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What Can I Do To De-stress During The Day?

Every person has their own unique ways to relax. In my case, to tends to revolve around good music. If that’s not enough then maybe I’ll try to watch a movie.  What do you do to control stress?

We in a cultural moment in which there are an ever increasing number of apps for mobile devices that promise to help us de-stress or focus ourselves. Some of them help you to meditate, create deep-breathing exercises, give you calming sleep related sounds and everything that you need to be more relaxed and focus at any time of the day. 

Some of the newest and most popular apps on the market right now include:

1. Omvana
2. Headspace  
3. Hear And Now
4. Pacifica
5. Buddhify 2
6. Pause
7. Rain Rain Sleep Sounds
8. Stop, Breathe & Think
9. Prune
10. Wa Kingyo
11. Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

If you wanna to know more about the apps above, click here.

If you have tried any of the apps above or any others for such purposes we would love to know your experiences and how you found them? Also if you prefer to meditate without technology what is your opinion of these social apps? 

(This post comes from our Designing Deeper blog)

(Este post foi retirado do nosso blog Designing Deeper)

Ever had the feeling you have been cheated? Fall out from the ‘Just do It’ approach to sports sponsorship

Earlier this week we published an opinion piece in Meio e Mensagem here in Brazil about cycling, sports sponsorship and brands. Here is the original version of the article in English...

Transient

The events of the past 2 weeks have generated more media coverage about the sport of professional cycling, not least here in Brazil, than for a large part of the past twenty years.

As a fan of the sport for more than two decades I had become accustomed to the fact that, much as for those who participate in the sport, the fan’s passion for cycling can be a very lonely affair. In recent days however, as words such as EPO and ‘omerta’ have become mainstream and our friends start posting comments about the Lance Armstrong affair on Facebook we have had to become accustomed to suffering not alone but in the company of others as our favourite sport has become the centre of attention like never before.   Cycling’s 15 minutes of infamy, raises a host of questions about contemporary sports but also about brands and sponsorship, the contemporary media landscape and the relationship of trust and credibility between consumers and these two institutions. Also, and perhaps most significantly for a country which is preparing to host the worlds second and third greatest sporting events (the Tour de France remains in number one position for me) it brings under the spotlight the role which athletes and those in power play in the governance of major sporting and entertainment events.

As an innocent 18 year old in the late 1980s i personally hitchhiked my way around France and Spain following the continents two premier cycling events. At the time I think I was perhaps the only cycling groupie, attracted by what appeared to be the toughest sporting challenge imaginable and the glamour and European ‘coolness’ epitomised by my fellow cycling fans, Kraftwerk and the Style Council. Even back then the Tour had its media and sponsor caravan and was not free of drug related controversy. The Dutch PDM team (their shirt remains in my wardrobe until today) which in 1991 was forced to retire its team from the Tour de France because of what at the time was announced as ‘food poisoning’ but subsequently was revealed to be due to a bad batch of anabolic steroids.  Their principal sponsor Phillips soon cut its sponsorship but the doping controversies which continued to plague the sport remained largely off the mainstream radar.   In many ways the simplicity of cycling, meant that the sport in itself remained largely unchanged since these initial controversies. What has undeniably changed however is the context around the sport. In part this reflects a bigger cultural change in which the bicycle has become a lifestyle symbol with both ecological and economical benefits for many of the planets urban dwellers. But also throughout the last two decades cycling began to attract a greater number of corporate sponsors who sought to associate their brands to this lifestyle. As with any emerging entertainment genre an icon was needed to personalize the phenomenon for the masses and as if by some ironic magic an American athlete with the perfect backstory (recovery from testicular cancer) emerged to become the face of cycling to what had been a previously elusive US market.

