: “This is it! From here we’ll take the train up to Corcovado. From the statue of Christ we’ll have a perfect view of one of Eike’s biggest passions: Rio de Janeiro.”
  • Eike Batista and the power of passionWe exit the train and are struck by the marvellous view over Rio. We’ve making Rio the most beautiful city in the world. I wanted to make the city I’m trying to think of a good answer, but I come up blank. “I hope the questions We walk on, following the balustrade, until we’re overlooking downtown Riobeen here before, but today is an exceptionally clear day. “A great day for safe, prosperous, clean and attractive. The perfect city for living and working. were rhetorical,” I think to myself. and Guanabara Bay. I look through my camera and focus on Santa Theresa.taking pictures,” I think to myself. Cidade Maravilhosa.” “Then I saw the light,” Eike says while raising his index finger. “The answer This is where we took the historical tramway over the Lapa bridge up on theWe walk up a small flight of stairs under the right arm of the Christ. There are I take out my camera and zoom in on Sugarloaf mountain, which we just was in the Olympics. If we could get the Olympic Games to Rio, then we’d hills and where we had a great lunch overlooking the busy city centre. I focusnot many people on the site. A man is leaning on the balustrade overlooking passed by car. A cable car just left the ground station. I wait until it is halfway be on the international stage. It would also give politics the necessary push. on the bay, adapt my shutter speed and click. “Nice shot,” I think out loud.the Lagoon and Ipanema. As he looks up, we recognise Eike Batista. and press the shutter. “Great shot,” I think to myself. “Rio certainly has the So I decided to invest a lot of effort into the bid for the Olympic Games.” looks to be the most beautiful city in the world.” “Clearly you chose the right way to go, as the Olympics will indeed be here “Okay, so you got everybody’s attention,” Anouk says. “What were your next steps?”“Welcome to one of my favourite spots,” he says. “I wanted to meet you here, to in 2016,” Anouk says. “And everybody is talking about it, from politics to the “So Rio was on the international stage, and everybody was focused,” Eikeshow you one of my greatest passions: Rio. By sharing my story about Rio with “That’s an ambitious vision. What was the next step?” Anouk asks. man on the street. And not only in Rio, or even Brazil.” continues. “The time was right for the operational part. This plan includedyou, you’ll get an insight into how I run my business; from a holistic perspective. “To achieve my goal,” Eike says, “I needed to involve more people, raise the over one hundred things to deal with; good challenges, including cleaning the“Let me start with my vision,” Eike says while stretching his arm to invite us stakes. But how? How could I get politics involved? And how could I engage “That is exactly what we needed – to create a good climate for investors,” Lagoon, restoring Copacabana to its original glory, renovating the downtownto follow him and walk around the Christ statue. “It started with the idea of the man on the street?” Eike says. “We got the train rolling.” area, upgrading the port area, building a new modern art museum, improving the city’s infrastructure, and many more.” I scan the city through my lens and see an aeroplane taking off from Santos Dumont Airport. More to the left I see the port area, which is being completely renovated while keeping the old look and feel intact. I continue to the left and zoom in on Maracana football stadium. “What about Maracana?” I ask. “Maracana was built to host the World Cup football in the 1950s,” Eike responds, “It is being completely renovated for the World Cup in 2014. When it’s finished, it will once again be the stadium the whole world is jealous about.” 117 “What about the favelas?” Anouk asks. “Are they also part of the master plan?” “I’m not a great believer in treating symptoms,” Eike responds, ”I believe more in stimulating the local economy and creating jobs. The master plan will create prosperity, also in the favelas. You don’t give a hungry man a fish, you teach him how to fish.” We’re passing under the left arm of the Christ statue and behind the Corcovado 116 mountains we can see the Tijuca Forest, stretching as far as the eye can see. “This is the world’s largest urban forest, covering some 32 km²,” Eike says pointing at the mountains, “the original rainforest covered the entire Brazilian coast when the Portuguese set foot on land some centuries ago. Tijuca Forest is therefore something we should protect.” “So what makes you so successful?” Anouk asks. “It all starts with passion,” Eike responds, “passion is my power. From there it’s like the full circle we made overlooking Rio de Janeiro. This is also the way I look at things. A 360-degree, holistic approach. Add perseverance and you can make things happen.” I turn my camera on Eike and zoom in on his face and push the shutter. “The power of passion,” I think to myself. w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Fight with The Iguassu River meanders through a forest called the Mata Atlantica before reaching its apotheosis in the Iguassu Falls. In the 16th century, when the Portuguese explorers reached the current Brazilian coast, the Atlantic a toucan Rainforest covered the complete coastline from north to south, much further than the eyes could see. ‘Civilisation’ replaced forest with cities and agriculture leaving only 7% of the primary forest. “Who needs trees, if you can have cities and cars?” I think out loud, while we’re following aat the Iguassu Falls track through the wilderness towards the river. “But then again, what will we breath when there are no more trees left? Carbon dioxide?” We decide to follow a trail towards the river to absorb the serene beauty of the wilderness. We hear a group of monkeys up in the trees. The noise approaches slowly and seems to come from different directions. Then we see them, crossing the track one by one, two levels up. They jump from tree to tree, stop and stare at us just as we are staring at them. “Is this the way to the river?” I ask them, while pointing in a random direction. They look at me as if I’m speaking Chinese, and then continue their route without answering. “Let’s assume this is the right direction,” I say and lead the way following the trail.Suddenly I have the feeling that we’re being watched. I look backwards on the track, but see nothing. I scan the forest, but all I see is trees. Probably there are hundreds of animals watching us, but we do not see a single one. Then I see a black and orange bird high up in the trees. It’s a toucan, observing each and every move we make. We continue walking, but the bird is following us from the tree tops. He moves down a level and starts shouting at us in toucan language. It’s as if he is yelling: “What do you think you’re doing in my forest!” I look up and reply: “Sorry, but I thought this was a public area and we’re just taking some pictures.” The toucan moves down a branch and continues shouting: “Well, take your pictures somewhere else, this is my forest!” I look at the bird, amazed by its arrogance and reply: “Who do you think you are, Elvis or something?” The bird comes down to ground level, settles on a fence of the boardwalk crossing a small stream. He sits there in silence and looks me up and down with a touch of arrogance in its eyes. “You may have a big mouth, but I’m at least ten times bigger than you are,” I say with confidence, “so no funny jokes, you hear.” I approach the bird slowly, but he doesn’t fly away. I take another step closer, and just when I’m taking my camera to make a close-up of this phenomenon, the toucan hops forward, takes the strep of my camera and starts pulling. ”I will teach you strangers, stepping118 into my world without my permission!” Surprised but not afraid I hold on to my camera and press the button, shooting some random pictures as proof of this assault. “I must say you have a big mouth for a small bird like yourself,” I reply. Then the bird lets go of my camera, flies away and positions itself in a tree top and shouts down in toucan language: “And you humans have really small brains, cutting trees and destroying the forest!” He turns his back at us as he finishes his monologue: “Now go forth… and stop multiplying!”
  • The city of many S ã o Pa u l o It is early afternoon when we arrive in São Paulo, a huge city with over 20 million inhabitants. From the 20 million we know only one person, Fernando, a colleague storyteller who we met on Facebook. “I will take you to an authentic and human-scale place to stay called Pousada Dona Zilah.” Two hours later, we’re strolling through the area south of Avenida Paulista, called Jardins. “The best street of the area is without a doubt Oscar Freire,” says Fernando. “Here you can find boutiques of the coolest Brazilian brands, like Osklen fashion, Melissa shoes, Agua de Cheiro, Havaianas and even a Romero Britto gallery. Shop till you drop.” We look up as a helicopter passes over Jardins. “This is not unusual,” Fernando says. “Due to the intense traffic jams on the roads combined with fear of kidnapping among the rich businessmen, São Paulo has become the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. There are over 500 private helicopters, and around 100,000 flights per year within central São Paulo.” As we stop in front of a very trendy shoe shop, Fernando continues: “South of this area is the financial district,” he says while pointing his arm in a random direction. “That is the area where all the main companies are located, around Avenida Faria Lima. Did you know that the São Paulo Stock Exchange is the second largest stock exchange in the world, in market value?” “That’s all very interesting,” I say, ”but more important, do you have 120 good coffee in São Paulo?” Fernando looks at me for two seconds before answering. “We have the best coffee and the best restaurants in Brazil!”South America - BrazilSão paulo226 miles fromRio de janeiroTime of Arrival 13:21 Pousada Dona Zilah
  • 122 OMO – a brand with a purpose After 20 minutes we arrive at the Pinacoteca, the oldest and one of the most important art museums of Brazil, since 1905 housed in this characteristic building. Here we have a meeting with Aline Santos, Global Senior Vice President for OMO. We find her on the terrace of the Pinacoteca café which looks out over the park. “Instead of in my office, I wanted to find the right setting to share my story,” Aline says, pointing at the tall trees in the park. We look at the trees and back at Aline. “Is OMO into tree-washing these days?” I ask. “Not the trees,” she replies, “but the children playing behind the trees. “A few years ago, we were sending out more or less the same message as everyone else, using the same language and the same images. This is a great danger in this market: the threat of commoditisation. Besides, we didn’t want to just be talking about ketchup stains anymore; we needed a message that mothers would remember even after the laundry was folded away in the cupboard. Brands without a purpose have no future in today’s competitive market. “So, we came up with the Dirt is Good concept, which was a revolution in detergent land, where dirt used to be the enemy. We started encouraging parents to let their children play outside more. Let your kids discover the world, let them get dirty and OMO will take care of the dirt.” Aline points again at the children. “I remember my own childhood, I played outside with my brothers all the time, climbing trees, building tree houses, running around, feeling free and getting the opportunity to explore the world around me. This is not only important for kids, but also for the adults they will become.” The São Paulo sun is shining in the park, we leave the café, start walking towards the children and stop in the shade of the trees. I watch the running children, then turn to Aline: “So Dirt is Good has become a philosophy?” She pauses for a few seconds. “You can say that it has outgrown OMO as a product and has become a wake-up call for mothers. “Using OMO as a vehicle, we started spreading the message about the importance of playing and exploring. The physical and emotional development that go with A walk Dirt is Good it. Children have the right to play, to be children. Of course, in the end we are We leave our pousada just after breakfast. We walk to the corner of a detergent producer and I have to make sure we sell enough products, but we in the park the street where we hail a taxi. “To Parque da Luz next to the Pinacoteca,” make sure that we have a purpose in society.” I say in my best Portuguese. The taxi makes a left turn, then a right and then a with left again, zigzagging through the streets of Jardims Paulista. “I love this part We walk back towards the Pinacoteca and I turn to Aline. “It is a most of town,” Maarten says while looking out of the window. “It doesn’t feel like interesting challenge you have, creating a higher purpose for a detergent,” IAline Santos Farhat we’re in a metropole of 20 million inhabitants.” say. “It probably isn’t a walk in the park at all.”
  • Dirt is Good We’re in Aline Santos Farhat´s office at the Unilever headquarters, a light and airy suite with a view over São Paolo. We’re lucky to be in town at the same time as Aline: as OMO’s Global Senior Vice President, she seems to be constantly on the move. “It’s part of the job, since OMO is present in more than 70 countries,” she says as we sit down at a large round table. “I have to liaise with all the local marketing departments and make sure that the brand messaging is in tune across the board so that the brand potential is truly unleashed.” “And what is that message?” I ask. “Last time we met you told us briefly about OMO’s Dirt is Good campaign, but how do you develop such a concept to suit your widely diverse markets across the globe?” A truly global brand “This is exactly the question Unilever faced back in 2002,” Aline says with a smile. “We had a product with over 40 different brand names worldwide, all with their own packaging, positioning and advertising.” She pulls up a set of slides on her iPad and shows us the different brand campaigns from the early 2000s. It is immediately clear that OMO’s message in Brazil was quite different from the brand image of Surf in India, Skip in France or Breeze in Thailand, which in turn seemed to have little to do with the 124 brand positioning of Persil in the UK, Ala in Argentina or Rinso in Indonesia. “Wow,” says Maarten, “talk about a challenge! I see what you mean: the brands were very diverse in their messaging.” “Yes and no,” says Aline as she shuts down the presentation and turns back to us. “Yes, because the messages were so out of tune with each other that there was no global positioning – no strong single message.” The threat of commoditisation “But on another level, OMO and its sister brands were just detergents telling the same old story that dirt is bad, with nothing to distinguish OMO from the rest of the market. OMO was sending out more or less the same message as everyone else, using the same language and the same images. That is a great danger in this market: the threat of commoditisation.” w.aroundTheworldin8 0brands.comread more sTories on ww
  • As Aline explains this, I try to think of recent detergent campaigns and realise “In Vietnam, the brand has such an iconic status that we managed tothat I can’t clearly remember a single one – they all seem to blend into a single influence the government and change the school curriculum with ourad about micro particles deeply penetrating fibres and lifting away stains, and Dirt is Good campaign. Now kids in Vietnam get recess during the school day,mothers hanging bright white sheets on clotheslines. and therefore time to play and develop,” says Aline.“You’re right,” says Maarten, “if you think about it, all the detergent brands’ “In the UK, our PR film featured a little girl baking a cake. She gets her clothesmessages were the same, promising ‘stain removal’, ‘best ever results,’ all sticky in the process, but she is thrilled to be mixing the ingredients andetcetera... it was all totally forgettable.” decorating the cake all on her own. “By telling these small personal stories in local contexts, we really struckBrand with a purpose a chord with mothers and built up huge brand loyalty at a global level.“Exactly,” says Aline. “Unilever realised that we needed to take a different Obviously, this great brand purpose has to be supported by a great detergent,”approach: we needed a purpose. We didn’t want to just be talking about Aline concludes, as she shuts down the presentation.ketchup stains anymore; we wanted to ladder up from a product to a humanidea. We needed a relevant message that mothers would remember evenafter the laundry was folded away in the cupboard. Brands without a greater Child development okay,purpose have no future in today’s competitive market.” but what about the profit?“And this is where Dirt is Good comes in!” I say. “I’m starting to see the “So what has this meant for sales?” Maarten asks. “Does engaging in a deepergenius of this strategy. Dirt is Good conveys a radically different message purpose like child development actually translate into tangible growth?”and instantly distinguishes you from the rest of the market. It is an intriguingmessage from a detergent brand, so it grabs consumers’ attention.” “Absolutely, all you have to do is look at the figures: in less than a decade OMO has seen double-digit growth year on year, from less than $400 million“That’s right, but it’s only one part of it,” says Aline with a confident smile. to over $3 billion. It has become one of the biggest Unilever brands.”“Cleaning children’s clothes was nothing new, and if we just celebrated theenjoyment of getting dirty, the brand would never have become so successful. “Wow,” I say as I look at Maarten and then back at Aline, “the ultimate proof,Instead, we started promoting the idea that there is some deeper benefit to if we still needed it, that dirt really is good!”be had from getting dirty. We conducted global research directly with mums tohelp us really understand their concerns, so we knew this idea would resonatewith them. With a line that ‘There’s no Learning without Stains’, OMO startedto show how getting dirty is an integral part of children’s development.”The right to play 127“We are encouraging mothers to let their kids play, explore and discover. Letthem dig into the sand and the mud, make paintings, climb in trees, playfootball – anything that will stimulate their minds and help them growmentally and physically. The message to mothers is: ‘You take care of yourchild’s development, we will take care of the laundry.’”“Very cool,” says Maarten, “from being ‘just another detergent’, you are nowtaking a stand for children’s rights and really engaging in a global debate.”“It has been a huge challenge, but also a great success that has resonatedglobally in all the very diverse markets we operate in.”“Yeah, so tell us how you translated this core concept into advertisingcampaigns in different markets,” I say.Aline immediately opens up another set of slides on her iPad. “In Africa andsome parts of Latin America, we showed children overcoming their fears andgetting dirty in the process.
