Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My BLINK Website.

Somehow my does not work, but you guys can check it out at this address

its a test page, and I am moving it to its new home at soon!

Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 20, 2006

At last! All done.

I am officially done with my research project!

50 copies of my handbook (exegesis) has already been printed, and 100 copies of DVDs for the handbook (two DVDs will be attached to each of the handbook) have been duplicated.

Of course, I have already put a title for my project. It is BLINK: Tackling the communication flux within the Asia-Pacific region.

Now waiting for my markers to mark my work and view the DVDs. I'm having people within Australia and Holland marking my work. Hopefully they understand that my work is not really academic and that it is more practice based.

anyway, check out

This website is part of the outcome for my research project.

Can't wait to send out my handbook plus the DVDs to the interviewees in Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Screwdriver - Malaysian Ad

A nicely executed advertisement about the Malaysian advertising ruling against showing armpits on Malaysian TV. In Malaysia, the underarm is considered as 'private' (well not as private as the more private parts of the body) and most people there 'prefer' and try their best to not show or have them exposed at any time, even when wearing the skimpiest piece of clothing they will try to conceal it. This are more concerned with women rather than men, where showing 'too much' is generally considered as 'tarty', 'rude', 'bad upbringing' or simply 'Westernised'. Most Malaysians (especially the Malays) prefer not to look at them or be caught looking at others armpits or wearing anything that could possibly or accidentally expose their underarm (you guys might think it's funny but it's true and of course there are Malay Malaysians who wear piece of clothing that expose their underarm, I am refering to the general population, not only to the ones living in big cities like Kuala Lumpur).

Even with all these rules and sensitivities to be careful of, advertisements for body cologne/ spray or soaps use smart edits, cuts or tricks like placing a bath foam to conceal the underarm area if the talent is in the shower shampooing his/hers hair.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bib #31 "Cross Cultural Advertising Jangles A Nerve"

Fernando, Angelo. "Cross Cultural Advertising Jangles A Nerve." June 2001:, August 2006.

This article by Angelo Fernando, a Marketing Communications person is basically about a TV commercial for Polo mints that received the highest award at a recent Ad awards. There were a lot of controversy going around the mint commercial, one is a protest by the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Dr. Uditha Liyanage, who "wrote to protest his disgust at the idea of awarding a trophy to the advertisement. In his opinion, although he contends that the commercial is 'extremely creative' and 'engaging', the heady mix of the 'vita' and the 'mint' is an example of advertising's insensitivity to our local identity, a cultural "hotchpotch".

Fernando discussed further on about how ad agencies & marketers tend to overlay one culture on another by forgetting the nuances and values of each. Also how the Western culture pose a threat to a country's indigenous values through ideology and techniques of advertisements employed. "Famous examples are advertisements that celebrate taboo behaviours in conservative cultures, those that recommend instant gratification over time-worn traditions, technology over human interaction, or independence of the individual over family traditions revolving around inter-dependence".

One point I thought was very important mentioned in the article was made by Dr. Liyanage. He commented on the direct relationship between 'relevancy' and 'effectiveness' in advertising. "The Big Idea, he observes, can only be effective when it resonates 'cultural nuances and trends', our 'identity and ethos'".

This point of his is supported by an interview he did. (Link -

Q. In advertisements, there are no shortages of good ideas that suffer bad execution. What guidelines should creative people be aware of when taking their 'big idea' forward?

A: I do not think that it is simply a matter of execution as opposed to content. The "big idea" itself should be rooted in one?s culture for it to be relevant and therefore effective. For example, "pain" in the local setting relates to a dozen expressions that typify a dozen sensations of pain. For example, "Wedanawa" "Kakkuma" "Rudawa" "Rideema", are disparate sensations. Are we aware of these expressions when we talk of "relief", say in an analgesic ad?

Do we portray the right contexts in our advertisements in communicating these "sensations" and expressions?.

Moreover are we cognizant of the thought processes that capture the meanings of specific concepts. In the English Language the distinction between ?praise" and ?flattery" is less marked than in the Sinhala and Tamil languages. In English, "flattery" is merely excessive praise, which serves a legitimate purpose of gratifying or inspiring one. In the Sinhala and Tamil languages "flattery" is clearly praise overdone, which transforms it into something deceitful, false and empty. This means that the positive expression should be used sparingly and with extreme care when promoting products in our cultural context. Are we aware of these cultural differences and do we reflect them in developing our "big ideas" and expressing them?