As Lance Armstrong  bought a new sense of global appeal to professional cycling, so media interest and money began to roll in. However, one crucial fact that continues to astound me is that companies which speak so frequently about brand equity and consumer trust is the complete lack of responsibility they seem willing to assume within their role as sports sponsors.
Nike are not alone but of course but their recently terminated involvement with Lance Armstrong will be the most scrutinized. Whilst such brands may wish to argue that they too have been cheated by the sporting heroes they helped to create, it is undeniable that their role in creating an icon in a sport with such an obvious culture of doping could instead have created the conditions for a ‘clean’ sport at a time when the elevated status of Armstrong (which they helped to build) allowed him to effectively bully those around him into compliance. Recent research from the University of Alabama found that Americans who adopt the ‘Just Do It’ attitude and place a high value on action and ‘doing’ can suffer from to a loss of objectivity in their seeking of information, inducing a conformation culture in which dissenting voices are marginalised. One must wonder if Nike has become a victim of it’s own slogan in this instance? Beyond cycling the question must be asked as to how long other sports sponsors will continue to turn a blind eye to controversy surrounding the sports they sponsor? At this very moment a number of black English footballers are considering forming a black players union, out of frustration at the racism they continue to encounter with the workplace. How many of the 2014 World Cup sponsors would allow such public behaviour within their own workplace?

In recent years advocates of social media have been quick to laud the power of tools such as Facebook and Twitter as a positive force for change in exerting pressure on brands to be more transparent and more responsible. However, if the cycling controversy as well as that of the BBC presenter Jimmy Saville (exposed after 20 years of abuse of women, children and hospital patients) have shown, cultures of silence can continue to exist even in an age of social networks and wall to wall media coverage. In the case of cycling a small number of sports journalists, most notably the ex-pro cyclist Paul Kimmage, tried for years to bring the doping issue to the front page of their newspapers. They were however consistently marginalised and criticised and now in the case of Kimmage sued by the very organisations which they have now seen proved to be at best inept and at worst corrupt. Such instances must surely raise the question as to whether more media is better media?

Somewhere within the media maelstrom and press briefings of recent days, one voice that seems to have been missing is that of the fan or as he or she is more popularly known, the consumer. Who cares about how we feel as our sport is destroyed from within and devoured from outside. What does it matter to us that we purchased the yellow wristbands or felt a connection to our mobile company because they sponsored a cycling team? It has been argued that brands continue to sponsor sporting icons because their on-field performance is all that matters. I do not expect my sporting heroes to be the perfect role models and I’m grateful that not all sportsmen and women are like Roger Federer. But i do not expect them to destroy the very sport they claim to represent from the inside. At a time when my native Britain has its first ever Tour de France champion, the worlds best professional team (Team Sky) and one of the icons for those who are trying to change the sport’s attitude to cycling from within (David Millar) i can see many reasons to be positive about the future of my beloved sport. But as someone who for many years found myself defending the same sport against those who labelled it as drug fuelled and corrupt i find it impossible not to think of the famous rhetorical question posed by John Lydon of the Sex Pistols in 1978 “ever get the feeling you have been cheated?”

Outdoor Advertising - Water Consumption in Brazil

Is this really the most effective means to promote responsible use of water?

[caption id="attachment_300" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Use water responsibly!"]Use water responsibly![/caption]

I may be being a touch sensitive given that as a result of severe floods here in the south of Brazil, i Iike many people was without water for some time - nothing in comparison to the thousands of people who have lost lives, property, loved ones etc - HOWEVER... I'm not sure that the timing of my discovering this outdoor advertisement on a bus shelter from a water company promoting more conscientious consumption of water is the only thing that left me dumbfounded. In case you can't see from the photo the shell of the advert contains water itself in the bottom half. Not only the water but the electricity required to keep the water circulating within the plastic case of the poster seem to go against the theme of the message. It did get my attention though!

Green Marketing and Consumers in Brazil - 5

To mark the UN Environment Day, TWRAmericas undertook a series of discussion groups with Brazilians to look not only at the issues as they relate to consumers in Brazil but also broader issues of sustainable development and ethical consumerism. The groups approached a broad range of subjects including current behaviours and responses to a range of 'green' advertising and activities by brands. Their are a series of 5 video clips with the thoughts of the participants. Please feel free to add your own own comments or thoughts on the issues discussed.