  • We’re on our way to the outskirts of São Paulo. Luciano is zigzagging his The digging is done. Now we have to wait for the truck with the materials:Building a house way through the heavy traffic. We met him a few weeks ago, when he told us about the NGO he works for – ‘Um Teto Para Meu Pais’. “It means ‘a roof the wooden poles, the prefab walls, windows and doors. And, of course, the prefab ‘teto’. for my country’, and we build houses in the favela for the poorest of the in a favela and poor,” Luciano says. “A favela, by the way, is kind of a shantytown. Most of the people here don’t even have the very basics of the Maslov pyramid “We’ve already been waiting for over two hours... and still the truck with materials hasn’t turned up,” Henrique, one of the crew members, says. – safe shelter.” “Let’s have lunch. Marcia has prepared chicken, rice and beans for us.” changing lives After more than an hour, we leave the main road, take a few turns and find During lunch it starts raining. It’s gentle to start with, but then gets more ourselves at the entrance of the Tonnato favela. Here we’ll help build a intense. The holes for the foundation are filling with water. “Where is that house with other ‘Um Teto’ volunteers. We leave the car at the edge of the %$^!*%. truck?!?” one of the volunteers shouts. favela and continue our trip on foot. We turn left and right and left again 128 and find ourselves in a labyrinth of little streets and alleys. We see Luciano approaching. He’s talking on the phone, not looking very happy. “The truck is stuck in the mud. It won’t be here before dark, I’m “In total there are almost 1000 volunteers working this weekend in six afraid,” he says looking at Marcia. “Of course we have tomorrow, but we different favelas building 100 houses,” Luciano tells us with a clear sense need two days to finish the house. Maybe we can do the walls and roof of pride in his voice. We turn left again, followed by a sharp right. I’m tomorrow and come back next week for the windows and door. I’m so starting to wonder whether Luciano knows where he’s going. sorry, Marcia.” Then we enter a random street and see a group of young people, all with Marcia who is carrying her one-year-old baby in her arms has a worried the same T-shirt. “Most of the volunteers are students, with different look on her face. “If God wants it this way, then that’s okay with me,” backgrounds and different nationalities. The one thing they all have in she replies. common is the drive and the will to change things,” Luciano says. “We need a team of eight people to build one house in one weekend. Let me “It’s getting dark,” Luciano says. “Let’s try to be back here tomorrow introduce them to you.” morning before sunrise. That will give us an extra hour.” In the pouring rain we walk towards the local school where we will spend the night. ‘Poor Our group is building for Marcia and her three kids. We start by removing Marcia’, I’m thinking. the old cardboard house and digging four holes for the four poles that will serve as the foundation for the house. We talk to Marcia in our best The next morning we walk the same route in opposite direction. It is still Portuguese and try to get her story. “The moment we have a house where dark, but the rain has stopped. Last night was fun. Somebody brought a my children are safe, I can start working more and generate a better guitar. There was music and laughter, but now nobody is laughing. It will income and my children could go to school,” Marcia says with a smile on be a long day and we won’t be able to finish Marcia’s house. She and the her face. “Maybe I could have my own little lunchroom, in front of the kids will have to spend another week without a warm shelter. house. One of the things I do best is cook.” As we enter the street, we see the truck has already arrived. As we come closer we see other ‘Teto volunteers’ have started to unload the truck. As soon as they see us, one of them walks towards us. “Hi,” he says. “We’re from the other favela. We heard you had some problems so we’re here to help you. If we start right away, with six extra people, we should be able to finish the house today.” It’s six p.m. as we place the house’s final piece – the door. All the volunteers are gathered together in the small, 3x4-meter house. It is time for the inauguration. I take my camera and look through the lens at Marcia. I see tears in her eyes. Then I turn my camera to the volunteers. They are crying too. Luciano takes the official papers out of his back pocket, ready to hand the house over to Marcia. He looks at the volunteers, at the kids, and then at Marcia. He hands her the document and says: “Welcome to your house.”
  • “Here we are,” says the taxi driver, as he pulls up in front of anon-descript garage door in a deserted street. He has taken us to a part ofSão Paulo where we have never been before to meet Humberto Campana, one 130of Brazil’s most renowned designers and one of the two Campana Brothers.There is no company name on the door, but there is a doorbell. “This shouldbe it,” I say as I press the bell. “Or maybe it isn’t,” I reconsider as the door Meetingremains closed. “Great. The taxi has gone and here we are in downtown SãoPaulo and no Irmãos in sight.” Irmãos CampanaAt that moment, the door swings open and a woman invites us in with awarm smile. This must be Ana Paula, the brothers’ business, marketing andcommunications director and Humberto’s right hand.“Now we’re talking,” Maarten says as we enter a large space crowdedwith tables, chairs, lamps and cupboards. “We have just landed on PlanetCampana!” From amidst this jumble of furniture, Humberto suddenly emerges.“There sure is a lot of stuff,” I say. “Do you produce all your pieces here?”“Actually,” Humberto says, “the best way to tell our story is by strollingthrough our atelier. So I suggest that we walk and talk – does that suit you?”“Sure, we’d love to take a peek behind the scenes,” says Maarten as we followHumberto into the workplace.“This is where we create prototypes, make special items and produce our owngoods. We don’t have a factory so there is no mass production – every pieceis custom-made. We do work with some partners, like Edra in Italy, who havelicences to produce some of our designs, but that’s about it.“For us, it’s not about high sales figures, but about the creative process,”he explains as we walk past a craftsman who is welding pieces of metaltogether. It’s interesting to think that this will soon turn into a – more or less– comfortable chair.“Most of our inspiration comes from São Paulo,” Humberto resumes. “Thechaos of the city and the total lack of any architectural standards make it afascinating patchwork of inspiration for us. São Paulo appears hostile, butright under the surface you find humanity.”Ana Paula continues. “The brothers attach a lot of importance to sustainability,local production and the use of natural materials. By choosing sustainabilityand low environmental impact, they hope that others will learn and followtheir example. It is a way of life.”Humberto interrupts: “But watch out! We aren’t lecturing society – we aredoing this to express our beliefs. We have always drawn inspiration fromeveryday objects that we come across on the street or in a corner shop.“For example, I once walked past a street vendor whose stall was filledwith teddy bears,” he says as he walks over to a lounge stool made withteddy bears. “This is what we turned it into. This chair is an icon of our time,illustrating our need for comfort and tenderness.”“Can I try?”“Of course!” says Humberto with a broad gesture. “Make yourselves at home.”“Hmm, this is nice,” I say as I sink into the arms of the teddy bears. “Guys, I’llbe right here if you need me… In the meantime, could you bring me a latte,please?”
  • Brazil’s New-Generation Serial EntrepreneurWe’re strolling through Jardins Paulista, one of São Paolo’s upmarketneighbourhoods. The street scene is an eclectic mix of luxury boutiques andold-school corner shops, trendy restaurants and high-rise apartment blocks. It’sa sharp contrast to the favelas that lie on the outskirts of this metropolis, andonce again underscores the huge contrasts and enormous social differencesthat exist in Brazil.But things are changing – Brazil is booming. It is one of the few countries inthe world with strong economic growth and each year millions of people riseabove the poverty line. Later today, we are going to talk to Henrique Pinto,who is part of a new generation of entrepreneurs. With their new businessethics, these entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the country’s neweconomic power.We sit down at a café on Rua Oscar Freire and order two large lattes. “Let’ssee what Google has on Henrique,” I say as I take out my iPad. “Born in thecity of Belo Horizonte, on one-hour flight from São Paulo, he started his firstbusiness at the age of 18. Since then he has founded more than 10 highlysuccessful companies from scratch,” I read out loud. “And as if that weren’tenough, his businesses are highly diverse, ranging from granite and marble tobusiness aviation, through fruit juices to cosmetics and construction. Seemslike everything he touches turns to gold.”“I wonder if there’s a secret,” Maarten jokes as he leans back and takes a sipof coffee. “Maybe he has a secret alchemist’s formula that he uses to turnall his businesses into gold.” I scroll through the Google results. “I can’t findanything about a formula, and he’s certainly not making a secret of it. He is Meetingsharing his knowledge by giving motivational speeches to his employees andhigh-school students.” H e n r i q u e A l v e s Pi n t o“What does he talk about?” Maarten asks. “What is the main message?” I tap inon the iPad screen and scroll down. “Let me see… it’s about the power of themind. Here he quotes Henry Ford: ‘Whether you think you can or you think you J a r d i n s Pa u l i s t acan’t, you’re right.’ So actually, I guess he’s teaching young people to believein themselves.”“Sure,” Maarten replies, “but it’s more than just words – he shows themthat it’s possible. The guy practises what he preaches.” I look at a photo ofHenrique on the tablet. “I’m seriously looking forward to meeting him.” 133
  • H e n r i q u e A l v e s Pi n t o After we order drinks, I turn to Henrique. “So we hear that you are something “ Jeitinho brasileiro,” says Henrique as he turns to her with a smile, “a very New business ethics of a serial entrepreneur, setting up successful businesses one after another. Brazilian term, how can I translate it?” He makes a snaking motion with his “That’s right,” says Henrique, “but of course it’s easier said than done. ‘The power of the mind’ Do you have a magic touch or is Brazil changing?” hand. “It’s about always finding a way round the rules: breaking traffic laws, It was hard work, we faced resistance every step of the way… We had to bribing officials, evading taxes, getting your distant relative in the ministry to fundamentally change this country’s business ethics, and make a decisive shift “Ha!” he says with a broad smile and a twinkle in his eyes. “Good question! speed up a procedure… basically corruption and nepotism. away from corruption.”It’s a hot and sunny day in São Paulo and we’re on our way to meet I guess it’s a bit of both. You know, I have no pretentions, I come from a “Forty years ago it was the way to get ahead, what smart people did – andHenrique Pinto, one of Brazil’s leading ‘new-generation’ businessmen. We’re in modest background. When I started out at the age of 18, I had everything and kids were raised to admire people who made it and got rich through jeitinho. “And what do the new business ethics mean in practice?” asks Maarten.the upmarket Jardins Paulista neighbourhood, looking for a restaurant called nothing: on the one hand I was lucky to have a caring and supportive family It was a system that made the rich richer, and left the poor with noFigueira that is meant to be near the famous Oscar Freire shopping district. behind me, and to have received a good education. On the other hand, I had opportunities. For kids growing up on the bottom rungs of society, the only “It’s many things on many levels: it means paying your taxes and abiding by“Apparently the place is built around a gigantic fig tree,” I tell Maarten. no connections, and no financial backing whatsoever. I was hungry though, way of succeeding, of living the dream, was football.” the law, but also sharing your success, motivating people and showing peopleHe looks at me with a sceptical smile and I can see him think, “A giant fig tree, I had an unstoppable drive and the will to succeed. I saw the opportunity my that if you really want something and set your mind to it, you can make it,”in the middle of São Paulo, sounds like an urban myth,” but she only smiles parents had given me and was able to make the most of it.” “So how did you get around jeitinho?” asks Maarten. “How do you break a explains Henrique.and says: “Sounds special – let’s go check it out!” system like that?” “Okay,” I say, “but there are plenty of young people out there with ambition “My generation and those after us have turned things around. Today’s youthThere’s a distinct Brazilian mood in the air at Figueira – people sipping and goodwill, but they don’t make it to the top by the age of 37.” “By fighting it.” Henrique suddenly has a fierce look in his eyes. “A dream reject everything to do with jeitinho and Brazil is a different country than itcocktails, laughter and flirting in the air, and the rhythms of bossa nova in is just a dream if you don’t wake up every morning and go fight for it.” He was 30 years ago. We have generated a virtuous cycle in which the economythe background. And, as promised: a giant fig tree in the middle of the patio Henrique gazes into the distance as he considers my remark. “That’s true,” he pauses for a minute and takes a sip of his açai fruit juice. “I’m not saying is moving from strength to strength, more and more people have accessdining area. As soon as we walk in, a sharply dressed 30-something-year-old says as he turns back to look at me. “I’m not saying it was easy. Brazil was a it was easy – it was a struggle. We – by ‘we’ I mean the new generation of to education, infrastructure is improving and overall living standards andguy steps up to us. “Anouk, Maarten! Welcome to São Paulo! Come this way, different place when I started out. The economy was isolated, not everyone entrepreneurs – were trying to change deeply engrained habits. We didn’t just expectations are constantly rising.”let’s sit down.” had access to education and – worst of all – you needed jeitinho to get want change for ourselves, we wanted change for the country.” anything done.” “I read that in the 1980s Brazil was defaulting on its debt, while today it’s “And you did that setting a new example,” I say. “And by inspiring people to the eighth largest economy in the world,” says Maarten. “That’s a pretty “You needed what?” asks Maarten with a puzzled look. believe in themselves.” unbelievable change to be part of.” Henrique nods. “It’s been an incredible journey. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than contributing to my country’s development by giving people the opportunity to prove themselves. Together with a small group of entrepreneurs, we made Brazil what it is now. We invested heavily in the domestic economy, played by the rules and provided thousands of families with the opportunity to rise out of poverty. As an example, the CEOs in three of my companies started as interns. They now run multi-million dollar companies with me; they’ve literally grown together with the companies.” Motivational speaker “We heard you also give motivational speeches to the younger generation and underprivileged communities. I can really imagine people are inspired by you – both by your words and your achievements,” I say. “Where do you draw this incredible strength from?” Henrique laughs. “I’m a strong believer in the power of the mind: if you work hard and believe in yourself, if you unleash all your passion and capacity, then the world is your oyster. I am deeply convinced of this – it is how I live and how I work.” 134 135
  • We arrive in Cuiabá in the late afternoon and we meet Ailton Lara at the airport. Ailton lived all his life in this area and has become a wildlife specialist. “Tomorrow we have an early start,” he tells us when he drops us off at our hotel. “Don’t forget: long sleeves, a hat and mosquito repellent.” It’s 6am when we drive out of town in the direction of the Pantanal, a Close encounter wetland the size of England. The road is straight and the traffic is almost non-existent. After a two-hour drive we make a stop in a small town called Poconé where Ailton stops the jeep near the marketplace. “Here we will with a jaguar buy food and water for the coming days,” he says when we stroll over the local market. “One day we will eat beans, rice and meat, the next day it will be meat, rice and beans.” I laugh, but at the look at Ailton’s face, I see he’s not joking. But then again, I never expected this to be a five-star culinary journey. It’s five in the afternoon when we arrive at the end of the road. “This is it!” Ailton says cheerfully. We look around but all we see is a river in front of us and forest on the sides. “This is what?” I ask, as we get out of the car. “This is the end of the road, from here on we will take the boat,” Ailton replies. “Over there is the Puma lodge, where we will stay overnight,” he continues, pointing in the direction of the woods. There are several lodges around for birdwatchers, fishermen, nature lovers and people like us, in search of a jaguar. “Let’s prepare our dinner. Today it will be beans, rice and meat,” Ailton says with a big smile. The next morning at sunrise we’re navigating a small boat upstream in search of a jaguar. From the big river we take a left into a smaller river, then a right into a creek and then a right again where we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere. “The first thing we have to do is look for footprints on the river beds,” Ailton says with a low voice, as if he thinks a jaguar will hear us. Just as we decide to call it a day, Ailton suddenly shouts: “There he is!” We look in the direction Ailton is pointing, but see nothing. “Look there!” Ailton says, while pointing at the skies above the forest. “What are you 137 pointing at?” I ask, “a flying jaguar? The sun has done more damage to your brain than we thought!” I laugh, “There are only birds up there.” Ailton changes the direction of the boat and looks at us like a schoolteacher would. “The birds you see circling up there are vultures, they feed on the carcasses of dead animals. The Jaguar has made a kill!” Zigzagging through the labyrinth of rivers and creeks we approach the crime scene. Slowly we scan the coastline, peering into the forest. “After dinner, he probably heads for the river for a drink and some sunbathing,” Ailton says. A joke about beans, rice and meat pops up in my mind. Then there is this shadow moving in the woods. And it disappears again. We stop the motor and the boat comes to a standstill. We scan the edge of the forest in complete silence, but see nothing. Suddenly there he is, 150 kilos of muscle and teeth staring at us. In amazement we stare back at him. “Wow! This is a very special moment,” I say softly. “It sure is,” Ailton replies, “but shouldn’t you take a picture?” w.aroundtheworldin8 0brands.comRead more stories on ww
  • We leave Manaus Harbour early in the morning, a speed boat taking us across the Rio Negro. After 30 minutes, we are put ashore at a tiny village where a minibus is waiting for us. From here we follow a trail through the woods. The trees get taller and the forest denser. More than an hour laterSwimming with we arrive at the end of the road. “We’re here,” the driver says. We get out of the bus and look around. “Where is here?” I ask. We sit and wait, enjoying the silence. After 20 minutes another speed boat pink dolphins arrives. We travel along rivers and creeks and creeks and rivers. We see trees, trees and more trees. “How is it possible to find your way through this labyrinth?” I ask the man steering the boat. “There are no signs andin the Amazon everything looks the same.” The man doesn’t answer, so I sit back and enjoy the view. “He would probably get lost driving in Paris,” I comfort myself. Two hours later, the man turns to me and says in Portuguese: “There it is,” pointing in the direction of the forest, “there’s Juma Lodge.” “In the pictures the cabins were in the treetops,” I say, looking at the little 138 houses at river level. “They are,” the man replies, “but in the wet season the river rises 15 metres.” The next morning we’re sitting on the boardwalk, overlooking the river. Our guide, Bina, comes and sits next to us. He is a local, born and raised in the Amazon Rainforest. “What do you want to do today?” he asks. “A reconnaissance of the igapós, the flooded forest? A short hike and instruction in jungle survival?” “You know,” I say, “we have been travelling for several months now, meeting people and brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We would be quite happy doing nothing, right here in the middle of the rainforest.” Bina looks disappointed. “I could show you the medicinal plants of the rainforest, the pharmacy of the world... I can take you to the tallest tree in the rainforest. The sumaúma can grow up to 40 metres tall.” “No thanks,” I reply, “we’re fine here. We’ll do some meditation overlooking the river.” “As you wish,” Bina says, “I’ll bring you some açai juice later and while you’re here, you can go swimming or maybe do some piranha fishing.” He turns around, follows the boardwalk in the opposite direction and disappears in the treetops. When we first arrived I thought there was total silence, but I was wrong, there is just a different dimension of sounds. I close my eyes and hear the wind in the trees and the water against the boardwalk, birds and an occasional howler monkey. “Do you hear that?” Anouk asks. “Do you hear that whistling sound?” I concentrate, but hear nothing. “There it is again!” Anouk says. I listen again very carefully, but hear nothing. “It’s probably a bird, up in the...” Before I can finish my sentence, a dorsal fin slices through the water 20 metres away, and then another. “Did you see that?” I ask Anouk. “Those are pink river dolphins.” We see three or four dolphins swimming just in front of us. “Wow,” I say, taking off my T-shirt, “I swam with a whale shark in Djibouti, this is my chance to swim with a pink dolphin.” I unlace my trainers and glide off the boardwalk into the water. “Are you sure you want to do that?” Anouk asks. “Of course,” I reply, “Bina mentioned that we could swim.” “So I heard,” Anouk says, “but he also mentioned piranha fishing.”
