During my vacation I helped my sister translate a few things for the HosStuffWork things from Discovery and included a piece about the IMAX cinemas.

Never been in a IMAX screening myself, until very recently there were no IMAX screens in Brazil. Which opened for business exactly on the day I returned from that said vacation. As it appear I finally have a reason to experience it for the first time, as the re-release of The Dark Knight is not only slated down here also, but scheduled for next week.

Going to movies in Taiwan is not a cheap entertainment commodity, and as Variety reported last week Taipei is getting another IMAX screen soon. Wonder where it will be installed? Down here in Brazil we’re barely on the 1st (though Argentina has one for a few years already), heh.

Wonder if experiencing will be something blog worthy. Will know about it soon.

Google’s Orkut: 5th Anniversary.

It’s something curious to follow news and stats about social networking websites, and Orkut owned by Google (since around 2006)  don’t appear as much under the radar. This social networking website commemorated its 5th anniversary, last monday (Jan 26th, 2009).

Personally I suck at these networking websites, where I never really fully use its features or even as a full networking tool. I’ve created accounts in several of them, some of them that I don’t even remember anymore. Orkut was definitely the 1st of them, some time before it was bought by Google. Facebook may be the one a little bit more prolific these days, but even so, not by much. My preference over the simplicity of microblogging over at Twitter, beat any curious feature that appear in these sites.

The contrasting aspect is how much Orkut is not in the radar around most of the world, but it’s the ultimate success in Brazil. The following story from Info Exame, about it’s 5th anniversary does bring us several interesting data. Very early its introduction, it speedily gathered Brazilian users, despite it’s sort of limiting registering by invitation feature. In little time the Brazilian user were majority in that site, and now it the most visited website in the country, in which users spend most time.

The data about Orkut in Brazil  I’m listing below is from the linked article:

  • 37 Million of Brazilian Registered Users (non-confirmed), from which an average of 17 million are home users.
  • Visitors spend an average of  4 hours and 40 minutes per month in it, and this average peaked around 5 hours in a few months.
  • Major social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace barely appears in the Brazilian radar, as it registers less than 1% of user participation.
  • The mojority of the users are still from young people, but in recent years the number of older users did increase. In 2008, the 25 to35 demographic increased by 31% in the website, while the young users only increased by 15%.

It’s an interesting take on it, so much that Orkut as an word and concept might be able to summarize the social networking phenomenon in Brazil by itself. As positioning for companies looking for potential costumers, if you’re looking for them in Brazil, by targeting Facebook or Myspace might not be the best choice, as Orkut by the numbers might generate more ROI of the all.

If you’re like me have more an academic interest over the phenomenon, things might just be a little bit more complicated, especially if you’re attempting to set a more global view of the statistics, but the additional complexity in the scenario might just be the fun part in all of this.

Does stereotyping means segmentation?

A friend of mine just emailed me the following images, mostly as another one of those funny emails, you are always getting from friends.

Yeah,  they’re funny. But the after thought disturbed me a little. Are they really appealing as an campaign?  It reminds me, of how ad campaign for beers, just like margarine ads, are usually interesting cases to be analyzed, especially on its cultural take. They’re open books for what “socially acceptable” in your given society.

Beer ad campaigns are mostly male oriented, even the more quirky ones (yes, Budweiser, I’m looking at you now). They associate themselves with happinnes, beautiful women, fraternity, and other words as such.

The point here is can this sometimes go to far (it seems like my main question for the day). The campaign could be listed among the quisky ones, even if just considered through the point that the thought process is different to men and women.

However, does designing campaigns through the eyes of the stereotypes, really allow you to reach your targeted demographic. Wouldn’t be more harmful, than positive?

It was already the trend, even before the current economic crisis, reaching out to specific public is an essential part to the success of most business plans, especially if the attempt is not only to create awareness, but start a relashioship with the costumer.

In families, in which the women are the deciders of what purchases are made, what is the effect of such campagins, wouldn’t cause more negative reaction toward your brand, rather than generating potetial costumers?

A curious comparison that could be done one of these days, browse youtube for different video campaigns for beer from around the world. The result will either confirm the shallow observations above, or actually provide some interesting data for further study.