In this third section of clips respondents discuss a range of green advertising and its influence on their behaviour as consumers.

Environment Day - Brazilians thoughts

In honour of the UN World Environment Day we decided to talk to some Brazilians about their thoughts on a range of issues surrounding sustainability, consumers, brands and governments. We also took along some examples of 'green focused' advertising and communications from around the world to test reactions. We are posting here a teaser of some of the initial discussions. More content to come as well as some of our own thoughts on how Brazilians relate to green communications and the role of brands in relation to environmental issues.   

Brazilian consumers and purchase decisions

Brazilian consumers are relatively unlikely to be daring at he point of sale, preferring to refer back to past purchase practices as their primary information sources followed by the opinions of their peers, family and friends. These are the results from a new research study undertaken with approximately 19 thousand Brazilians between the ages of 12 and 64 in the principal metropolitan regions and which analysed products in 200 different categories. The findings highlighted varied primary information sources for different products; for cars and electronics the internet and newspaper appear to be most influential, health and lifestyle purchases tend to be most influenced by magazines. TV is defined as most influential amongst products for the home, including food and home electronics. Point of sale influencers do appear to be increasingly important especially amongst young people, as does word of mouth – especially in specific markets such as the mobile phone.

Elsewhere an additional research study has highlighted the fact that Brazilians are the most demanding consumers across South America. They are most likely 53% to discuss purchases with others, inlcuding their children. When deciding between products 86% of Brazilians are influenced by brands and 80% by the influence of a professional.

Source: InfoMoney

Brazilian consumers respond best to emotional ads

Brazilians respond best to advertising which have strong emotional appeal according to research across 10 countries conducted by Millward Brown. The report – entitled ‘Global – How cultural differences influence advertising performance” tested 31,000 publicity films form a variety of markets as well as collating pre-existing data and interviewing industry professionals in each country. Brazilians apparently have one of the lowest reactions to rational advertising, unlike countries such as India and China, preferring the more irreverent in advertising.

Clean City Law fails to stop Sao Paulo masseuse

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Lorrane, 29 yrs old, 1,75m, 67kg, tanned, size 39 shoes boldly goes where most major brands no longer dare. Much has been written about the Clean City Law introduced to remove outdoor advertising from the streets of Sao Paulo, and whilst largely successful the law has failed to deter an erotic masseuse. Initially the city government pondered over how best to issue the R$120,000 fine. The story in today’s Folha de Sao Paulo doesn’t report whether there was a lack of takers for the job of issuing the paperwork. When the government then set out, with a converted dog-catchers van to remove the signs they were literally stunned by the number of signs Lorrane was responsible for or the persistency of the ‘garota de programa’ to return and put more signs up in their place. Apparently in the next few days the city government plan to return to Lorrane’s home and cement over the entrance to her rented home with concrete blocks. 

ESPN Football

ans-espn-gaucho-karan.jpg A second football launch this week saw ESPN via Neogama/BBH employ a very Nike Scoripion'esque graffiti style press campaign for its ongoing football coverage of overseas leagues in 2007/8. The campaign which will start to be visible in the Brazilian media and urban centers as of early 2008 focuses heavily on Ronaldinho and Manchester United to promote the channels coverage of overseas leagues and the UEFA Champions League. More details on portaldapropoganda.com

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Adidas Teamgeist

adidas-gisele_pop1.jpg In the week that Brazil won the bid to host the World Cup in 2014 most of the press coverage in the country has focused on the nations ability to host the tournament, the potential political fallout and the real bidding war within Brazil to be a host city for the tournament. Off the field football continues to dominate in recent Brazilian sports marketing campaigns. A couple of nice examples we picked up on last week. Firstly Adidas, as the official sponsors of the Beach Football World Cup 2007 currently taking place in Rio. The campaign, designed by Age, utilises the talents of local sand artist Roger Rodrigues is very localised based around a small number of posters located in Rio stores during the tournament and focusing on the official ‘Teamgeist’ ball. For more details see here...