  • We are staying at the Casa Hamaca guesthouse in Valladolid. The host, our friend Denis, invited us to pay him a visit of a few days: “If you do a Yucatan, Mexico trip Around the World in 80 Brands, writing stories, Yucatan is a must. The best stories are here. Maya culture is amazing. The Mayas were excellent astrologists and mathematicians. They invented the 0 before any otherthe end of the world culture. And the biggest story is of course the Mayan calendar and the predictions of the end of the world in December 2012,” he had said over the phone. “Wow, ‘the end of the world’, that sounds like a great ending as we know it for our book,” I replied with a smile. The very first morning of our stay, Denis explains his plan for the day: “I will take you to Chichén Itzá, one of the most important Maya cities. Let me show you the Kukulcán pyramid and even the mysterious calendar.” On the way to the famous temple complex, Denis tells us more about Mayan 140 culture. “The people working for me in the guesthouse are Mayan. They speak Mayan, cook Mayan, soon I will start dreaming Mayan,” he jokes. As we enter the temple area and see the huge pyramid we feel impressed by the size on the one hand and by the finesse of the architecture on the other. It is not just big stones put one on the other, but the staircase leading to the top of the pyramid bordered with a giant snake statue is almost frightening. “You guys, go up, to the top of the pyramid, while I go over there to take a picture,” I say pointing in the direction of a smaller building, called the Jaguar Temple. As I mount my camera on the tripod, I see Anouk and Denis almost reach the top of the temple. I look through the lens and adjust the shutter speed to the surrounding light, when I suddenly hear a voice behind me say: “It will be the end of the world as we know it.” I turn around and see this typically Mayan-looking man, wearing a white robe. “I’m sorry?” I reply. He looks at me as if he’s looking right through me, in a sort of friendly way though. “The end of the calendar means the world as we know it, will come to an end. The way people live, their relation with the planet, nature and with each other will end.” “I don’t know what to say,” I mutter, “you take me a bit by surprise with this prediction.” I look at the pyramid and see Anouk waving at me. I wave back and turn to the man again. “Is there anything I can do?” I ask. “You travel a lot,” he says, “you see many different cultures around the world. Tell people from other cultures to change their ways. Let them become conscious of the higher goal in life.” “Maarten, Maarten, are you okay?” I look over my shoulder and see Anouk and Denis approach. “Did you take the picture?” she asks. “No, not yet. I was talking to this Mayan priest,” I reply pointing behind me. “What Mayan priest?” Anouk wonders. “This Mayan ....,” I say turning around and discovering that the man has disappeared. “But there was this man, just a few seconds ago... I swear!”
  • At the start of our trip around the world, we were invited to a Bacardi Legendary partyparty in Berlin, by some friends who work for the brand. They told us 2012will be its most innovative year since the creation of Bacardi rum in 1862. in HavanaThroughout the year, they will host one-of-a-kind birthday parties for their150th anniversary, around the world. They also talked about their Cuban 143heritage and we decided to visit the island and see it for ourselves.So here we are, sitting in the back seat of a red classic American convertible, readyto explore the Havana night life. "This baby is a 1958 DeSoto convertible,” thedriver says, tapping gently on the dashboard. “It’s not a car, it’s a time machine.”The car accelerates and turns left onto the Malecón, the promenade and seawallthat stretches for 8km from the Old Havana to the Vedado neighboorhood.The driver is a man in his seventies with a large, unlit cigar in his mouth.Seeing me look at the cigar, he says, "I stopped smoking a long time ago, but Istill cant get used to not having a cigar in my mouth. That’s why all my friendscall me Tabaco.""What brings you to Cuba?" Tabaco asks, looking over his shoulder. “The first Cuba Libre was created in 1900,” Facundo tells us as I watch Tony"Were making a trip around the world, writing stories about people and prepare our drinks. "That means its already 112 years old in your time," he says.brands," Anouk says, trying not to complicate the job description by using "What do you mean, in our time?" I ask.phrases like third-party storytelling and creating talk value. "Oh, nothing," Facundo says quickly and continues the story he started. "At the"Theres a long heritage," Tabaco nods. "The Bacardi family started a rum end of the Spanish-American War, some American soldiers asked for their Coca-distillery in Santiago de Cuba in 1800 and something. But after the revolution Cola to be mixed with Bacardi and lime and by doing so created a new 1959, all the businesses on the island were confiscated. Bacardi was forced They toasted to Cuba’s freedom and the drink was named Cuba Libre."to leave Cuba and went to... somewhere else." Tony puts our cocktails on the bar and Facundo raises his glass. "Cuba Libre!""Puerto Rico," I say, "I think Bacardi went to Puerto Rico where they started he says. “Cuba Libre!” we repeat after him.the business again with the secret formula and original yeast.” Tabaco nods “I hope you like these stories from the good old days,” Facundo says. “Did Ias if he suddenly remembers. tell you Bacardi hosted a great party celebrating Ernest Hemingway winning“And Bacardi started his distillery in 1862,” I add. “I know because the parties the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature?" he asks without waiting for an answer.that are being organised around the world this year, are to celebrate the "Hemingway lived in Cuba for many years and even wrote about Bacardi in hisbrand’s 150th anniversary." book The Old Man and the Sea." "This man is like a walking history book," I think to myself.After a 20 minute drive, we stop in front of a tall building with a bell tower on "Let me tell you something else,” he continues. “The passion and entrepreneurialthe roof. "Where are we?" I ask Tabaco. "Youll see when you get inside," he spirit shown by the Bacardi family in Santiago de Cuba a century and a halfsays. "Ill park the car and catch up with you later.” ago gave birth to an exceptional rum that would change the spirit industry forever. For the past 150 years, Bacardi has brought people together throughWe enter the building and admire the Art Deco design. We follow the signs to legendary parties.” Facundo pauses for a moment to let the words sink in. “Ithe bar on the mezzanine level. As we walk up the stairs I notice a familiar still recall the parties we had in the twenties, during the prohibition in thesymbol on one of the lamps. "Theres the Bacardi bat," Anouk says. "This United States. We received the entire jet-set for our cocktail parties.”must be the Edificio Bacardi. It was completed in 1930 and was the original “How do you mean, you still remember the parties in the twenties,” I say,headquarters of the Bacardi company.” “that would mean...”We step into the bar. Couples sway to the beat of salsa music and bartenders mixcocktails with practiced ease. We must look a little lost, because a man approaches At that moment Tabaco comes into the bar. We wave at him to catch hisus. He has a distinguished look and a friendly face and is wearing an outfit from attention and beckon him era long gone. “There’s probably a dress code for tonight,” I think to myself. 142 "Join us for a Cuba Libre," I say. "Our friend here has just been telling us"Welcome to Edificio Bacardi. My name is Don Facundo," he says. "Were having about how the cocktail was created and about El Coco. Its exactly the kind ofa party like the ones they had in the Roaring Twenties, when film stars and information we need for the Bacardi story we want to write."singers flocked to Havana. Let’s have a drink,” he says and leads us to the bar. "What friend?" Tabaco asks.“He has the same name as the founder of Bacardi,” Anouk whispers, “Don Facundo We turn around, but the bar stool next to us is empty. Theres no sign ofBacardi, who started the distillery in the 19th century in Santiago de Cuba.” our storyteller. "He was here just a minute ago. He said his name was Don“What would you like?” our host asks, pointing at the bartender. “No, don’t Facundo,” I say.say anything. I’ll order for you. Tony, three Cuba Libres for me and my new "Sure," Tabaco says, "Don Facundo Bacardi was here... talking to you. I thinkfriends, with Bacardi rum of course." you may have had one cocktail too many. Let me take you back to the hotel."
  • New York rocks We are in downtown New York. We have been here several times before N e w Yo r k and know Manhattan pretty well. We are discussing our plans for the day while enjoying a caramel macchiato in one of the zillions of Starbucks cafés that help keep New Yorkers awake. “Let’s see, what will it be this afternoon?” I ask. “We could take some pics from the top of the Empire State Building!” “Again?” says Anouk. 145 “Skating in Central Park?” I suggest. “Done that!” Anouk replies. “Check out the Bronx?” I try. “Hmmm, maybe not,” is the answer. North America - “A helicopter flight…?” I persist. Anouk is having one of her attacks ofUnited states of America ‘been there, done that’ and rolls her eyes at every suggestion. “We are in one of the world’s most switched-on cities,” I say. “Why don’t you come New york up with something.” 4.758 miles from São paulo Anouk decides to order another coffee while I try to breathe calmly and empty my mind. When she comes back, she has a big smile on her face! Time of Arrival 09:42 “I’ve got it,”she says. “I picked up a leaflet from TKTS ticket sellers. Why don’t we go to a Broadway show? New York is the capital of live entertainment.” “Well, I don’t know,” I lie, while secretly thinking it is a great idea. “What show is on?” “In an hour, we can go and see Billy Elliott,” she says. “No, too girly,” I say. “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert?” she asks. “No, too Australian,” I say. She didn’t make it easy on me and I’m not going to make it easy on her. “ The Lion King ?” Anouk persists. “Mmm, no, too childish,” I reply. “Pfff,” Anouk sighs, “Do you want to stay in this Starbucks all day? Come on, I’ll look off-Broadway; maybe we can find something cooler there. What would you like to see?” “I don’t know, something that really rocks,” I say. Anouk scans the leaflet and then her eyes light up. “Here’s the perfect show, Rock of Ages. What do you think?” “Cool,” I smile. “Let’s rock!”
  • We exit the underground at Spring Street station and emerge at Meeting We cross the street at Prince Street and turn left.Sixth Avenue. Mark Sherwood “Another great example of a Lovemark,” Mark says, pointing at The Body Shop“I love SoHo more each time we come back,” Maarten says. “The buzz, thebrownstones, the great restaurants.” in on the other side of the street.“And don’t forget the shopping potential,” I say with a smile. SoHo “That is one of my favourite brands,” I say. “With her focus on corporate social responsibility, Anita Roddick reinforced the idea and the belief that a better world is possible. So for me, it’s The Body Shop or nothing.”We are heading onto Spring Street where I take a pic of the typical fire escapesbefore taking a right turn onto Greene Street. We’re meeting Mark Sherwood “That’s what it’s all about. People love and protect their Lovemarks, are loyalfrom Saatchi & Saatchi at the Burberry store. beyond reason and don’t quite know what to do when they’re taken away.”“Meet me at the Burberry store on Spring Street, we should start our brand We are now heading towards Broadway, cross the street and are almost hittour there,” he told me over the phone when we set our meeting. by a yellow cab.“Maarten… Anouk?” we hear behind us. We look over our shoulder and “Yellow cab is a brand, all right, but far from being a Lovemark,” Mark jokes.recognise Mark from his profile pic on Facebook. “Nice meeting you guys,”he says. “I’ve been following your trip Around the World in 80 Brands on “And another one,” Mark says, pointing at a shop front decorated entirely inFacebook. I really love the story of the jaguar hunt in Brazil.” Hello Kitty stuff. “It’s amazing how kids LOVE this brand. It is often the third word they learn; mum, dad, Hello Kitty.”“Mark, nice to meet you finally,” I say. “We wanted to hear your story aboutLovemarks.” “So Mark, what is your Lovemark?” Maarten asks. “Amazon?”“That’s why I wanted us to meet here,” Mark says. “In the temple of one of “No,” I say, “I think you are more a Facebook kind of guy.”my biggest Lovemarks as an Englishman in New York: Burberry. The brand wasfounded in 1856 and has since survived many changes in the world. They are “Or maybe Lexus?” Maarten says.still on top of the game, now thanks to creative director Christopher Baileyand his uber-cool design team. “All great brands, but my favourite Lovemark is right here,” Mark says, pointing at a store right next to him. “Welcome to Dean & Deluca.”“Let’s take a walk,” Mark says. We enter the store and the waitress walks towards us. “I am so sorry, but weWe exit the store and walk along Greene Street in the opposite direction. are fully booked.”“A Lovemark is a brand that inspires Loyalty Beyond Reason,” Mark continues. “Maybe you should change your Lovemark into Starbucks,” I joke.“A few years back at Saatchi, we bundled our experience and came up with adefinition of our take on modern communications and brands. And we believe 146 “Never, a Lovemark can disappoint you, but you accept and you forgive. That’sit’s about Lovemarks. Certain brands attract people because they speak to one of the main features of a Lovemark.”people’s hearts and inspire Loyalty Beyond Reason.” As we’re heading towards the exit, the waitress says, “One second, we“For me that would be Harley-Davidson,” Maarten says. “We’re doing part of can manage to get three chairs together in a corner. It is not particularlyRoute 66 by bike in the next weeks and I am really looking forward to meeting comfortable, but we will offer you a coffee to make up for it.” www.saatchi.comup with some other bikers.” Mark turns towards us and winks.“Harley-Davidson is a great example of community branding,” Mark says.“At Saatchi we’ve moved from ‘selling by yelling to selling by involving’. And “That’s what I call a Lovemark.” 147we help brands understand that they need to get people involved with theirhearts. You could sort of call us the Lovemarks Company.”