An interview with Paul Gardner from Grey Worldwide, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA.

Iz Sulaini

Paul Gardner, Group Chairman of Grey Worldwide

Wednesday, June 14 2006

Grey Worldwide Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Level 5, 470 St Kilda Road, Melbourne Vic 3004

23 minutes

Paul Gardner: My name is Paul Gardner. I am the Group Chairman of the Grey Global Group in Australia and New Zealand which used to be an advertising agency but now it is expanding more into a marketing communications group. We look after traditional advertising, media, and sales promotion which people would call now a digital marketing through interactive. We are also a healthcare group.

IS: Have you come across issues or challenges in cross-cultural communication in advertising?
PG: I guess the obvious ones are the government communications. There is legislation in place for federal advertising but it needs to be available in what they considered to be the major languages of Australia which is 26. At this stage there is 26 languages, and there is a consideration especially in areas such as anything to do with public awareness campaigns that must be translatable into those areas. There are some commercial opportunities such as AXA which we recently done, which need to translate cross-country. We are actually doing Pan-Asian work at the moment.

IS: Do you have field experience in developing a marketing or advertising strategy/campaign across different national markets and cultures in the Asia Pacific region?
PG: As I mentioned before AXA. AXA is a wealth creation and an insurance company. The campaign we developed for them 18 months ago in Australia, which is called the "AXA Plan", the strategy was the thing that really translated across all of the different countries and they are executed locally. We are now developing work for the UK, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea and China.

IS: What sort of issues did your team faced? How you handled it? What did you do?
PG: I guess one of the biggest issues we had to face is that clearly regardless of how we like to position Australia; it still is largely seen as a colonial outpost. So the way we approach advertising tends to reflect that. As we know some parts of Asia especially China, the British sense of humor is considered too subtle and they really prefer a "Jackie Chan" kind of action and humor more overt than subtle, so that was one of the issues faced so the campaign does use humor. It is easier for us to run that campaign in London for instance, than may well be in the Philippines. We had to be conscious of that. We also have to be conscious of if we are doing a campaign that is going to run across different countries in Asia, is there one typical or stereotypical person that represents Asia that's very different not only by countries but also cultures within country. For instance do we do a typical Chinese family that runs across the whole gamut of Asia? And how will that work in India, and how will that work in Thailand. So we had to be aware of the regional sensitivities, cultural sensitivities, communication sensitivities and religious sensitivities as well.

IS: What is your opinion on taking an international approach but with a local understanding? Do you think that will grab the customers' attention in a particular region?
PG: Depends very much on the category of the product and services. For instance if you do an approach on HIV it might well resonate in a country like Australia where it is still fortunately largely a minority issue, whereas in other countries like China, it is a much bigger issue. I think that you have to see the execution might be different and the amount of money you put behind it might be different but I would imagine it at the very core that the strategy can be the same. For AXA, the strategy for AXA is "You can't have a plan for life, you can have a plan for living". Now that strategy transcends all different cultures and the fact we wrote the same campaign in China, Japan, Australia, UK and Italy shows that the strategy is sound and how we implement that and execute it are very different.

IS: Can you identify a global brand that uses the same concept or campaign idea across different culture and countries especially in the Asia Pacific?
PG: If you look at the other brands like Nike, once again the essence of aspiration and achievement transcends different cultures and can work with local executions working better... I mean the Tiger Woods’ execution will work particularly well in certain countries and won’t work in others.... being golf, I think golf is probably fairly universal appeal for a lot of Asian countries but if Nike were doing it with Michael Jordan whilst that launch the brand in Australia it will never really work here (Australia) because basketball has a certain level of interest.

IS: If you wanted to advertise Nike who would you use?
PG: Shane Warne. I mean Shane Warne of course is Nike. He has little Nike earring, I wouldn't use Shane to launch any telephone brands. (Note: Shane is renowned for using SMS to contact girlfriends while he was married, his messages were discovered and published).

