This month I was in Rio de Janeiro, presenting to Brazil’s biggest company Petrobras about Winning in the Digital Age (Brazil is a digital and social network Mecca). Brazil has always oozed fun, love and excitement, and if Rio is anything to go by, these days the whole country is pumping adrenaline.
Rio-based mega-company Petrobras is developing massive pré-sal (“below the salt”) oilfield discoveries right off Rio’s coast; the country is gearing up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup (surely the party of the decade); and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio follows – making for a one two knockout. Reportedly 90 million of the near 200 million Brazilians are now in the middle class. The country has passed Britain as the world’s 6th largest economy. New President Dilma Rousseff looks to be popular with the people, and it’s Carnival season. The country is on a roll.
I’ve always been a Brazil ‘nut’, and it’s hard not to be in this land of jaw-dropping beaches, lush forests, startling cities, irrepressible people and musical language. There is a wonderful optimism in Brazil, and it’s hard to find someone who, as the Brazilian’s would say, thinks he is king of the black coconut sweets.
Lovemarks are all around, from Havaianas and Feijoada to beautiful Rio and the wizardry of Brazilian football. Check out the new Brazil national team jersey, which celebrates 'The Brazilian way'.
In São Paulo, my Lovemarks include the supermarket Santa Lucia, and the wonderfully-located superb boutique hotel, Emiliano. Rio de Janeiro is a different world, with its rowdier edges and the sensuality element up full. My kind of town, and The Marvelous City – as it is called – is on a major comeback fueled by the energy industry.
In Rio, sensuality and grandeur play together from the dazzling beaches and Sugarloaf mountain to the Corcovado (statue of Christ the Redeemer) to two of my Lovemarks – the Orient-Express Copacabana Palace and the Santa Teresa neighborhood.
“Nature was very generous with Rio” says Brazilian Designer Daniella Helayel, which sums things up. See you at the Maracanã Stadium – Brazil’s temple to football – for the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.