Mondelez's Latam marketing boss Maria Mujica: 'Follow the discomfort - it's a sign you are moving in the right direction'

Maria Mujica:  Latam marketing strategy & communication director, Mondelez International (pic: D. Giovaneli - Reporte Publicidad)
Maria Mujica: Latam marketing strategy & communication director, Mondelez International (pic: D. Giovaneli - Reporte Publicidad)

Maria Mujica

Latam marketing strategy & communication director, Mondelez International

If I had to describe the essence of what the Fly Garage is, I would use one of my favourite Ray Bradbury quotes on creativity: "It’s jumping off the cliff and growing your wings on your way down."

Fly Garage is an innovation incubator located in the creative district of Palermo, Buenos Aires, co-led with Contagious and +Castro. It’s both a physical and mental space where we create digitally enabled ways of connecting our power brands with people to accelerate growth. But beyond this, it is more of a social experiment where we are reimagining what powerful collaboration looks like. We are experiencing the creativity that can be unleashed when you lift the client/agency barriers, generate an egoless space and welcome discomfort and rough prototypes.

In one-and-a-half years we have stress-tested our Fly Garage way in more than 10 sessions for different brand challenges, and expanded with our first global pop-up Garage in San Francisco, with Oreo. The initial wave of Fly Garage ideas we rolled out has provided us with huge lessons: "Trident Traffic karaoke" in Colombia; the "tweet-activated piñata"; the "edible scan fan" in Argentina; and the most relevant one being the Beldent Random Music Fest, with 1m streaming the four-stage festival. In the next six months we have an accelerated pipeline of five projects to market.

This is all about work in progress and making fast adjustments as we learn. We are focused on driving an entrepreneurial culture and reinventing our ability to innovate in how our brands connect and scale. We have made progress in a short time, but clearly there is a lot to do.

In the meantime, we can share three general learnings of our "flight" so far.

Follow the discomfort. It’s a good sign that you are moving in the right innovative direction. The lack of clarity is not an omen of failure, it’s a call to action where experimentation becomes a key tool. Trust the "learn-by-doing" approach.

Agitating and stirring up the chaos in the play­ground is good. We invest a lot of time and effort in curating good chaos. We invite external agitators to bring collision and open new perspectives with non-linear topics.

Mashing up leading-edge talent, diverse cultures, students, partners and company teams is a challenging social experiment, but an unbeatable generator of greater creativity. Our Garage looks like a mini-hub of the United Nations. From Iceland to Costa Rica, Flyers breathe "globalism". This forces us to work with deeper and more fundamental insights and truths. It helps us focus on what matters and helps creativity, rather than being a problem to overcome.

I’m proud of our courage to move to action with discomfort. In these 18 months we have moved from "How on earth can we do this?" to "This works, so how can we make it bigger and faster?" – and that is a great question to be working on.

Embratur (Brazilian Institute of Tourism)


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Sportswear campaign promotes urban running

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Avon/New Balance


Beauty brand hosts charity marathon

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