IS: What about Kathy Freeman?
PG: Kathy Freeman? Possibly. Kathy is now out of the spotlight a bit. I think once an athlete leaves his/her chosen profession, it's very difficult to align with other brands.

IS: ....Or Ian Thorpe?
PG: Ian Thorpe would be a great ambassador, but I think he is currently with Adidas... as I recall. It is interesting to see the ones that become celebrities because they are so good at their profession. I remember during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a friend of mine in America were saying they only showed two Australians, which was Ian Thorpe and Kathy Freeman. They only showed those they rated as really world class. Whilst we can get, and other countries get really wrapped up in it, if you go to Singapore and read the sports pages, its all about who won the badminton or who won the table tennis, we could become very myopic about who our real sports stars are, who our real celebrities are... and you have to take a more global approach or more pan-regional approach.

IS: In your opinion, what are the steps or issues to be considered when tailoring a marketing strategy in different countries especially in the Asia Pacific Region? What steps should be taken? How should the issues be addressed? - For example, an Australian agency launching an Australian brand targeting the Asia Pacific Region.
PG: First you need a strategic direction. I think we need to decide what is the common thought and insight that will work across the region, and to do that you need to understand and research the consumer quite heavily. What turns them on, what turns them off. For instance, the AXA Plan campaign as an example, in Australia the essence may well be that... "I don't want to be working when I am 80”, in other words I need to save up for my retirement now whereas we found in Japan, they actually want to keep working when they are 80, because they feel to retire is to lose their "usefulness". So the same product, but two very, very different insights, so we need to now turn that around into a common insight rather than "I don't want to be working when I am 80", it may well be to - "I have to maximise most of my working life". We take that as a preposition and then look there is a local interpretation what does that mean in Japan, what does that mean in Australia, so you can have common elements, the logo, the colours, the tone, the style, the music.... but you may subtly change the variation to suit the local.

IS: The "AXA Plan" is definitely an interesting campaign. Do you have all the different executions in Grey's Melbourne office?
PG: We do. Some of that we have to translate. And as I said the humor is important. The interesting thing for us of course people don't understand what "Plan" is. In mainland China for instance, the role of advice is not as sophisticated as it may well be in Singapore or Hong Kong or Sydney. So it is important for us to understand that and make those changes accordingly. Each office can introduce their own "Plans"... and what we will do is tough them up a bit.

IS: So, who translated the copy and headlines?
PG: The local offices. The local client’s responsible for the altered translation, I can't look at it and then read in Thai, and say yes, that's right or that's wrong, so that is their responsibility.

IS: Do you assume ad agencies always understand everything about a particular culture or market and how cultural issues can impact on the marketing of the clients' product? (If not, how would an ad agency evaluate such a situation in order to forecast possible problems that might arise? Who alerts the agency? What is done to keep campaign executions "safe"? Who would you hire, and with what level of experience, to tackle issues or possible problems?).
PG: Do ad agencies assume they know everything about a local country? The answer is No. Often an ad agency will have a branch in the local country; we have an office in Singapore, Vietnam, even Cambodia and most of the Asia Pacific region. So the first thing we'll do is to talk to them and say, does this make sense? Assuming that they say "Yes, it makes sense" and it will work here, may not from a "Is it effective?" but more from "Is this likely to offend somebody?” because, although Australia prides itself as a multicultural country, the fact the matter is we don’t really understand the subtleties of it, and for instance we might not understand the subtleties or the nuances of Muslims.... therefore you could run that in Malaysia or Indonesia which will greatly offend a lot of people. Or similarly, there could be Muslim ads that could offend the Christians in Australia. So we have to be careful of that and recognize that issue. We try to take steps by talking to the local offices, we try and take steps often by researching, AXA is a heavily researched campaign, researched across the Asia Pacific region. Who is responsible for that? The person who deals with the local client’s responsible for that.

IS: Who does the research?
PG: It depends on who the best research agencies is.