  • As Anouk gets up to go and order another coffee, I take a look around. “But, I mean, this is huge,” I add. “How are you going to make a difference“Your average Starbucks crowd,” I think to myself. “Apart from that lot at the Meeting here? We’re talking about global health, tradition, culture, eating and livingnext table. I wonder what they’re up to?” habits, people who live in remote areas, etc.?”Sitting at the table next to us is a bunch of smartly dressed men and women healthymaginationhuddled round a tablet. Their conversation seems pretty intense, with steely “That’s exactly our point,” Robert says. “We’ve made a shared commitmentsilence while one of them works on the tablet alternated by moments of to creating better health for more people. Really together. Not to brag, butrapid-fire chatting and laughter. I catch part of the conversation. we’ve created some brilliant ways for people to access our know-how in a“No, it’s a low fat latte... That’s 175 calories.” low-threshold kind of way. ‘I’m expecting’, for example, is a pregnancy“Yes, but you added caramel so it’s up to 215.” application that’s helping mothers track symptoms, add doctor’s appointments“Looks like you’re running tonight for at least 30 minutes or it’s salad for and even upload snapshots of the bump. ‘Morsel’ provides a daily taskdinner,” one of the women says laughing. that anyone can do to improve their health each day. It’s real, hands-on,Never shy, I tap one of the guys on the shoulder. “Hi. I couldn’t help overhear 148 ready-to-use help that’s available to anyone.”you guys talking. Is that something to do with Weight Watchers? You see,we’ve been on the road for weeks now and I’m starting to feel pretty unfit. “That’s true, Robert,” Rachel confirms. “But the apps are just a tiny portionI can only speak for myself, but I could do with some healthy living for a while.” of what we’re doing. Let me explain the scope. We have committed $6 billionJust as I finish, Anouk comes over with two more caramel macchiatos and a to this project. That’s 6,000,000,000. Three billion is being invested in R&Dslice of lemon cake. I look meaningfully at Anouk, and then at the guy at the to launch at least 100 innovations that lower the cost of healthcare, increaseother table, who smiles. access to equipment and improve quality – all by 15% – by 2015.”“I see what you mean,” he says with a broad grin. “Hi, I’m Robert. No, it’s “Wow – that’s a lot of money,” I say, amazed. “But Robert, can money alonenot Weight Watchers. We’re all from GE Healthcare – umm, General Electric achieve that sort of change?”– and we’re testing a new app called My Diet Diary. It’s pretty cool actually.You enter your personal details and it helps you plan what you can eat, keeps “In a word, no. Our CEO Jeff Immelt always stresses that healthcare needs newtrack of your calories, suggests meals and an exercise routine, etc. The most solutions. For him, and us, it’s about innovating with smarter processes andimportant thing is that it’s all tailored to you.” technologies so we can help doctors and hospitals deliver better healthcare to more people at a lower cost.”“Now that’s what I need,” Anouk says, staring with a somewhat guiltyexpression at the cake. “Can I download it?” “But what sort of solutions?” Anouk asks.“Sure. You’ll find it on our healthymagination website,” says Robert. “For example,” Robert continues, “some of our latest innovations include a low-cost digital x-ray machine, portable ultrasounds, more affordable“Ahh. Now that rings a bell,” Anouk responds. “We did a story a couple of cardiac equipment. They’re all going to cut costs for doctors, hospitals, theyears back on ecomagination – your sustainability programme. Is it related?” government, families and businesses. We’ve seen it happening already. Rural and urban areas and developing countries can now get their own technologyOne of the ladies at the table gets involved. “Hi guys. Robert, if that’s okay?” on site for a decent price.”He nods. “Hi, I’m Rachel. I’m the General Manager of Healthymagination atGE Healthcare and I was also involved in ecomagination. To answer your “But what does that bring GE, except a good image?” Anouk asks. www.healthymagination.comquestion: no they’re not really related, except that I think it’s another greatinitiative. Instead of sustainability, this project is all about healthcare.” “Well,” Rachel says, “GE is a commercial organisation, but we believe that brands should have a purpose. What role does a brand play in people’s life,“What did you say? Healthymagination?” I ask. 149 in society? The purpose of GE, with healthymagination, is to provide better and affordable healthcare. We are convinced that we can do great things for“Right,” Rachel responds. “There are some pretty scary things going on out there. people and still make a sound profit, which is essential for the survival andChronic disease is getting out of hand and populations are getting older and sustainability of the company.”older. Did you know that every year 100 million people around the globe fall into [ From the General Electric website: The healthymagination charter is (bypoverty due to healthcare costs? Or that around two billion people live without 2015) to improve the quality of care by 15% or more, to reduce the cost of “Wow,” I say. “You’ve set yourself a serious challenge. But if your ecomaginationaccess to basic healthcare? Here in the US, weight is one of the most obvious procedures and processes through the appropriate use of GE technologies results are anything to go by, I’m sure you’ll make it. I’m definitely checkingproblems, but it’s not the only one. Smoking, Alzheimer’s and all sorts of cancer and services by 15% and to increase the access to essential technologies and out the My Diet app whatever happens. I need to fit into these trousers for theneed our close attention. At GE, we want to help people get back on track.” services essential to health by 15%. ] rest of our trip. Thanks!” w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • We’ve been in New York for a couple of days now and our schedule has been packed with meetings: lunch with international designers, drinks with new contacts and brainstorming sessions with branding experts. But today we’re having a day off! We’re going to have a stroll through CentralMeeting Park, have lunch at Dean & Deluca and maybe head to MoMA in the afternoon. “No!” says Anouk as we finish breakfast, “let’s go and see my friend Melissa first, she’s really great, you’ll like her.” 151 “Ok,” I say as I finish my caffe latte. “I’ve never heard you mention her before. What does she do?” “I met her several times in São Paulo,” says Anouk. “She’s amazing – you’llthe girl from Brazil see, very trendy and creative – I guess she’s in her early thirties. She works with creators from all over the world: Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood,in Campana Brothers, even with the architect Zaha Hadid.”N e w Yo r k “Wow, that’s a pretty impressive list…” “Yeah, and on top of that she’s just launched her own design academy.” “And so what does she design?” “You’ll see, you’ll see,” Anouk says with a mysterious little smile as we head out of the hotel. “Last time I saw her, she told me to come and visit her if we ever came to New York, as she was about to move here.” Anouk pulls out a small map. “She’s down on Greene Street in SoHo – I love that neighbourhood and I think it really suits Melissa’s style as well.” “Ok, let’s go!” I say as we head down 7th Avenue. “I’m curious to hear her story!” “I have the feeling she wants to conquer the world,” says Anouk. “First her own gallery on Oscar Freire, the trendiest street in São Paulo; now she’s in New York… I wonder what she’s planning next!” “Well, I guess we’re about to find out,” I say as we stroll past SoHo’s trendy boutiques and art galleries into Greene Street. “So does she know we’re coming by the way?” “Yes she does!” Anouk turns to me with a big smile and points at a colourful shop window. “Here we are: Galeria Melissa!” “Hang on… now I’m confused: is Melissa your friend or is it a brand? Anouk, are you making friends with brands now?” Anouk laughs. “She’s both: an amazing shoe brand that creates more than just shoes – they’re fashion accessories. She’s a global fashion icon.” Galeria Melissa New York 150
  • A man approaches us: “Hi, I am Paulinho, we spoke on the phone.” Paulinho is responsible for the Melissa brand. “Welcome to Galeria Melissa SoHo,” he I try to ignore him and continue. “I can see why the Campana Brothers says, sweeping his arm, inviting us further inside. “You are now in Melissa’s like working with the Melissa brand. What other artists get excited by the Plastic Dreams world of plastic dreams.” concept?” “It looks like a dream world,” I say. Brightly coloured paintings and sculptures are pulling my attention in several directions. Staff members, all wearing “Melissa’s ethos attracts designers from around the world and from diverse Melissa shoes, are busy straightening displays and constantly glancing out the disciplines,” Paulinho says. Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and large display window. “What exactly is going on here?” I ask. Alexandre Herchcovitch are just three of the world’s top designers who have designed shoes for us.” Paulinho smiles. “The crew is excited because there’s a rumour that a celebrity is coming to shop with us today.” “Who are some Melissa designers from outside the fashion world?” I wonder out loud. Maarten’s eyes light up. “A celebrity as in a movie star?” he asks. “Zaha Hadid, the first female architect ever to win the Pritzker Architecture “We see quite a few models and actresses here,” Paulinho says to Maarten, Prize, in 2004, loves working with plastic and fashion,” Paulinho says. “Her lowering his voice and leaning towards us, “it might be Kate Moss.” vision of form is amazing. She says she loves the fluidity of design that plastic allows, without requiring closures as leather shoes do.” “Maybe we should continue our tour before it gets crazy when this mystery shopper arrives,” I suggest. “How do you find new talent, to stay ahead of the crowd?” I want to know. Paulinho has the answer: “Edson Matsuo, who leads our Creative Team, also “That’s a good idea,” Paulinho agrees. “This is an art gallery where you can runs a project called Melissa Academy. The purpose is to invite fresh creative buy Melissa shoes, but where you can also see other work by the designers minds to come up with brand-new ways to design with plastic. To keep the and artists who collaborate with us,” Paulinho explains. “Every few months concept as broad as possible, we didn’t ask the students to design a shoe. We we change exhibits to showcase a different designer.” asked them to design a ‘walking object’. The results were unbelievable and three of the creations actually went into production.” “That’s cool. But why do these established artists want to design plastic shoes?” I ask. Paulinho replies, “Melissa represents plastic as design. Our A group of trendy people is gathered just outside the door. The sales people shoes protect your feet while you go from one place to another, but they are have stopped straightening displays and some of them are now busy putting on more than just footwear. They are fashion accessories. They are design pieces.” lipstick and adjusting their hair. Maarten and Paulinho are suddenly standing up taller. They are not paying much attention to the shoes. “Men,” I sigh. “Kate Moss has so many different looks, and they’re all terrific, aren’t they?” Maarten says to Paulinho, who nods his head in agreement. I roll my eyes; “How cool for the students!” I exclaim, trying to break the ‘Anne Hathaway’ we’re here to talk about Melissa, not Kate. spell. “It is very exciting,” Paulinho agrees, still glancing over his shoulder at the front door. “Our first programme was at the Geneva University of Art and “Whose art are we seeing now?” I ask. “It’s really cool.” Design. Our goal is to foster the same kind of exchange at all the major design schools. It is our vision to catalyse entirely new approaches to plastic.” “This installation is by the Campana Brothers,” Paulinho tells us. “Fernando and Humberto have worked with Melissa for years. They are also Brazilian. They like “What’s the secret behind the plastic itself?” I ask. “How do you make these using everyday materials to represent the chaos of life, but in a beautiful way. cool shoes?” That’s why they were so taken with the idea of design shoes, made of plastic.” “We began refining our plastic early on. We wanted a better quality PVC, really There’s a flurry of activity near the door as a limo slows by the kerb. “It might flexible, elastic and longwearing. And recyclable!” he adds before continuing. be Anne Hathaway,” Paulinho whispers. “She has been seen wearing Melissa “We patented Melflex technology, which covers both the material and the shoes several times.” injection moulding process. It is exclusive to Melissa. We’ve also played a lot “Tell me more about this plastic,” I say, picking up a shoe sprinkled with with different effects and textures, as you can see.” Swarovski® crystals. “Oh my gosh,” a sales girl says loudly. “Jason Wu is here!” My eyes go wide: “There is a huge revival of plastic in fashion right now. Designers like it this is a Melissa designer, right here in SoHo! “I love Jason Wu, I love the 152 We head into the gallery, which doubles as an exhibition space where because it is versatile and colourful. It’s fun. Melissa has been able to translate Melissa collection he made!” I say with excitement. Maarten and Paulinho artists and designers who collaborate with Melissa exhibit their work. “This all kinds of touch and texture into fantastic forms with plastic,” Paulinho says. look disappointed as Jason enters the store. boutique feels very different from the boutique in São Paulo on Oscar Freire,” I comment to Maarten. “But it’s just as cool.” “Do you know she’s going to play Catwoman?” Maarten says excitedly to “Plastic is fantastic,” I say with a big smile. Paulinho. “Anne Hathaway, I mean.” I start thinking Maarten is losing sight of 153Galeria Melissa São Paulo the reason for our visit. w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Michael Mendenhall, President 2We enter the LIPMAN building at West 14 th MeetingStreet, in the Meatpacking District. We takethe elevator to the third floor and exit in a very Michaelstylish reception area. “I see that you met David,” Michael says coming into the room, followed by “It’s a transmedia approach,” Michael continues. “The starting point is an Mendenhall the two dogs. “Please sit down.” online platform, linked to a series of books. A television show will be the next“Good morning, how can I help you?” a well- step. People can discover Archteypes via different entry points.”dressed woman behind the reception desk asks us. at “Maybe I’ll see you guys later,” David says, while walking out. “Michael, before I forget, I am a Visionary, Artist, Rebel, Intellectual.” “Multi-platform delivery I understand, transmedia approach I understand, but“We have a meeting with Michael Mendenhall,” LIPMAN what is Archetypes?” I ask.I reply. Before I get the chance to ask Michael what David was talking about, he starts off. “Some time ago Archetypes’ founder came to us and asked us to help her. “You know here at LIPMAN we believe in the three-way dialogue – not just“Ah, you must be Anouk and Maarten,” she We immediately recognised its social value and interesting business potential brands talking to consumers, but consumers engaging with brands, and David Lipman, Creative Chairman Andy Spellman, CEOsays. At that same moment Michael enters the so we decided to help her transform the concept into a viable enterprise.” consumers engaging with each other because of a brand,” says Michael. “Thisreception followed by two happy dogs. “Hi there, is what Archetypes does incredibly well.”welcome to LIPMAN, good to see both of you “Wow, can you do that?” Anouk asks. “As an agency I mean?”again, now in real life.” “Okay,” I say, “by explaining the Archetypes business case to us, I now “Yes, well LIPMAN is both a consultancy and creative agency. One of our understand the LIPMAN approach to business. But that leaves me with oneWe met Michael some years ago when he strengths is we can get projects like Archetypes up and running with funding question: exactly what is Archetypes? And what is this Artist and Rebel thing?”was CMO at HP. We e-interviewed him in the through our private equity group.HALO-room in Palo Alto from a HALO-room in “Oh right. Sorry, I got carried away,” Michael replies. “You could seeAmsterdam. But it felt like sitting at the same “For Archetypes, our consultancy team created value propositions, defined Archetypes as the start of a new global language that helps you discovertable. strategic points of difference, personality, and designed the technological who you are, who you’re meant to be, and why you love the things you do. infrastructure. Then our creatives in user experience and visual design brought The mission is to help you build a place that reflects your personal lifestyle,While one of the dogs checks me out by sniffing the Archetypes idea to life as a living brand.” learn new things about your friends, and find the things you truly love. Inmy shoes, the other dog leaves the stage by short, this idea is about creating your own personal brand related to yourgoing through an open door. “I’ll be right “So,” Anouk says, “if I understand correctly, Archetypes is an example of how personal identity.” Julius Roberge Jennifer Pasiakosback,” Michael says, following the dog, “he still your company model can rapidly incubate and launch a new business fundeddoesn’t get the concept of ‘the dog following the by your private equity group.” “I just Googled the definition of archetype,” Anouk says showing her iPad.master’.” “Archetype – a universal pattern of behaviours that, once discovered, helps Before Michael can answer the question, the door opens and a guy sticks his people understand themselves and others.”“Come this way,” the receptionist says, making head inside. “Sorry to disturb your meeting, I just wanted to say ‘hi’ to youan inviting movement with her left arm. We guys. I am Julius, responsible for strategy and planning here at LIPMAN... we “Exactly. Archetypes is a tool that can help you simplify things and so savefollow her through the open loft office space spoke on the phone last week,” he says. “If you have some time left after time,” Michael replies. “And it all starts with a small test, called Archetype-Me.”with wooden floors. We enter a spacious meeting your meeting with Michael, I would love to share some ideas on storytellingroom, where a man is sitting at the far end of with you. Speak to you later.” Before closing the door he adds, “By the way “And… What is your Archetype?” I ask.a large table. A laptop and some designs are Michael, I’m an Artist, Mentor, Rebel.”spread out in front of him occupying almost half “I was really impressed when I took the the test because I recognised myselfof the table surface. Before I can ask what that means, Michael is already back on track. “That’s in the answer and learned a little something, too,” Michael says. “I’m a exactly right Anouk,” he says, referring to her last remark. “We’ve created Visionary, Intellectual, Artist, Sportsman.”“Come on in,” the man says, getting up, “my Henry Wang multi-platform delivery of content, community and commerce.” Rahul Agaskarname is David Lipman, Creative Chairman of “Ha, why doesn’t that surprise me at all?” www.lipman-nyc.comLIPMAN. I understand Michael is meeting you “Wow, it sounds like a cutting-edge business plan,” Anouk says. “But what’stoday to share with you our newest venture, it all about?”Archetypes. I am sorry I can’t join you, we areworking on launching another game-changingbusiness. Only this time it’s a brand we’re 3re-inventing. It’s a household brand I’m sureyou know well. But you have to wait until theholidays to see it! Sorry for the secrecy, know how these things are.” W.AROUNDTHEWORLDIN8 0BRANDS.COM READ MORE STORIES ON WW