Then do same with Margarine. Wonder what would be the result…

Can viral go too far?

Recently bumped into the following video, which through some digging or thought it can figured out as an viral video for Nike.

It does have great elements for viral campaign, the exagerration wouldn’t bother me as much if it wasn’t done through a celebrity. Though the whole subject of the video itself, is about it. It just makes me wonder.

Unknown spots: Meeting Dona Romana.

CBS just announced the racers that will take part of the new cycle of the show, the 14th of this multiple Emmy winning reality show.  This will be the second cycle that the network will be showing this season. The 13th seasonpremiered back in October, the first leg of the race took the 11 teams (with previous relatioships) to Salvador, Brazil.

Unfortunately, it was just a so-so season, lacking the excitement of Seasons 11 (The All Star Season) & 12 that I really enjoyed. For some reason, people seems to get confused when talking about Latin America or South America, and Brazil in this context. As the largest and possibly the richest country in Latin America, it is a very uneven country. It can be at the same time the ultimate synonym of being cosmopolitan, but you don’t need to go that far to see homeless kids begging just to eat.

We speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Out capital city is Brasilia, not Rio de Janeiro (which used to be a very long time ago) or Buenos Aires (that’s the capital city for Argentina).  Rio’s slums (aka favelas) are very identifiable, but is very local look, that differs to big slums from other large cities.  Sao Paulo is like a small country by itself. And despite all of these, travelling to the small spots, are sometimes what makes you take things into perspective.

As I posted previously, about my trip to Tocantins back in August, the way to Dianopolis would’ve make a great spot for the race. It was the great example of how small cities differed from large cities, but that I already shared a few months ago, before taking the long hiatus that I’ve taken with this blog. So it’s been a long time since I promised to talk about the meeting with Dona Romana.

Dona Romana

Dona Romana

Sometimes the timing is just right. It takes and 3 hour and 1/2 drive to take us from Dianopolis a small city in the state of Tocantins to Palmas, it’s capital and closest city with airports with commercial flights that can take us back home.  We pretty much had to rush through the final activities for training program we were working with the local district teachers, as we had to leave before noon. As we had free seats, two local teachers took the ride with us.

On the way to Palmas, we have to cross by a city named Almas, which confuses a lot of people, as the city entrance features a huge display “ALMAS”, and unprepared people get confused because, they end up confusing it with Palmas, which is like another 200km away. It’s nearby there, that lives Dona Romana. Healer, Sculptor, a spiritual guide. She’s probably the best real example when you picture one of these people you’d stumble in some Stephen King fiction,  One of the teachers accompanying us, took us there, and gave us a brief introduction of her history.

She dreams, these dreams are what compels her to build some really amazing sculptures. She’s Christian (you’ll see altars and large paintings of Jesus Christ in the house), but she doens’t know where she get these visions.  The outside of the large property is populated by dozens of sculptures, that are hard to believe are all build by herself.  They’re almost set as a big maze. She claims that whenever she gets a dream, that compels her to build something, it comes with some unknown force that allows her to do so.  Ever since, her home became sort of a sanctuary.  She’s didn’t mind our non-scheduled visit, and took us in a tour through the property. There are areas that simply store things, store books, clothes, and even a circled area that collects from old wooden tools to Alien action figures . She has a storage room with piles and piles of old soda bottles filled with seeds.

Dona Romana says that those will be needed for someday. She doesn’t know when, she doesn’t know what. She just knows that it’s needed. It’s a little bit haunting.

Here are some pictures I took at that visit.

Entrance to Dona Romanas Home

Entrance to Dona Romana's Home

You enter and exit in different ways.

Crossroad: You enter and exit in different ways.

A person?

A person?

What type of bird could this be?

What type of bird could this be?

Some wider shots.

There are a few other shots and a small video over at flickr. Suffice to say, believing on her on not, it was a really enriching and unexpected experience to meet her.

On a side note, it’s probably just things crossing together, CBS has also been promoting the new cycle of the Survivor series (which for some reason, I was never able to endure). But guess what where the new season is set?

The new season is titled Survivor: Tocantins – The Brazilian Highlands. Here’s the promo video.