IS: Are there any cultural experts in the industry?
PG: Well the culture experts are largely the people from the local agencies. I imagine if you run a research company in Kuala Lumpur, you probably understand how Malaysia works. Or an Australian based research company that has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

IS: The latest Australian Tourism ad campaign, "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?" created a whole lot of controversy in Canada and especially in the UK. Do you think the negative publicity the campaign faced in UK (where the word BLOODY is concerned) was intended or not? What do you think?
PG: It was definitely intended. But I think it is a stretch. I think the strategy is right, but I think the line is "soft"... you know "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?". This agency (Grey) ran an ad in 1989, which said, "If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot". I mean that was controversial in 1989, if its controversial now should have been 17 years ago. In that particular instance, that was using for more effect where, "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?" campaign delivered by glossed up, dolly birds in bikinis doesn't ring true, it doesn't look like that's what she should say. The likelihood of that ad influencing someone to come to Australia in that time frame is zero. Nobody watches an ad and says, "I must go to Australia". You must be in that time… you must be in that zone of "I am looking for somewhere different to go, where will I go...I can go to Australia, I can go to Canada, I can go to South America", then you might be influenced, but if you are in England and you planned a nice holiday to the French Riviera and then the ad comes up; "NO! I’ll go to Australia!” I can't believe that, I just can’t believe that.

IS: I bet they have done a lot of research to launch that campaign... (Interrupted)
PG: Rooms full! Rooms full of research...

IS: ...but in Canada they not only have controversy over the word "Hell", but also with the opening scene of the campaign, which violates the Canadian ruling against advertising unbranded beers...
PG: It is no different to... you know.... those little old stories about... I think its Honda or Suzuki.... I can't remember.... someone bought the car and it meant certain things in one country and certain things in another. Some are banned; some meant drug parties.... or sex orgies... I don’t know what it was... But we face that all the time, we are more marketing literate, we are more globally aware.... now. I think cultural sensitivity’s the opposite, the third part of that... that's not the debate. The debate is how is the best way to achieve the cultural sensitivity... and in my opinion, it isn't necessarily setting up a specialist company that handles virtual translations and some degree of expertise. In my opinion, research the consumers on the ground now... and understanding what works and doesn't work... but there will always be some subtleties that won't work or is the humor too British or.... So there's a slight offence, big difference between slight offence and major offence/turn off. You have to avoid the latter, the first one, I guess there is a degree of inevitability about it.

IS: All right, that's it!
PG: Thank you very much!

Paul Gardner tends to the view that it is not necessary for a specialist provider in-country to give the best translations and cultural interpretations, but in effect this is what he does by referring campaigns to local, in-country Grey Worldwide offices for the final translations and cultural input. This is borne out by the example of the “AXA plan” campaign where cultural modification was required due to a great variance in expectations of local people with regard to retirement in comparison to Australian workers’ views.

Grey Worldwide currently has offices in many areas of Asia Pacific region, but if it were to venture in to countries where there is no local Grey Worldwide office, they would be forced to rely on services of local providers to ensure that the appropriate language and cultural niceties were observed, I see this as a niche market where my company would be able to provide support and services to multinational advertising agencies who don’t have on-ground offices in these areas. Being based in Australia allows for easy interaction with said Australian agencies, while my in-country employees would provide the expert, first hand knowledge and language required to meet the needs of the clients.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Petronas F1 German Boy

This ad shows the opposite of the german-speaking Malay boy. Here you have a Malay-speaking German boy... and the translation is very good..I think.
Petronas F1 Malay Boy

I found this ad very interesting and somehow relate a lot to my research from a translation point of view, where the subtitle in this ad translates what the German(Deutsche)-speaking Malay boy into English. I will have to ask my German friends what they think of the translation and whether the translation is appropriate. Will update on this.

The Filmed Interviews I did in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

I have pretty much finished interviewing all of the advertising folks that I need to see overseas. My next and last interview would be on next Friday the 18th of August in Sydney. The guy I am going to see in Sydney is Tim McCall Jones from M&C Saatchi who is responsible for the Australian Tourism Ad. The campaign was launch worldwide last March 2006.

Below, is a list of the folks I have interviewed in Hong kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and in the following weeks, I will be documenting about the important things they said as I have to go through the footage myself (arrrgh hate transcribing). Anyway, I am happy that one of my major task is done with (well close).