  • Born to be wild Ro u t e 6 6It’s early in the morning when we enter the Eagle Rider shop in Flagstaff.From here we will ride the Route 66 to the Santa Monica pier. We’rereceived by Jim, who’s a local from Arizona. “For the trip you’re aboutto make, I recommend you take the Fat Boy” Jim says pointing at animpressive black bike standing just in front of the shop. I sit on the bikeand push it to a vertical position to feel the weight.It has been some time since my last ride, so I have to get used to theweight and the power of the machine again. I push the start button andthe engine emits the unmistakable Harley sound. I engage the first gearand the bike slides away very smoothly. “Take it around the block,” Jimshouts. The bike roars when I accelerate and I become part of the trafficon the Route 66. Visions of Easy Rider’s Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopperpop up in my mind. “Born to be wi-hild…” I sing out loud while I takemy Fat Boy around the block.As I return to the Harley shop, I see Anouk sitting on an ultra-whiteHeritage Softail. In her white outfit on the white bike, she looks as ifshe’s doing a commercial for a detergent. “Harley-Davidson makes yourlaundry whiter than white.” Twenty minutes later we wave Jim goodbyeand ride our bikes over the Route 66 in the direction of Kingman, fromwhere we will make a detour to Las Vegas. North America -Five hours and 270 miles later we hit the Las Vegas Strip and park our United states of AmericaHarleys in front of the Bellagio. The plan for this evening is to lose alimited amount of money at the roulette tables and see a Cirque de Soleil Route 66show in one of the theatres. “Of course we’ll have to finish the evening 2.312 miles fromin the Harley-Davidson café down on the strip,” I say. “It’s only one block New yorkfrom the hotel, but we’ll take our bikes anyway to make the experiencecomplete.” 157
  • There’s a moment of silence as people absorb this new perspective, followed by Matt’s “anyone else?” Here’s my chance to ask my question about Harley-Davidson and sustainability, I think to myself. But before I can ask openHarley-Davidson, mean but green Meeting my mouth, a journalist asks him something about Community-Based Marketing.“Matt Levatich is in town!” I say to Anouk who is sitting across fromme at the breakfast table at the Belagio Hotel. She’s staring straight ahead, Matt Levatich “Every brand community must be part of a business strategy not just aemotionless, at the black coffee in front of her. She looks exhausted. We spent marketing strategy,” I hear Matt saying. “Brand communities exist to serve thethe day before cruising Route 66 and discovering the Las Vegas nightlife. i n L a s Ve g a s people in the community, not the business.”“He’s here as a speaker at a business conference. Look. Here,” I say, pointingat the Las Vegas Tribune . Silence again, I raise my hand in order to attract Matt’s attention. At the same 159 time I see the journalist of Bikers magazine raising his hand, probably with a“Who’s Matt Levatich?” Anouk asks, without so much as a glance up from question about some new bike or another technical innovation.her coffee. “Yes Jeff,” Matt says to the man from Bikers magazine . “Matt, can you tellWithout answering her question, I continue “There is a meet and greet at the us something about the latest innovations, like the anti-lock-braking-systems,Harley-Davidson café in one hour. I want to ask him why Harley-Davidson does and the fly-by-wire throttle control?” the man well on the list of most sustainable companies? Finish your coffee and let’sget over there.” “You know Jeff”, Matt says, “we employ cutting edge technology to keep our motorcycles ahead of the chasing pack, but when you have a heritage“Who’s Matt Levatich?” Anouk asks again. as rich as ours, one of the greatest challenges is to continue improving your motorcycles with the latest technology while retaining the classic look andI look up from my newspaper to see whether she’s joking or not. But feel of a Harley.”something in the way she’s staring into space tells me she’s not – she’snormally really excited by this sort of thing. “Matt is the President and CEO Judging by the sound the audience is making, the crowd agrees. Time for myof the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. This is the perfect opportunity to find question, I think, while raising my hand again. Matt is looking into the crowd toout how a company like Harley can produce ‘sustainable’ bikes. The café is just select the next question. I raise my hand even higher. Matt is pointing into theacross the street... I mean strip. So let’s go.” crowd behind me. ”Yes, ma’am, what is your question?”Fifteen minutes later we enter the Harley-Davidson café. The wall opposite the “Damn,” I think to myself. “I’ll never get to ask my question about theentrance is covered with stars and stripes. There are tables and chairs in the Harley-Davidson sustainability programme now.”centre and along the sides. At the far end of the room a group of about 50people is gathered around a table. We approach and see Matt, surrounded by I look over my shoulder and see Anouk with her hand raised. “Hi Matt. I’mbrand fans, both men and women and younger than I would have imagined. Anouk from CoolBrands. We’d like to know how Harley-Davidson made it into the top of the Dow Jones sustainability index?”“Our sustainability focus is driven by our customers’ appreciation ofnature and their experiences with it on the open road. Harley owners thrive on “Hi Anouk. Welcome. Thanks for that question – it’s a good one if you thinkfreedom and are looking to escape to beautiful places. And that means we about the amount of raw materials we use. But our bikes are really sustainablehave to try and protect and preserve that nature,” we hear Matt saying. precisely because we use the good stuff. I challenge you to say you’ve ever seen a Harley in a skip. That’s because they’re so recyclable.“Excellent!” I think to myself and lean over to Anouk. “They’re already talkingabout sustainability.” Secondly, 70% of the pollution is in the production process. And we’ve changed a lot of things in our manufacturing over recent years – a lot of small”On the other hand,” Matt continues, “we’re really conscious of our things that, put together, have really cut our environmental impact. In someimage at Harley-Davidson. We have to balance our existing image – which manufacturing processes by as much as 99%. But this is just the tip of theis somewhat rebel-like – with a more conscious, caring approach to the iceberg in everything we’re doing to reduce our footprint on the world. We haveenvironment. It’s not easy, but if you think about it, they do actually go high-level teams across all our sites that focus only on ‘greening’ our company.together. We are individuals. We do things our way. And so we want to look If you want the nitty gritty, you can check out our sustainability reports. Doesafter ourselves and our world.” that answer your question?” 158 “Yes, that all makes a lot of sense,” Anouk says to Matt, before turning to me. “Can we go now, I’m dying for another coffee,” she whispers.
  • Meeting Hong Liem “Hey, Hong is in Los Angeles as well!” I shout to Anouk, who is on a lounger on the balcony of the hotel, overlooking Santa Monica pier. “He just in posted on Facebook saying he’s here for an annual marketing meeting of the Walt Disney Company. I’ll contact him to see whether we can meet up.” Los Angeles Hong Liem, apart from being a Facebook friend, is CMO of The Walt Disney Company in Benelux. We met in 2008 and spoke about the acquisition of Pixar, 160 the Toy Story makers. “One of the most interesting things about this deal,” Hong said at the time, “is that it’s normally the big companies that come in and influence the little companies when they buy them. Here the opposite happened. The Disney way was no longer the only way.” A year later Disney bought Marvel, the home of characters like Spider-Man and Iron Man. “It helped us reach more boys and boost the live-action-movie pipeline. The box office results for The Avengers , the first Marvel / Disney release, show a great success.” “Ding,” says my iPad, notifying me that Hong has answered my message. “Excellent. We’re meeting him this afternoon,” I say to Anouk, who’s still looking over the Pacific Ocean. She answers without getting up: “Where’s the meeting? Downtown Disney District in Anaheim or their studios in Burbank?” I read the message, and then read it again to see whether I got it right first time. “I don’t understand,” I say. “He wants us to meet in the Port of Los Angeles!?! So, let’s get going.” One hour later, we’re following the San Diego Freeway southbound. “I’m still wondering why Hong wants to meet us there,” I think out loud. “I would have preferred a meeting at the Downtown Disney District and lunch at the ESPN Zone.” We turn right on Harbor Freeway, which will lead us straight to the port. We take a left and then a right and park our Harleys in front of the Cruise Terminal. “Here it is,” I say to Anouk. “This is where we’re meant to meet.” As we walk into the building we see Hong coming straight towards us. “Hi guys, long time no see! You’re probably wondering why we’re here. Let me show you,” he says pointing behind him. We follow him through the empty passengers terminal and exit the building dockside. “Here she is,” Hong says pointing at a huge cruise ship just in front of us. “Let me present the ‘Disney Wonder’. I wanted to meet you here to tell you our latest story in the right context.” 161© Disney
  • Disney – ‘the mouse became a tiger’ We’re sitting on the top deck of the ‘Disney Wonder’ overlooking the Port “Bullseye!” I shout out loud. Hong and Anouk look at me enquiringly, as if I’ve of Los Angeles. “This boat is seriously amazing,” I tell Hong, our host for today. gone mad. “Woody’s horse is called Bullseye,” I say. “Sorry, I just remembered.” We met Hong Liem, the CMO at the Walt Disney Company in Benelux, some Both raise their eyebrows but Hong continues his story as if nothing years ago and we stayed in touch via Facebook. This morning he invited us to has happened. “So there we have film, DVDs, parks, consumer goods, meet him on the ‘Disney Wonder’. TV buzzmaking. Add to this the knowledge of our audience around the world and you end up with a company that knows at which price Japanese  “We started with cruises some years ago,” Hong explains. “It is all part of consumers will buy Buzz Lightyear figurines and how to efficiently distribute a the entertainment industry’s transmedia approach. The four pillars of the Toy Story-themed English-learning kit in China. We’re kind of clued in in that “Is it better to be Disney Company are working together to build and reinforce what we call way!” ‘franchises’; sub-brands like Mickey, Cars and Disney Princess. In doing so, feared or respected? we’re using the strength of each medium to convey the message.” He takes “In 2009 Disney bought Marvel, the comic-book giant, so we now own the out his iPad and shows us an image with the four Disney pillars: Parcs, Media rights to Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, and lots of other franchise And is it too much Networks, Consumer Products and Studios. characters. And we will produce some cool things with those heroes in our portfolio.” to ask for both?” “Let me explain by way of an example,” he continues. “You remember when Toy Story 3 hit the movie theatres? After a supporting marketing campaign, “Is it better to be feared or respected?” Hong says, changing his voice. “And we did very well at the box office, and globally it even took $1 billion, more is it too much to ask for both?” than any other film that year and any other animated film in history. But that was just the film.” “Give me a minute,” I say. “I know... Tony Stark in Iron Man ! Now it’s my turn... ‘With great power, there must also come great responsibility.’” He raises his index finger to stress his next words. “With our Consumer Products and Retail teams we had prepared the sale of action figures, clothing, books, “That’s easy,” Hong says, “that’s Peter Parker in Spider-Man.” magazines, collectibles. And every one of them featured the movie’s popular characters.” Anouk is looking at us, as if we have both lost the plot. “I can’t come up with a Snow White quote right away,” she says. “But thanks for the story. We can  I see the characters pop up in my mind. “Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr Potato Head, see the mouse is becoming a tiger.” and…..what’s the name of Woody’s horse again?” I think to myself.   “The mouse became a tiger long time ago,” Hong replies. ”To be continued...” Hong continues. “Two months later, Toy Story Playland in Disneyland Paris was ready – a new attraction that was years in the making but opened the same 162 summer the hit movie was released. Walt Disney World already had a Toy Story Mania! attraction but revamped the ride’s 3-D experience to include one of the new characters.  “In the meantime,” he says, lowering his voice as if he’s sharing a secret, “our interactive division had created video games for Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. It also produced apps for iPad and mobile phones.” I lean forward over the table and, in the same secretive tone of voice say, “I have Woody’s Wild Adventure on my tablet.” Hong smiles, but he’s not put off his story. “Next we generated additional buzz on TV through our own channels Disney XD and Disney Channel. This 163 also provided a platform for cross-promotion on cable and with our Benelux retailers. That comes in very handy when you’re talking about a franchise.”© Disney w.aroundtheworldin8 Read more stories on ww
  • Meeting “Some people have a day job and then write songs or scripts in their spare time. I do Satellite Sisters,” Liz says. “When we started, you needed a whole 164 Satellite Sister radio studio and satellite uplink to do what we did. Now, all we need is our laptops. We connect through Skype. I record and edit it myself, post it to iTunes Liz Dolan and keep the conversation going on Facebook and Twitter. Our listeners are incredibly engaged and loyal, plus I have learned SO much about what it really FOX International Channels means to be a social media-fuelled brand by doing everything myself.” “What has Satellite Sisters taught you about brands?” I ask.We’re standing at the end of Santa Monica pier overlooking the Pacific.On the railing a seagull is looking at me as if he expects me to fish a sardine “I started Satellite Sisters at the time I was still running Marketing at NIKE,”out of my pocket anytime soon. The pier is also the end of Route 66, part of Liz says. “One thing I learned during an action-packed decade there, was thatour itinerary. We rented two Harleys and rode them from Flagstaff Arizona to it’s all about genuinely understanding what role your product really plays inhere. Tomorrow we’re taking Highway 1 up to San Francisco, but today we’re someone’s life. At NIKE, we always knew that it’s not just about the shoes. It wasmeeting Liz Dolan, CMO of Fox International Channels, and former Head of about understanding what a runner LOVES about running. What it means to feelMarketing at NIKE. strong. Or how playing in a team or climbing a mountain can enhance your life.”We spoke to her over the phone yesterday to set the time and place. “Let’s The seagull gives us a last look before taking off. Fair enough I think. It’smeet on the pier,” she said. “It will give my story some more air and at the probably more into sardines than ‘social media-fuelled branding’.same time give me the chance to get out of the office for a bit.” Not Every Conversation Will Change Your Life, “With Satellite Sisters, that emotional insight was very instinctive,” Liz But Any Conversation CanSo here we are, the three of us leaning on the railing. Four if you count theseagull. “Liz, you have a very busy job at FOX,” Maarten says, “but in your continues. “I simply understand what female friendships mean to women, how satisfying they are, how important it is to have a Satellite Sister in your life – 165spare time you also have your own small multi-media brand called Satellite the person you call when the best or worst things in your life happen. I wantedSisters. What is Satellite Sisters?” us to be the brand that really represented that. And we are.“Actually, Satellite Sisters is a business I invented with my four real-life sisters “At a big brand like NIKE, or at Fox International Channels where I managebecause we decided we wanted to reinvent talk radio,” she responds. “I couldn’t many brands, there are so many big moving parts that you do not experienceunderstand why the only thing you ever heard on talk radio was men arguing that one-on-one connection to individuals as much. At Satellite Sisters, I readwith one another about sports, or men arguing with one another about politics. I every Facebook post, respond to every Tweet. I learned the ins and outs ofhad a revelation one day – it’s women who actually enjoy talking to each other! social media in an organic, hands-on way, not as just another marketing tactic.So I created the show with my sisters to capture that sound of women who enjoy My little brand is like a personal laboratory where I can experiment and thenhaving a laugh with each other sharing their real lives.” apply what I learn to the big brands I manage.”“I can relate to that,” I say. “Whenever I talk to my sister on the phone, we are “What’s the hardest thing for a marketer to do right now?” I ask.both enjoying just listening to each other. Just connecting.” “Getting people’s attention,” Liz answers. "It’s never been harder to get“Exactly,” Liz agrees. “The show became nationally syndicated across the US. someone’s attention. But I know you are never going to succeed in doing soWe connected live on the radio three hours a day, six days a week, while living by doing the same old thing. Not at NIKE. Not at FOX. Not at the Nationalin three different cities in two different countries. It’s a great feeling to come Geographic Channel. And not at Satellite Sisters.” www.satellitesisters.comup with an idea and to then actually make it happen!”“I can imagine,” I say, “did you expand the show to online from there?”“From there, we created a magazine column, wrote a book, created awebsite…” Liz says. “We won lots of awards and started podcasting. NowSatellite Sisters is a successful podcast and an online community that thriveson social media.”“You have a very demanding day job,” I say. “Where do you find the time forSatellite Sisters?”
