So, you just finished working on a great, successful commercial or campaign that your client is now ready to distribute globally. This should be easy as all you need to do is hire somebody to translate the language, right? Actually, the chances of this campaign having an equal success rate as the U.S. version are slim to none. There are many factors that should go into turning a campaign global that would be very difficult to see if you have not yet experienced the culture you are trying to market in. Here is an example of a commercial campaign to get us started (watch the two videos below):

Notice some differences? While the two commercials are both advertising the Toyota car company, they display very different meanings. They each insinuate different reasons for why their viewers should buy a Toyota. The U.S. and international commercials even played different music in the background, or none at all, which can also play a fairly large role in the successfulness of the campaign.

Creating campaigns with commercials are very costly, not to mention also time consuming. It would be easy for a multi-national company to launch one commercial worldwide and call it good; however, cultural values are going to be a more important issue than price. A public relations or advertising professional must approach a new commercial campaign, or any campaign for that matter, ready to reflect the values, beliefs and realities of the particular culture they are distributing the campaign for.

For example, in Europe energy and water prices are extremely high. So, when trying to promote a new appliance, it would be beneficial as a professional to keep this in mind by highlighting its “light water use,” for example. It is extremely important to be aware of international and cultural differences, especially when looking at what will make a successful commercial.

Countries have different likes/dislikes, cultural values and forms of communication. Feel free to “go global,” but remember that a lot of thought must be put into every detail and decision, big or small, to ensure that you are promoting your company’s product in the best way possible.

— Kaitlin Shrier, Account Supervisor

photo by JohnLeGear via Flickr

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