Paul Gardner - Group Chairman of Grey Worldwide Melbourne

Jeffrey Yu - President of Bates Asia in Hong Kong
Sourav Ray - Planning Director of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Hong Kong
Greg Crandall - Regional Director/ Executive Creative Director of Splash Communications in Hong Kong
Iris Lo - Executive Creative Director of M&C Saatchi in Hong Kong

Kim Walker - President & CEO Asia of M&C Saatchi in Singapore
Peter Skalberg - CEO & Regional Director South East Asia of Bates Asia in Singapore
David Mayo - CEO & Chief Marketing Officer of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Asia Pacific in Singapore

Shukri Rifaie - CEO of Bates Asia Kuala Lumpur
Frank Nelwan - Director of Business Development & Planning at TBWA Malaysia
Wong Siah Ping - Deputy Group Planning Director of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Malaysia

Tim McColl Jones - Group Head of M&C Saatchi, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA.

Iz - Notes re: Interviews I did.

The points below is basically what I found from my interviews. The reason behind the interviews I did in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia is because I need to get current information on what is actually happening in the advertising industry in the Asia Pacific Region at this moment. More in depth notes and insights will be available as I start transcribing the filmed interviews.

My interviewees has also been very generous by providing me materials such as campaigns they did and also their powerpoint presentations. I hope I will find some way I could use them in my DVD show reel and also my Exegesis.

Anyway here it is:

- That localization of advertising or marketing strategies depends on the type of product and service, for example food like KFC, may need considerations and changes to suit the taste of a particular culture. Localization is not really needed when it comes to technological products as what is sold is the product’s benefits.

- Today, advertising geared towards young people doesn’t really need to be as localized as before, as the young are considered homogenous group of people. With the Internet, the world is becoming smaller and very similar qualities are generally developed in a lot of ways in young people below the age of 20 from country to country.

- The most common solution in cross-cultural advertising and marketing strategies, and also the easiest is by focusing on the lowest common denominator of each culture. It is easier to cut thru different cultures using this way but not necessarily could be the most effective.

- Translation works are mostly done by copywriters. Some ad agencies employ translators from generic translating agency like Berlitz, some hire in-house translators, where the majority of them have no background/experience in the creative field whatsoever.

- There is no advertising or marketing strategies that went wrong, just strategies that went less effective. Successful ones are the ones that are received well, the ones that created the most awareness and volume in sales. This is how successful strategies are being measured.

- Businesses entering a new market should do more research. In the case of KFC in China, since the Chinese have strong family ties, they see eating out at a restaurant as an opportunity to spend quality time together therefore the KFC restaurants there are bigger and have more seating capacity so that the Chinese can seat and relax. Compare that to most Western countries where KFC operates, the restaurants are much smaller than their China counterparts because people just go in and out and don’t spend as much time like the Chinese.

- In a lot of ways, “Agency people” in advertising agencies assume they know everything or have a feel for a certain kind of market. Market research and focus groups are absolutely important to support the “gut” feeling of “agency people”. In a lot of cases, market research and researching within a network of multinational advertising agencies in different parts of the world is the key to successful and effective global campaigns.

- There is no translation/ interpretation service provided by a body that hires only translators with a knowledge/ background in the marketing/advertising field. There is a need but it is very niche and needs more definition. Questions: How and why it could help?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Bib #29 'Which Ad Pulled Best?'

Philip, Ward Burton, and Purvis, Scott C., ed. 'Which Ad Pulled Best?' 50 Case Histories on How to Write and Design Ads That Work 8th ed. NTC Business Books: Illinois, USA, 1996.

This book provides examples of case studies done in the past on ads across different medias, in different national markets. It also features the copy-testing expertise of Gallup and Robinson. Inc. G & R maintains a data bank of more than 100,000 print ads and TV commercials, and provides many of today's major advertisers with measurements of the effectiveness of their advertising expenditures in different cultures. It is interesting to see how different target markets from different cultures react differently to an advertising or marketing exercise.

Bib #28 The Media & Communications in Australia.

Cunningham, Stuart, and Turner, Graeme, ed. The Media & Communications in Australia. Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2002.