  • Run for the sunset San Francisco“This must be one of the coolest roads to ride in the world,” I think outloud as we enter the Big Sur region, northbound on Highway 1. This roadruns along most of the Pacific coast of California, which is considered tobe one of the most beautiful coastlines in the US. It is still early morningand we’re on our way from Santa Monica to San Francisco and I havedifficulties resisting the photo opportunities that slow us down.As we enter Carmel, I remember the rich artistic history of the town.City councils were dominated by artists, and the town has had severalmayors who were poets or actors, including bohemian writer and actorPerry Newberry, and actor-director Clint Eastwood. I would love to stophere in Carmel and play on the legendary golf course at Pebbles Beach, 167but we want to be in Frisco before sunset.Two hours later we cross the city limits of San Francisco with a clearobjective. “A ride in the historic cable car has to wait till tomorrow,”I think to myself. “Dinner in Chinatown is certainly on the programme fortonight, but first things first.” Highway 1 turns left and then right andcrosses the Richmond district. We enter Mountain Lake Park, acceleratethe bike uphill and there she is, The Golden Gate Bridge. In a kind ofslow motion we cross the bridge, enjoying the stunning view of the SanFrancisco Bay.On the other side we take the exit right on Vista Point Road and climb upa steep road leading to Battery Spencer. We park our Harleys and walkup to the fortifications dating back to the 1870s. Just in time for sunsetand before the fog starts rolling in. The whole scenery is turning orangein the setting sun, the bay, Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Angel Island. “Hi thereSan Francisco,” I say with a big smile. North America - United states of America San Francisco 850 miles from route 66 Time of Arrival 17:53
  • I turn the throttle and my bike accelerates, making that unmistakableHarley sound. We have just had breakfast at Fisherman’s Wharf down by thebay, and now we’re heading for Highway 101 southbound. Following theembarcadero we pass in front of the Giant’s Baseball Stadium. “Wow, this isreally cool,” I shout out to Maarten who is driving next to me on his Fat Boy,but of course he can’t hear anything.We’re heading towards Silicon Valley, the breeding ground for everythingrelated to IT and the internet. This area is home to many of the world’s largesttechnology corporations and in our quest for cool brand stories, Silicon Valleyhas been an obligatory stop. We’ve been here before to visit Google, HP,YouTube, but there is an important link missing... a great brand story… anddefinitely a cool story: Apple.For several years now, I have had this fantasy about organising a birthdayparty to which I invite Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon andSteve Jobs. We would sit in the garden, talk about life and eat cake. So I sendthem an imaginary invitation each year, but nobody shows up. Then again,Nelson is getting too old for birthday parties and the Dalai Lama probably isn’ta partygoer in the first place. John, of course, has a good excuse since his last R . I . P. 1 9 5 5 - 2 0 1 1visit to New York, and Steve…  Steve passed away last October. Of course Ihave read his biography, but I wanted to talk to him personally.We drive into Palo Alto and take the exit towards Stanford. This morning Ireceived an email from a friend of ours who teaches here and who has in thepast invited us to give guest lectures in storytelling. He urged us to come overto see “an exceptional speaker”.We enter the campus, register with the guards at the gate and leave theHarleys in the parking lot. It’s the end of the academic year and the campus isbustling with students celebrating the end of exams, and, in some cases, theend of their student life. I had a dreamWe join the crowds heading toward the commencement address. The Meetingatmosphere is electric as students prepare to receive their degrees. The crowd 169settles down and after the dean of the university has given a brief introduction, Steve JobsSteve Jobs steps onto the podium, wearing the traditional gown.“How is this possible?” I think out loud. “Steve passed away last October!This must be one of these dreams I have been having lately.”
  • 171Connecting the dots Love and loss“Thank you,” Steve starts off. “I’m honoured to be with you today for After a short pause, Steve continues with his second message about love andyour commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I want loss. He says he was lucky to have discovered what he wanted to do in life atto tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.” an early age. He established Apple at the age of 20 and by the time he was 30 it was a successful company. And then… he got fired. Everything he had built,Steve’s first story is about letting go of preconceived ideals and following your everything he loved, was gone. Or had it? He soon saw that he still loved whatinstinct. He had always believed that going to university would be amazing, he did, so he just decided to start again. Without the burdens of success butbut once he started studying at Reed College he was disappointed. He didn’t with the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure of everything, and withknow what he wanted to do with his life and didn’t see how a university the freedom to use his creativity as he never had before. It was during thiseducation would help him with that, so he stopped and decided he would just period that he created NeXT and Pixar and that he met his wife. He believessee where he ended up. He left Reed College with no backup plans, no money, none of that would have happened if he hadn’t been fired. And in the end,but with the conviction that things would be OK. While it wasn’t an easy Apple bought NeXT and he found himself once again working for Apple. But,choice to make with no money in the bank and no clear goal ahead, it turned Steve says, without the experience he acquired in those years, things wouldout to be one of the best decisions of his life. He was able to focus on the have gone a lot differently at Apple.things that really interested him and by following his curiosity and intuition hegained experience that proved to be priceless later on: thanks to a calligraphy “I’ve seen this commencement speech on You Tube several times,” I whisper tocourse that seemed useless at the time, the Mac is equipped with beautiful Maarten, ”but this dream is much better. It all seems so real.”typography, with multiple typefaces and proportionally spaced fonts. Steve continues: “Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick,“We’re in the middle of the famous Stanford commencement speech in 2005,” don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was thatI whisper to Maarten. “Or actually I am, because this is my dream.” I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,Steve continues: “Of course, you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work,can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t foundwill somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’lldestiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better anddown the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it better as the years roll on, so keep looking – don’t settle.”leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.” Another moment of silence – Steve’s words have struck a chord with theSilence. He lets his words sink in for a moment. Some people are nodding; audience. Because everyone has had this experience, of love or loss – or both.others appear to be choking away tears of emotion; others look happy and And it’s all a question of how you deal with the situation: do you see it asaffirmative. an opportunity or a threat? Are you a victim or do you hold your fate in your own hands? “Ring, ring” goes the alarm clock on my iPhone. “No, I don’t want to wake up yet. There were three stories Steve said.” I close my eyes and try to get back to Stanford in 2005. I wait for 30 seconds, but I’m still in my bed in a hotel in San Francisco. “So it was just a dream,” I say to myself, “That doesn’t matter, I will still use it as a story in my trip Around the World in 80 Brands .” 170
  • Lost in translation Shanghai We have several meetings in Shanghai, but today we’re free to explore the city. “Let’s ask the hotel concierge how to get to the Bund,” I say. “No way. I’ll show you how an experienced traveller finds his wayAsia - China around,” says Anouk, opening a booklet of Mandarin phrases.Shanghai So here we are, on a Shanghai street, hailing a taxi. When one stops, Anouk explains in her best Mandarin that we want to go to6.154 miles from the Bund. The driver nods, but after 30 minutes I notice we’re goingsan francisco in the wrong direction. I point this out to Anouk. “Maybe he doesn’tTime of Arrival 08:49 speak Mandarin,” she says. We get out of the taxi and Anouk asks a passer-by for directions to the nearest metro station. “I know where to go. 172 Follow me.” After three blocks, she stops and looks around in confusion. “It should be around here.” “So much for your Mandarin,” I tease. She tries to save face. “Perhaps that man wasn’t from Shanghai. We’re in a nice area though. Let’s see what we find.” We lose ourselves in a maze of small alleys, galleries and shops. “I know we’re not looking for anything in particular, but it would be nice to get to the Bund eventually,” I say. Anouk tries her Mandarin on another passer-by. The man points and we start walking. Twenty minutes later, I’m getting impatient and hungry. “That’s enough Mandarin for today,” I say and hail a taxi. We get in and Anouk starts leafing through her booklet again. “Sir, could you please take us to Shanghai Tang?” I ask the driver before she can find the right sentence. The driver doesn’t respond. “I don’t think he speaks English,” Anouk whispers. “Sure I do,” the driver says. “I was just thinking, Shanghai Tang Restaurant or Shanghai Tang Café?”
  • We exit the metro at Shangcheng Road station and walk along PudongRoad in a southerly direction until we reach a branch of Häagen-Dazs. “Here Meetingit is,” I say, pointing at the ice cream parlour. It is busy inside, but we manageto find a free table. It is our second day in Shanghai and Tom Doctoroff has To m D o c t o r o f finvited us to meet him here. An expert in Chinese consumer behaviour andbranding, Tom came to China in 1994 and never quite made it back to the ‘ W h a t C h i n e s e Wa n t ’United States. He has just published his insights, gathered over two decades,in a book, What Chinese Want .“That’s an interesting topic,” I said to him over the phone. “Can we meetwhen we’re in Shanghai?”Maarten joins the people queuing to order butter pecan or chocolate chipcookie dough ice cream. “Not all brands have been so successful,” Tom told 174me. “As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, China ishighly attractive for global brands. But many have failed to win over Chineseconsumers. Amazon, for instance, has struggled to compete with local onlineretailers, and the electronics chain Best Buy has withdrawn from the countryaltogether.”“I wonder what the secret to success is for businesses entering the Chinesemarket,” I say when Maarten comes back with something that looks like mintchip. He doesn’t respond because he is looking over my shoulder at the manmaking his way towards our table.“It gets even busier when couples come here at weekends,” Tom says, after “Which is not easy for every brand or product,” I say.introducing himself and sitting down. “In Chinese culture, the family orgroup is more important than the individual. That’s one of the fundamental “True,” Tom says, “but what is perhaps even more important for Westerndifferences between China and the West.” brands to realise is that the Chinese will remain Chinese. They will change and modernise, but they won’t become like Westerners – nor do they want to.”He points out a couple that is taking photos of each other and posting themonline. “People like public consumption. They eat ice cream together and share “That sounds like a good thing,” I say. “The world would be a boring place ifthe pictures with friends on Brands that appeal to individualism every culture was the same.”won’t succeed here.” “I agree,” Tom says. “There are enormous opportunities for Western brands“Great,” I think to myself as I make a note on my iPad, “Chinese will spend 175 in China – as you can see in this Häagen-Dazs – but it means embracingmoney on things that provide face.” multiculturalism. That isn’t always easy but it can be exciting.”“The golden rule of marketing in China is to maximise public consumption,” “If we wanted to start our storytelling business in China, what would the firsthe continues. “That’s why certain categories, such as cars and luxury goods, step be?” I ask.are growing so quickly.” Tom thinks for a second, then opens his bag and takes out a copy of his book,He indicates another couple. “The girl over there is carrying a Louis Vuitton What Chinese Want. “The first thing to do would be to read my book,” he says www.jwt.combag, but it’s unlikely she has any luxury goods at home, such as bedding or with a big smile while handing me a copy. “Let me know what you think of it.”appliances, because no one can see them. Louis Vuitton and Häagen-Dazsare two Western brands that have succeeded in China because they haveunderstood the importance of maximising public consumption and adaptedtheir business models accordingly.”
  • We are in Bar Rouge, a bar and lounge in Shanghai’s famous Bund area, where we are meeting Richard Lee. We have known Richard, Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo China Ltd., for a while. He worked for Pepsi in the US, where we first met him five years ago, before he moved back to China. We find him at the bar. “It’s been a while since we were all on the same continent at the same time,” I say, pulling up a chair. “Don’t get comfortable quite yet,” Richard says with a smile. He leads us past a group of twenty-somethings sipping cocktails on long sofas and out onto the terrace. “This area is known as the Manhattan of the East. From here you can see why,” he says, pointing to the high-rises on Shanghai’s skyline. “It’s also a symbol of the rapid changes taking place in China – the perfect spot to tell you about how Pepsi is keeping up.” 177Meeting We sit down at one of the tables as a waiter comes towards us. “I’ll order this round,” Maarten says, turning to the waiter. “We’ll have three colas with ice,Richard Lee please. And could you make them Pepsi?”in The waiter looks at Maarten and replies with a smile “Of course I’ll make it Pepsi, what else?” Richard turns back to us. “That’s what I wanted to showShanghai you, Pepsi has grown into being the market leader in China, so I don’t have to ask for a Pepsi specifically to get one. However, to maintain our brand dominance is something we always have to be working on, just as we’re striving to keep the brand relevant. Pepsi appeals to young consumers, but like China, consumers are changing quickly.” The waiter brings our drinks. Richard takes a sip, then continues. “China’s new generation works hard and plays hard. They’re ambitious but they also enjoy socialising with friends. We’re increasingly seeing that socialising happening online.” “Do you mean through social media?” I ask. “Precisely, which ties in with another trend.” He tells us about the popularity of digital media and China’s new ‘creators’: more than three-quarters of young people create something online, whether it is a website, blog, forum post or video. 176 “How has this changed the way you engage with your consumers?” Maarten asks. “Digital media provides many opportunities for consumer engagement, which also adds value to the commercial side of the business. One benefits from the other.” He looks out at the view again. “Pepsi has to be more than a drink; it has to add meaning to life. We’re still using the 7E Principles I told you about last time we met, which have successfully guided our campaigns for several years. But we also found a purpose for the brand: enabling young people to be creative. We call it ‘Create for Thirst’.” He raises his glass and empties the contents. “Talking of thirst, let’s order a refill.” “Good idea,” I agree. He beckons over the waiter. “Same again, please.” The waiter looks at Richard with a secretive smile, then says: “Three more Pepsi, right?”
