Hostel Lá Na Vila was a youth hostel set up by São Paulo design agency Naked la na Vila. Each week during the FIFA World Cup, they offered a place for creatives from around the world to come and learn, to experience a vibrant and creative environment at the home of football in 2014. Living in London myself, it was an opportunity I knew I had to take*.
(*My decision was not at all influenced by the fact that there was a national beer sponsor on board, nor by the fact there was some sort of international kickabout going on at the time.)
Day one was about meeting everyone and learning what creative backgrounds we have all come from, creating our team and receiving our brief...
Thanks to the World Cup, the hostel industry in the country was booming, but typically, the Brazilians don't make the most of them. The brief challenged us to keep the momentum going.
During the first day, we got to digest the brief and discuss initial thoughts and questions. It was our first time working together, we all had our own opinions and managing to get heard and to listen was challenging at times. But this was all a good learning experience.
Without thorough investigation of our subject, we wouldn't have the essential knowledge to execute our plan.
So we hit the road, split up into groups and explored what São Paulo had to offer in terms of accommodation. We went to various hostels, ranging from different styles and offering different experiences.
We spoke to owners of hostels, as well as visitors, to canvass their opinions. We wanted to know who used hostels, why they used them and what they thought of the industry in Brazil.
After grasping the lay of the land, we needed to construct effective ideas that we all felt answered our brief. We were briefed to keep it social and experimental, and that it must target the Brazilian traveller.
The management and structure to our team was completely up to us. We drove the project as creatives, with the aid of the agency should we need it.
The idea generation phase was tough: we were together in one space and we all had a voice that deserved to be heard. Our ideas included many services we felt that the hostel world would benefit from. We constructively threw out ideas for all to think and discuss.
On day four we realised we needed to find our focus, our umbrella concept that held our idea together. And Hostelo was born.
My new Portuguese speaking Brazilian colleagues explained that 'elo' translates to 'connection, a coming together if you will' and with the 'Host' from hostel we found this was the perfect name for our brand.
Hostelo would provide numerous services including:
- The Hostelo Coach – a certified champion who'd go round improving existing hostels
- Hostelo Hopping – a way of bring the experience to the people via motor homes decorated in various hostel styles. These would be driven round Brazil to offer the public a night in one and show what the hostel industry has to offer
- On a smaller scale we proposed a hostel crawl that enabled people to experience hostels and have different experiences.
- We designed a universal graphic system that helped educate Brazilians once they were in to have the best experience there.
- We designed various social platforms to enhance the user experience which included apps and a website.
This overall experience was incredible, and most certainly hope this unique project will continue in Brazil. It's great to see it has the potential to expand worldwide.
If anyone gets the chance to go to foreign soil, live with 20 creatives from around the world with the mission of coming together to answer a brief, do it.
Whilst we were there we had the pleasure of listening to industry expert including the creative director of Facebook, Brazil. But most importantly, I worked with people from Brazil, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, USA, Columbia and many more. These people made it what it was: they come from a range of creative backgrounds and together we worked as a team.
Words: Paul Taylor