I find this book relevant to my research as it offers a systematic introduction to this dynamic and often bewildering field. It outlines the key media industries, and explains how the new communication technologies are impacting on them. It also provides a thorough overview of the main approaches taken in studying the media. A section of the book explores the thorny issues of media ethics, audiences, youth media and the future of journalism. The types of media and communications available in Australia, is very important for me to know as Australia is a multicultural country, different facets of the culture have different types of exposure to different types of media.

Bib #27 "Difficulties in Communication."

Marcom Projects. "Difficulties in Communication." Effective Communications. VHS. Meridien Education Corporation RWMEC3, 1992.

Not all communication is perfect, our message is not always understood. This can cause difficulties and sometimes extreme frustration. This video looks at these difficulties and discusses ways to minimise them.

This video also outlined 4 Basic Patterns of Communication.
1. Placate
2. Blame
3. Compute
4. Distract

The video is a short 8 minute video which I find very relevant in a way that it highlights how communications between people can possibly go wrong and this is also prevalent in inter-cultural communication, from culture to culture.

Bib #26 what is NAATI?

n.a. "National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd." May 22 2006:, June 2006.

I went to this website and found that NAATI which stands for National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters, is the only highly recognized translating and interpreting body in Australia. NAATI accreditation has been instrumental in providing quality assurance to recipients of Translation and Interpreting services and in giving credibility to agencies that employ accredited practitioners.

The organization identified 8 Levels of Accreditation.

Paraprofessional Translator (formerly known as level 2)
This represents a level of competence in translation for the purpose of producing a translated version of non-specialised information. Practitioners at this level are encouraged to proceed to the professional levels of accreditation.

Paraprofessional Interpreter (formerly known as level 2)
This represents a level of competence in interpreting for the purpose of general conversations. Paraprofessional Interpreters generally undertake the interpretation of non-specialist dialogues. Practitioners at this level are encouraged to proceed to the professional levels of accreditation.

Translator (formerly known as level 3)
This is the first professional level and represents the minimum level of competence for professional translating. Translators convey the full meaning of the information from the source language into the target language in the appropriate style and register. Translators at this level work across a wide range of subjects involving documents with specialised content. Translators may choose to specialise. They are qualified to translate into one language only or into both languages, depending upon their accreditation.

Interpreter (formerly known as level 3)
This is the first professional level and represents the minimum level of competence for professional interpreting. Interpreters convey the full meaning of the information from the source language into the target language in the appropriate style and register. Interpreters at this level are capable of interpreting across a wide range of subjects involving dialogues at specialist consultations. They are also capable of interpreting presentations by the consecutive mode. Their specialisations may include banking, law, health, and social and community services.

Advanced Translator (formerly known as level 4)
This is the advanced professional level and represents the competence to handle complex, technical and sophisticated translation. Advanced Translators handle complex, technical and sophisticated material, compatible with recognised international standards. They may choose to specialise in certain areas. Advanced translators are accredited to translate either into one language only or into both languages, depending upon their accreditation.

Conference Interpreter (formerly known as level 4)
This is the advanced professional level and represents the competence to handle complex, technical and sophisticated interpreting. Conference Interpreters practise both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in diverse situations, including at conferences, high-level negotiations, and court proceedings. Conference Interpreters operate at levels compatible with recognised international standards, and may choose to specialise in certain areas.

Advanced Translator (Senior) (formerly known as level 5)
This is the highest level of NAATI accreditation and reflects both competence and experience. Advanced Translators (Senior) are Advanced Translators with a level of excellence in their field, recognised through demonstrated extensive experience and leadership.

Conference Interpreter (Senior) (formerly known as level 5)
This is the highest level of NAATI accreditation and reflects both competence and experience. Conference Interpreters (Senior) are Conference Interpreters with a level of excellence in their field, recognised through demonstrated extensive experience and leadership.

I find this relevant to my topic as I intend to have this Mediating Agency I am looking at developing based in Australia and for this, I need to know where do I go to and to whom I refer to for highly skilled and qualified translators and interpreters.

Bib #25 Global and Multinational Advertising

Englis, Basil G., ed. Global and Multinational Advertising. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Rutgers University, 1994.