  • A thirst for creativity www.pepsitmall.comWe are in the Bund, a waterfront area in central Shanghai, with viewsof the city’s landmark buildings across the Huangpu River from Bar Rouge’sseventh-floor terrace. We are talking to Richard Lee, Chief Marketing Officerof PepsiCo China Ltd. Over drinks at this popular nightlife spot, he has beentelling us about ‘Create for Thirst’, Pepsi’s ambitious idea for transforming thebrand to keep pace with a rapidly changing consumer landscape.Thirst means two things for Pepsi. As a beverage company, it supplies arefreshing product to quench the thirst of its young, active consumers. But ithas also taken the idea a step further to mean a thirst to create a better life.“It’s safe to say that digital media is huge in China,” Richard says. “Youngpeople in particular use it on a daily basis to create a presence or identityonline – through websites, blogs, forums and so on – as well as to expressthemselves. We found a purpose for the Pepsi brand in enabling young peopleto create, but we also wanted to find a way to turn our brand purpose into acompetitive advantage.”Pepsi decided to develop an online platform. Joining forces with TMall, theglobal leader in e-commerce, it launched He gets out his mobile phone. “What’s even better, in the age of mobile internet, is that I can enjoy a discount meal at a Pepsi partner restaurant and“Are you adding to your core business then?” I ask. still be able to check out what’s new on Pepsitmall.”“More than that, we’re expanding the brand’s relevance,” says Richard. “Pepsi He navigates to the website’s homepage and translates some of the Chinesehas become a way of life and Pepsitmall has become a destination.” characters for us. “We sell original items that aren’t available anywhere else and we launch cool new products that match our brand identity,” he tellsHe tells us about the success the platform has enjoyed, despite only being live us. “We recently collaborated with Bathing Ape, for example, a cutting-edgefor a few months. “TMall is a store and our alliance with them means we can Japanese clothing label, and we marked the 25 th anniversary of Michaelalready offer our consumers more than 50 big-name and up-and-coming brands. Jackson’s album Bad with a range of limited-edition Pepsi, on the other hand, is about stories. We also highlight the people dedicated to the King of Pop.”behind the brands – those who are creating better products and a better world.” “Always offering something new, is that part of your strategy to keep peoplePart of the platform’s storytelling journey is its annual award given to the coming back for more?” Maarten asks.most creative young designers and entrepreneurs. The first year celebrated108 original heroes, selected by Pepsi and voted for by consumers, who were 178 “Enabling consumers to create, our brand purpose, demands a certain amountprofiled and promoted on the site. of creativity from us as well. Pepsitmall was the first platform of its kind in China, which is innovative in itself, and we want to keep our target groupI look at the tables around us, which are filling up with young people enjoying curious and excited. But we have also had a little help from our friends!”early evening drinks. “Shopping – even online – can be thirsty work,” I say.“How does the mall cater to those who are in need of a cold Pepsi after some He shows us another page. “We signed up some of China’s hottest youngretail therapy?" celebrities for our multimedia campaigns. That attracted a huge number of visitors and generated a buzz that extended far beyond the platform.”“We’ve thought of that!” Richard laughs. “The Pepsi Gourmet Paradise sectionof the platform offers free dishes and meal deals – washed down with a Pepsi, As we have been talking, the sun has set and we see the lights coming onof course – in thousands of restaurants. There’s even an integrated search in the buildings across the river. “Young people respect brands that areengine to find the best restaurant closest to you. It’s true that you have to passionate, innovative and responsible,” Richard says. “With the ‘Create forleave the house to benefit from this part of the Pepsitmall experience, but we Thirst’ idea and interactive online platform, Pepsi is well on the way to earningsee it as the ideal combination of on- and off-line activations.” that respect.” 179 w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • S h a n g h a i Ta n g We’re on Hong Kong Island. We just took the peak tram up the 428- As we head for the Imperial Tailoring tent, a shop assistant asks us if she metre-high Victoria Peak where we have a great panoramic view over the city. I can be of any assistance. “We’re here to see Genghis Khan,” I joke. The shop the Nomad throw a coin into one of the binoculars and scan the buzzing city below us. On the assistant thinks for a few seconds, “Mister Khan is not here at the moment other side of the bay there’s a ferry leaving the Star Ferry Pier taking commuters to but our chairman is,” she says with a smile, pointing at a sharply dressed man o f H o n g Ko n g the island. I scan the Knowloon skyline and see the Peninsula Hotel. speaking French into his iPhone. “Shall we have lunch at the Peninsula later?” Anouk asks, as if she can see “Anouk, let’s have a chat with him,” I say, when the man puts away his phone. what I’m looking at. “Monsieur, excusez-moi....” On this side of the bay I can see the landmark building of the Bank of China I explain to him we’re from CoolBrands and that we’re making a trip Around and follow a double-decker tram making its way towards the Happy Valley the World in 80 Brands. “Would you tell us what’s happening here?” I ask. horseracing track. The ferry that left the mainland a few minutes ago is now approaching the port at Hong Kong Central. “Nice to meet you, my name is Raphael Le Masne de Chermont. I’m the Executive Chairman of Shanghai Tang.” “Hey, what’s that?” I ask. “There’s something that looks like tents on the roof of Pier 4.” “Great, we must be lucky to catch you here,” I say. “I suppose you’re not living in one of these tents.” Anouk takes a look through the binoculars and focuses on the tents. “It looks 180 like Mongolian tents,” she says. “Maybe they’re promoting a film.” “Gers,” Raphael answers. “A Mongolian tent is called a Ger. And what you see here is a Shanghai Tang pop-up store. We closed our flagship store and “Sure, Genghis Khan goes Hong Kong,” I joke. “Shall we go and take a closer look?” our new one was only going to open four months later, so we thought we’d become nomads for two months.” We take the peak tram back down and make our way to the port. “Shall we have lunch at the Peninsula after we’ve been to the Mongolian Village then?” Anouk asks. “So you decided to put down some tents on a roof on a pier,” Anouk says. As we arrive at Pier 4 and walk up to the roof, we see a small Mongolian “We had quite some press coverage with it,” Raphael says, “and our customers village on the rooftop. really like the concept and the unique shopping experience they have here. But as soon as our flagship opens, we’ll close the village and our customers can We walk around and look at the fashion items that are on show in the various enjoy another new experience.” tents. “It’s not Genghis Khan,” Anouk says. “Look, it’s a Shanghai Tang store,” pointing at a display with the Shanghai Tang logo. “I like that story,” Anouk says. “But what is a Frenchman doing in China?” “Shanghai Tang was founded by David Tang as a Chinese luxury lifestyle brand in the nineties,” Raphael tells us. “Early this millennium, we at Richemont believed 181 we could bring our knowledge of the luxury market to Shanghai Tang.” “Of course, and it was also a great opportunity to learn about the Chinese market too,” I say. “Of course,” Raphael replies, “it has been a very valuable experience for Shanghai Tang, and for me personally.” “I have also seen something about Shanghai Tang restaurant and café,” Anouk says. “Have you created any more brand extensions?” “Fashion, cafés and restaurants, for the moment,” Raphael says. “But the fact is that we’re a young brand and we’re not limited by a traditional brand identity. We have some new ideas on the shelf just waiting for the right time. “Talking about time,” Raphael continues, “maybe it’s time to have some lunch. Would you like to join me at the Peninsula?” “Well,” Anouk says. “Let me think about it for two nanoseconds. Okay, let’s do it!”© Shanghai Tang w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Cutting-edge sightseeing Bangkok“Where are you taking me?” Anouk asks. “Trust me, I am a doctor,”I reply jokingly. “No, seriously,” Anouk says, “this is my first time inBangkok so I really want to visit the Royal Palace and the weekendmarket, the biggest market in Southeast Asia!” “What I will show youis much cooler. Besides, the weekend market is only at weekends,” Isay with a smile. “Let’s hail a longtail.” “A what?” Anouk asks withgrowing curiosity. I explain: “A longtail, a boat with an outboard motor.It is a typical Bangkok means of transport. As the roads are jammedduring rush hour with taxis and tuk-tuks, we will take a longtail whichuses the khlongs.” “What are khlongs?” Anouk asks on. “Once upon atime, Bangkok was famous for its longtail boats, tree-lined canals – thekhlongs – and floating wooden houses – ‘Venice of the East’,” I teach heras we enter the boat. The captain accelerates in order to keep up with hiscolleagues ahead and behind us. The longtail makes its way through thedazzling labyrinth of canals. We turn right, another right, left and rightagain and pass the golden Mountain Temple. After 15 minutes, we exitthe canals onto the Chao Phraya River. Anouk insists impatiently: “Whenwill you show me the Reclining Buddha and the Temple of Dawn?” whenwe go ashore at Tha Tian Market. “I know, I know,” I say, “but firstsomething that will put you right back on your feet and erase your jet Asia - Thailandlag.” We walk to Wat Pho and enter the premises by the main entrance.“Cool,” Anouk says, “but how is a visit to a temple going to help me to Bangkokovercome my jet lag?” “Wait and see,” I urge her, “there is a massage 1.060 miles fromschool of blind monks. When they are done with you, you’ll be ready to hong kongdo some serious, cutting-edge sightseeing!” Time of Arrival 09:47 182
  • New Thai Cinema 184 “Well, I think it’s a natural progression for anyone seriously interested in making films to want to make something longer than one minute, and free from client or agency interference. Filmmaking is a conservative industry, butMeeting advertising is a hundred times worse. As a film director doing advertising, you have to ask permission to do things from people who know nothing aboutPe n - E k R a t a n a r u a n g making films. They often choose the actors, wardrobe and locations and on the days of the shooting, come to sit around, watch you work and criticise what you’re doing. It is very frustrating.Six weeks ago in New York, we met Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, a Thai filmdirector and screenwriter considered one of Thai cinema’s leading new wave “When I make feature films,” Pen-Ek continues, “I assume a completelyauteurs. He was in Manhattan to present his new film Headshot. “If you make opposite mode from advertising. I go for the most interesting-looking actors,it over to Bangkok, give me a call,” Pen-Ek said, “so we can meet and I can tell who wouldn’t be allowed in advertising. I always go for long shots and longyou more about New Thai Cinema.” takes whenever I can. For example, the opening shot of NYMPH was over eight minutes long. It was done in a single take, uncut. Advertising films areAnd here we are, in Bangkok. The meeting is set in the Sukhumvit area cut every two seconds and always prefer close-ups to long shots because ofwith a view of the busy street life. There are tuk tuks speeding by, taxis the screen size. I tend to be more obscure in my films. In advertising you arehonking, merchants carrying oversized luggage on the back of their bikes forced to be so obvious all the time, sometimes to the point of being insultingand motorcycles driving against the traffic. “It may seem like chaos, but it is to the audience.”organised chaos,” Pen-Ek says, pointing at the street. “Is New Thai Cinema primarily an export product or do you believe that there“Thanks for meeting us on such short notice,” I say. “I’m getting more and is a growing Thai audience for the type of film you are producing?” I ask.more curious about what New Thai Cinema is. How would you define it?” “Although there is a growing Thai audience, it is still primarily for export.“I think the term came into existence at a point when Thai cinema had been Gaining a large audience depends on many factors, apart from the quality ofin a slump for over ten years – approximately from the mid-80s to the late the films – like advertising and promotion. With little money to promote our90s,” Pen-Ek says. “The majority of the movies being released were silly teen kind of movies, we can’t expect to compete with the hyper-commercial movies,romances or really broad comedies. Then, myself and a few colleagues started both Thai and Hollywood. In Thailand, my movies usually do well on DVDmaking films that were more personal and somehow caught the attention of because people hear by word of mouth that the movies were good once theythe audience and critics, and later, the international film festivals. In retrospect, have finished at the cinemas. And of course when the movies start winningI don’t think any of our first films were that good, but they happened to be prizes,” Pen-Ek adds with a smile. “I’ve been making films for 15 years, so Ifresh and interesting and since then we have been labelled New Thai Cinema. have a small but really quite loyal audience around the world.”It’s a film critics’ invention, really.” “So the chances we will see you again at an international film festival“How do you explain the recent rise of Thai film on the world stage,” I say, somewhere around the world are big?” I ask. “I know you won a Lion in“and its success at film festivals around the world?” Cannes, so who knows next time we might meet up in Cannes or in Berlin?”“We have a number of good filmmakers who are consistently making films “The Lion,” Pen-Ek says, “that was in my previous life at the Lions Internationalfor personal reasons,” Pen-Ek says. “These filmmakers are concerned about Advertising Festival. But the answer to your question is yes, there’s a goodchallenging themselves intellectually and less interested in box-office numbers. chance you’ll find me at international film festivals. I will first and foremost www.headshotmovie.comThey are really quite unprofessional and uncontrollable, even amateurish continue doing what I like best; making movies.”you could say. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but they arepersistent. They have to look abroad to finance their films because in a countrywhere movies are still considered mere entertainment, no one is going tofinance their films. Luckily, the serious film world like the film festival circuit, isinspired by these qualities, so we have been welcomed into that community.”“I noticed that a fair few of the key directors in Thailand are from advertising,”Maarten says. “Why are people from advertising getting into filmmaking?” 185 Scene from Headshot
  • We’re in the Bangkok Skytrain going towards Sukhumvit Road. Sincethe beginning of our trip Around the World in 80 Brands , we have beencommunicating our itinerary and date of arrival on Facebook. We write a short Meetingstory about the destination, post some pictures on our walls and publish themeeting stories on Facebook notes. GreyhoundBut I also check which of my Facebook friends is based in the city we’re visiting. inLike Bangkok-based Bhanu Inkawat. He has a background in advertising,founded the Thai lifestyle brand Greyhound in 1980 and is still the brand’s BangkokCreative Director. I have been following him for some time now, but we havenever had the chance to meet in the real world. That is about to change, becausewe are meeting him in an hour at the Greyhound Café in The Emporium shoppingmall. The Café is one of the brand extensions of Greyhound fashion.The Skytrain stops at Siam station and a group of five fashionably dressedyoung women enters the train. They stand near the door, chatting aboutthe important things in the life of a twenty-something-year-old woman likeclothes, make-up, shoes and handbags. They have been shopping and arecarrying shopping bags from the lifestyle brands we also know in Europe,Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY.... 186“It doesn’t matter where you are, you find the same logos everywherearound the world,” I say to Anouk. “That’s one of the reasons Bhanu cameup with the idea of starting an authentic Thai lifestyle brand. He describes theGreyhound style as ‘beautiful chaos’, everything and anything goes togetherharmoniously. Like most things in Thailand.”The train slows down as we enter Phrom Phong station. “This is it,” I say asI get up. The young women we observed earlier also exit the train. From thestation we enter The Emporium shopping mall via a sky bridge.The mall is not much different from the malls in Los Angeles, Dubai orParis. “The usual suspects,” I say, “Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Rolex, Fendi,Montblanc, Paul Smith. They are all here in Bangkok.”Greyhound, on the contrary, is making its way in the opposite direction. Itstarted in Bangkok and is expanding to fashion cities such as Paris, Berlin,Sydney and Moscow.As trend spotters, we observe the shopping crowd. People with stylish bags 187from the luxury designer boutiques mixing with people carrying plastic bagsfrom the street market next door.We continue walking, increasing our speed to arrive in time for our meeting with Inkawat at the Greyhound Café. Just before we go in, Anouk stops. “Thereare the women from the Skytrain again,” she says, “look at the bags they’recarrying!” I scan the women, and see they are carrying even more shopping bags.“Shop till you drop,” I say. I look at the logo on the bags and read ‘Greyhound’.“The Thai is turning,” I joke, before entering the café.