Gina

palitosgina.jpg Thanks to Gina one need never eat alone in Brazil. Since 1975 blue eyed Gina has accompanied many a feijoada and stroganoff across the country. Many Brazilian restaurants operate on a pay per kilo buffet system which feed millions of people on a daily basis. Finishing off the last mouthful of moqueca or couve how many of them, without thinking, call on Gina to help them freshen up. Gina's wooden toothpicks have in fact been in existence since 1947 but it was only in the mid 70s that someone had the idea to put the face of the family matriarch on the small brown box. In reality the face that appears on the box is that of the non-toothpick using Polish model Zofia Burk. Zofia, a much sought after model at the time, is now head of marketing for a major credit card company. Meanwhile Gina, who hasn't aged a day since she first appeared continues to live on tables and in cupboards across Brazil. Both have their own Orkut fan sites - http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=176922

Hering

A classic advert from a classic brand from the south of Brazil. Hering have been makling T-Shirts since there have been Brazilians to wear them. In the classic ad from the early 1960s the art of cigarette smoking whilst in vest is exemplified by the gentleman on the left, his wifebeater wearing friend is occupied inspecting the quality of his towel.

Casio Run

Casio Run Having initially been impressed by the Nike + system we have been forced to re-think the novelty of their running aid on encountering this prototype from the 1980s. Just going to prove that there is nothing new out there, like its Nike counterpart the Casio system some 20 years previously had allowed you track your time, distance, speed and strides per minute. What it lacks in Powersongs it makes up for in buttons.

Eisenbahn

The 4th largest in the world, the beer market in Brazil has been undergoing something of a revival of late. Traditionally it has been dominated by ice-cold Pilsners from the major brands from Inbev (Brahma, Antartica, Bohemia and Skol) and Femsa (Kaiser, Bavaria). There are a number of strong regional brands such as Cerpa in the North and the Mexican brand Sol was recently launched in Brazil. More interesting however has been the increasing presence in bars and on supermarket shelves of a range of both more specialist foreign imports (soon to include the likes of Hoegaarden and London Pride) and the products of smaller national micro-breweries. In much the same way as the national wine market has become the focus of investment of late, a number of premium Brazilian draft and bottled beers have risen in prominence. Eisenbahn has to be one of our favourite waiting to be discovered Brazilian brands. Founded in the German colonial town of Blumenau in the south of the country, Eisenbahn produces a range of beers that include both light and dark beers, a Pale Ale and an Organic Pilsen. Not only does the product taste good but the brand benefits from distinctive packaging across the range and a great story behind the brewery and its look. Eisenbahn attempts to recreate traditional German brewing techniques and is the only Brazilian brewery to follow the 1516 German Beer Purity regulations. The brewery which is open to visitors includes a bar named the Eisenbahn station. Eisenbahn in German means railroad and the site of the brewery lays next to the towns one–time railway station. It also helps to explain why the brand logo, the train appears on all the companies products.

Rainha

Founded in 1934, Rainha claims to be the original Brazilian sporting footwear brand. Rainha specilaise in footwear for the futsal, basketball and volleyball markets. Since 1979 the brand has been in the hands of Alpargatas. Yes the same Alapargatas who bought Havainas to the world and are also responsible for the more football focused Topper and the All-Star look-a-like Bambas. The Rainha product range has now expanded to include sportswear and balls but all are still made in the company’s two factories in Brazil (Natal and Santa Rita).. The brand logo has traditionally been a torch. Shoe logos have altered slightly over the years, from the use of the 2 stripes seen in this advert from the early 1980’s for the Rainha Volley to the current day dare we say prawn shaped loop. Reacting to the trend for classic footwear remakes, Rainha have recently moved both into the running market (see ad below) and launched a number of retro inspired lines including the highly impressive white and blue canvas numbers. Some of the more recent Rainha advertising can be found here…