  • MeetingWe land at New Delhi airport in the early afternoon. The temperatureis already approaching 35 degrees, but it feels kind of comfy. New Delhi is the Onkar Kanwarcurrent seat of government in India and is emerging on the global stage as a topcity. There is a lot of activity at the airport and I have the impression that you can and his sonfeel the buzz of the growing economy. NeerajWe are here at the same time as the annual BRICS summit, a conferenceattended by the heads of government of the five member states Brazil, inRussia, India, China and South Africa. These countries are in a similar stageof economic development and the five countries combined account for more New Delhithan a quarter of the world’s land area and more than 40% of the world’spopulation.We exit the terminal building and hail a taxi. “Please take us to the Taj MahalHotel,” I say. The taxi driver shakes his head from side to side but I can’t tell ifit’s a yes or a no. We decide to get in the car anyway.Goldman Sachs has argued that by 2050 the combined BRICS economy couldeclipse the rest of the world’s economies. India has already entered the top10 of the largest economies in the world and has shown a huge growth rateover the last decade. This is primarily due to an increase in the number ofmiddle-class consumers and a large labour force.The taxi takes the road to Gurgaon in the direction of its hugely popularshopping malls. The traffic is getting denser and the taxi gets stuck betweentrucks and buses. “We’re kind of in a hurry,” I say to the driver. He swivels his 189head again, without answering.“But it’s not only an increase in size of the consumer middle-class ora large labour force,” I say to Anouk. “There are also some intelligententrepreneurs pushing the Indian economy upwards. What Azim Premji didin the IT sector or Mittal in the steel industry certainly adds to Indiasgross domestic product.” “And then of course there is the Tata group,”Anouk adds.The taxi exits the main road, turns left, then right and then left again and wesee New Delhi passing by from our car windows. 188“Is it still far, the Taj Mahal Hotel?” I ask the driver. “We have a meeting withMr. Onkar Kanwar and his son Neeraj,” I tell the driver, trying to convince himof the importance of the meeting, “from Apollo Tyres.” The driver makes hissignature head movement again in answer. “Is that a yes or a no?” I whisperto Anouk. I sit back and look outside. That is, if we make it in time for the meeting. “How long do you think it will take to the Taj Mahal Hotel?” I ask the driver again. “Our meeting is in 10Mr. Onkar Kanwar has been the Chairman of Apollo Tyres since the nineties minutes.”and is the chief architect of the company’s vision. His son Neeraj Kanwar nowholds the reigns of this $2.5 billion company and is leading it into the global The driver stops the car and looks back over his shoulder. “That means youarena. We’re meeting them at the Taj Mahal Hotel to talk about the worldwide will be on time, sir,” he says, pointing out of the right side window. “The Tajexpansion of the Apollo brand. Mahal Hotel is just here.”
  • A p o l l o Ty r e sEntering the global “So, to enter the European market, you bought Vredestein in the Netherlands?” I ask.arena full speed 191 “For Apollo, the acquisition of Vredestein serves a dual purpose,” Neeraj says. “First of all, it hasWe enter the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi and head for the business the technology to make premium-quality tyres fordesk at the reception. “We have a meeting with Mr. Onkar Kanwar and his son European customers. Secondly, Apollo Vredestein hasNeeraj Kanwar from Apollo Tyres,” I say to the woman behind the desk. The distribution channels in 13 countries.” Neeraj waits a fewwoman looks down at some sort of calendar and back up at us again. “They seconds to let his words sink in. “Next to that, we’re building a greenfieldare expecting you in the Emperor’s Lounge,” she says. “Please follow me.” plant in Eastern Europe,” he continues, “which will be ready in two to three years. It will have a capacity of seven to 10 million passenger car radial tyres.”“Welcome to New Delhi! My name is Neeraj Kanwar and this is my father,Onkar.” Neeraj is an athletic-looking man, dressed in a grey suit. His father is “So you will have a piece of the European cake,” I say with a smile.a distinguished-looking gentleman wearing a traditional turban. “Please havea seat,” Neeraj says, pointing at two arm chairs. “That’s the plan,” Neeraj continues. “Success in Europe will pave the way to enter other markets, like Latin America. We’re already“Thank you,” I say. “Thank you for meeting us. We know Apollo has always looking into the Latin American market and we’ve opened anbeen an important player in the Indian tyre market, but now it looks as if India office in Brazil. At the moment we’re studying the marketis not big enough any more for Apollo?” to start operations. The plan is to set up a plant and begin construction in the next two years.”Onkar clears his throat to signal that he is going to speak. “We’re doing verywell in our home market,” he says, “but the entry of multinational tyre brands “Will there also be acquisitions in Latin America?” I ask.into India brought new practices and new products... and is eating a part of ourmarket share. Of course we improve our products and fight for our market share, “We’re exploring the possibilities for a joint venture orbut we’re not going to sit and wait. The choice in this business is either to wait any kind of tie-up with a local player,” Neeraj replies.and be eaten or be aggressive and grow globally. We chose the second option.” Onkar clears his throat again, announcing his addition“Of course,” I say, “with a brand named after a Greek god, you can’t sit and to the conversation. “Our next five-year target is towait. What does the company strategy look like?” increase the company’s revenue to $6 billion and rank among the top 10 tyre makers in the world,” Onkar“The first step was the acquisition of Dunlop tyres in South Africa. Now known says with pride in his voice. “In five years we want toas Apollo Tyres South Africa,” Neeraj says. “Being one of the BRICS countries, increase Apollo’s revenue from overseas operationsSouth Africa has a similar market to India’s, which made it a relatively easy from the present 39% to 70%.”first step into the global arena. After building a strong foothold in SouthAfrica, we were ready for step two of our expansion strategy, Europe.” Onkar takes a sip of his tea before continuing. “And we want to do it while remaining the market leader in“Europe is the home ground of the biggest global tyre brands,” Onkar says, India, where we have built a new plant in Chennai city“the same brands that are entering the Indian market for a piece of the Indian which is commonly referred to as the ‘Indian Detroit’.”cake. The European market is dominated by the big four: Bridgestone, Michelin, www.apollotyres.comGoodyear and Continental. It is crucial to break into the Original Equipment “Wow, these are huge plans,” I say. “Plans worthy of amarket, providing tyres to European car manufacturers.” Greek god.”A waiter enters the Emperor’s Lounge with a silver tray and puts a silver “Or an Indian god...” Onkar adds.teapot and delicate china cups on the table. “Jasmine tea,” he says, servingthe tea. 190 w.aroundTheworldin8 read more sTories on ww
  • Full-frame SydneyA few months ago, when we started our trip Around the World in 80Brands, we were standing in the port of Amsterdam. We were imaginingthe great explorers leaving in their wooden ships on their way to theuncharted, blank parts on the map. A fleet of 12 ships, owned by theDutch East India Company, left for the East indies in 1603. The captain ofone of them was called Willem Janszoon. When the other ships went toJava, Janszoon was sent to search for other trade outlets to the south. InMarch 1606 he discovered the shores of Australia’s Cape York Peninsula,where the ship made landfall. This was the first confirmed landing of aEuropean on Australian soil. The country was named New Holland foralmost two centuries before it became Australia.And here we are, more than 400 years later, arriving at Sydney airport.We get into a taxi to make our way into town. “To the Circular Quay,please,” I say to the driver. The sun is shining and there are a few cloudsin the sky. “That’s good,” I think out loud. “I like clouds in my pictures.”The taxi heads north on Southern Cross Drive towards the city, which isbuilt around a curved, photogenic harbour. I download the Sydney appwhile we’re driving and scroll through all the things to do: Aboriginalarts museum, slick city shopping at Westfield Sydney, island hoppingfrom Sydney Harbour. “Maybe later,” I think out loud while closing theapp. “First things first.”The taxi drives through Woolloomooloo harbourside and exits the CahilExpressway at the Circular Quay. We get out of the car and head straightfor the ferry terminal, where we buy a ticket for the Manly Ferry. Just afew minutes later the boat leaves the quay. I take out my Canon EOS 5D,with full-frame sensor. “Come on baby,” I say to the camera, “this is whyI carried you halfway around the world. This is the moment.” I take offthe lens cap and point the camera towards the shore. Through the lensI see one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, a symbol notonly for a city, but for a whole country and continent.”Look at her,” I say to my camera.“Click,” she answers. 193 australia sydney 6.471 miles from new delhi Time of Arrival 10:08
  • We arrive on Bronte Beach in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. We park “I understand what you’re saying, but the goal of brands and companies is tothe car and make our way past some beachfront cafés before we access the make profits for their shareholders, not to change the world,” I say.actual beach. We’ve set a meeting here with Craig Davis, the founder ofBrandkarma, a sophisticated tool to influence brand behaviour. “That’s where Brandkarma comes in,” Craig says, “to make profits, brands need consumers. With Brandkarma consumers can rate the brands; positiveI take out my tablet and read Craig’s email again. “Follow the beach in a rates for brands that are doing good in the world and negative rates for brandssouthern direction towards the cliffs. From there take the path going up that are not. Social opinion has a great influence on which brands we buy.”and continue until you reach a viewpoint. I’ll be the man in the black T-shirt Meetingwatching the surfers. See you there. Craig.” “So Brandkarma’s purpose is to influence brand behaviour for the good?” C ra i g D a v i s Maarten asks.On the way we see some surfers preparing their gear and doingwarm-up exercises. A young man with long blond hair and a red board is sitting on Bronte Beach “It’s a bottom-up approach to issues that have been considered top-downcross-legged on the beach. “The perfect stereotype of a surfer dude,” I say to until now, without much success,” Craig says.Maarten, “he’s probably meditating on the perfect wave.” “How do you get people to vote, or to rate the brands?” Maarten asks.As we reach the end of the beach, we climb a path up the cliffs, giving us agreat view of the sea. “Craig was some kind of hotshot at JWT before he cameback to Australia in 2009,” I say to Maarten. “Now he’s Chief Creative Officer 194 “Brandkarma is a new kind of social network,” Craig says. “You can invite contacts from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to the platform. The more peopleat Publicis Mojo Australia.” who weigh in on brands, the bigger the effect on how those brands do business.”We continue to follow the trail along the cliff tops, and suddenly we see “We preach this in storytelling as well,” Maarten says, “horizontal influence.our surfer dude with the red board making his way to where the waves are More and more people turn to family, friends and colleagues for advice onbreaking. He dives under the first wave, then paddles for 15 seconds before purchases. Advertising and media are not the first source of informationdiving under the second wave. anymore.”After a few minutes we arrive at an open space 100 metres from the tide line A hundred metres from our conversation, our surfer dude with the red boardwith a great view of the surfers waiting for the perfect wave. On a bench a has been waiting for the perfect wave. Now he has decided that the next waveman is sitting overlooking the surf scene. Not only is he the only person at the is the one. He waits for the right moment, starts paddling to gain speed andviewpoint, he’s also wearing a black T-shirt, as promised. gets on his board. The wave swells; the surfer finds his balance and glides fast to prevent the wave from swallowing him. “He’s riding the Bronte Express,”“Craig?” I say. The man turns around and a smile appears on his face. “Guys, I think to myself.step into my office,” he says, pointing at the bench he’s sitting on. “It’s a good,somewhat unpredictable, surfing beach, with a strong rip tide and a heavy “Brandkarma is open, democratic and transparent. We’re aiming to be aswell. It can easily sweep you away, that’s why it’s the ‘Bronte Express’.” positive influence on brands,” Craig says. “Besides rating them, users can make suggestions to improve a brand’s karma.”“Craig, you started Brandkarma some time ago, what is that all about?” In the background the surfer dude with the red board is caught by the wave“When I came back to Australia I wanted to launch a project that had been and swallowed by the Tasman Sea. A few seconds later he emerges, gets backon my mind for some time already, but I never found the time for it. I had two on his board and paddles to get back into position. www.brandkarma.comquestions in mind that form the basis of this project: What kind of a worlddo we want to live in? What kind of a world do we want to leave our kids?” “How does the rating system on Brandkarma work?” Maarten asks.“Okay, those are good questions,” I say. “What is the answer?” “Brand ratings are based on the ‘3 Ps’,” Craig explains, raising a finger for each point. “How good are their Products, how well do they treat People, and“The world’s biggest brands run the global economy and have a huge impact how well do they look after the Planet? A brand with good karma needs toon the world. If we want to make the world a better place, it’s no use sitting score well on all three Ps.on the street and demonstrating against governments. It’s by using the forceof the big brands that change will be made.” “Brandkarma is out to make the world a better place, one brand at a time.” © Sebastian Belzner 195
  • Meeting Sander S t a n b r o k e A u s t ra l i a in Sydney Connecting to Connecting to the future the customerTo get a better insight into the first pillar of the cooperative philosophy,we talk to Sander Pruijs, CCO East within Rabobank.“One of our four pillars is ‘connecting to the customer’, which means that our 42 74 196customers’ interests always come first. This reflects the lack of shareholderswith an immediate financial economic interest in our organisation. Customers– our members – can exert genuine influence over our operations. For us thisis essential in an ongoing relationship based on mutual respect, dialogue and 197 Our last stop is Brisbane, the gateway to Australia’s vast agribusinesstrust. frontier. Just inland, Brendan Menegazzo now heads family-run Stanbroke, the world’s largest vertically integrated beef and cattle operation in private hands.“The Food & Agribusiness is volatile in nature, due to trends in the globalmarkets, consumer demand and even the weather. Earnings can therefore beimpacted accordingly. We can help our customers in mitigating the various Innovating the beef businessrisks, facing the challenges and making use of the opportunities. To illustrate, In 2003, Rabo helped Brendan take over from the other Stanbroke shareholderslet me give you an example. As you probably remember, there were severe with the financing to put together Australia’s largest land deal in the country’sfloods in 2011 in Australia. Our first priority was contacting our clients to see history. Brendan: “It was a pretty exciting time, putting together the country’show we could help them to get back on their feet. In applicable circumstances largest rural transaction. It was also a great benefit being on board withwe offered them support such as deferral of scheduled loan payments and Rabobank as they saw the value in this business going forward, not justwaiving break costs on early redemption of (farm management) deposits. looking to tomorrow’s profits. Now we are the largest, privately owned and vertically integrated beef business.”"All in all it’s about being there for our clients when and where they need us.It’s a good place to work,” he adds with a smile. “Perhaps it would be best tohear from our customers though. They can really tell you what we’re all about A clear market visionfrom their perspective…” “With over 200,000 cattle grazing four million acres of natural grassland, a feedlot capacity for 22,000 heads, a new abattoir and a global branded beef operation, we cover almost every aspect of the cattle sector," Brendan says. "Rabo analysts around the world provide us with the latest information of what is happening in other countries with the commodities we use regularly. They also understand that our different business units have different disciplines and principles. The fact that they are experienced in food and agriculture, food production, processing and sales was key to bringing our deal together.” Long-term relationship “We’re the third generation in farming in Australia now, and our business is very much a generational model with a long-term view. Having a bank that’s interested in long-term agriculture is therefore very important to us. It gives us the peace of mind to focus on long-term innovation and, although it’s obviously irritating, not worry too much if one year is less successful than the previous. It instils peace of mind and therefore the opportunity to focus on42 74 197 what we do really well. So for us, the future looks bright.”