Englis, Basil G. (ed.) (1994), Global and Multinational Advertising, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

The book generally explained in detail the few applied disciplines which are more sensitive to cross-cultural issues than marketing and consumer psychology. The chapters prepared for this volume reflect awareness of both similarities and differences within and across cultures. They include analyses of methodological issues, theoretical investigations of cultural and social values and their implications for marketing specialists, studies of gender- and sub-culture specific advertising, and investigations of advertising efforts in several different international markets. The scholars and advertising professionals who contributed these chapters will have much to say to consumer psychologists and marketing specialists alike.

Bib #24 'A Woman's Place?.'

Phipps, Sue. 'A Woman's Place?.' The Portrayal of Women in Advertisements. Abford House: London, 1991. pp. 3-28

This book published by The Advertising Association in London covers the way women are depicted in the media, across different cultures and how it has received increasing attention as people have realized the effect such images can have on their audience.

Advertising, while it uses a variety of communication techniques, from computer graphics to animation, and from so-called "slice of life" drama to the distinctly surreal, has been a particular focus of attention for its portrayal of women, not least from practitioners in the industry itself.

The way I find this read is relevant to my topic is that it covers a wide range of issues regarding advertisements about women, and how women in different countries and cultures react to a certain marketing or advertising campaign aimed towards them.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bib #23 "Harvey Nichols Spring Summer Campaign."

Crandall, Greg. "Harvey Nichols Spring Summer Campaign." Making Waves Q1/06. 2006:, 15 June 2006.

This is an article by one of the advertising folks that I am going to meet when I am overseas, Greg Crandall, owner of Splash Communications which is based in Hong Kong with offices in Thailand and Singapore.

The article is about Harvey Nichols launching their new store in Hong Kong and how did they do it in the first place. Read the excerpt below.

In their first advertising efforts, they leveraged the campaign created for their UK outlets. But like most brands coming to Asia for the first time, they later realized that Hong Kong was not overly familiar with the brand and that it was time to re-interpret the global profile with a more localized approach.
I find this article absolutely relevant to my topic. It is a good recent example of how a company that wants to provide exclusive, leading-edge fashion to a city that only cares about trophy shopping, being localized but still maintains a global profile. Look at the posters attached with this entry. The main "star" is wearing a bright red top, as Red is a well-known representation of 'LUCK' in Chinese culture and the use of it is recommended for ads or campaigns that appear in this culture.

Bib #22

n.a. "Adcandy." 2004:, June 2006

Adcandy, a US based website main objective is to give consumers a voice and platform to express their creative advertising ideas, product improvement suggestions, and images. In doing so, they hope to provide companies a unique look into the minds of their consumers.

This website is relevant to my research topic on cross-cultural communication as, the public can easily answer any briefs advertised on the adcandy website and if their ideas are chosen, they will get to win prizes. I think this in a way could affect the future of advertising. What could this mean is that, a product can be marketed globally and across different national markets more easily since the consumer is given the opportunity to voice out what they think.

But just imagine, what would happen if more and more products and ad campaigns are being devise in this manner?

Could the role of advertising and marketing companies vanished?

Does this mean ads are better targeted?

Will this be an indication that global advertising will soon faced lesser issues and problems, and target local cultures effectively?

Just check out adcandy and see if you guys could give a try at answering some of the briefs they have on their website.

Bib #21 The New How to Advertise

Roman, Kenneth, and Maas, Jane, ed. The New How to Advertise. London: Kogan Page, 1992. pp.115-124

The chapter of the book on Global Brands is an interesting one. Coca-Cola, Sony, Levi's, Mercedes-Benz, Pepsi, Benetton, Canon, Marlboro, American Express, Nestle, Gillette, Martell, McDonalds - all are established global brands with a unified positioning. More open markets, international travel and communications, and international advertising contribute to more global brands. Cultural phenomena such as popular music, rock music stars, and movies are making this easier; entertainment is a global language. The international media are also fueling this trend, including satellite television.

For a global marketing exercise to be successful, it is pretty much dependent on the product and the positioning that is relevant to the needs of the consumer. According to the book, those needs varies by culture. Some products are not highly culture bound and are easier to market around the world - computer and consumer electronics for example. Foods are more difficult, and the closer a particular food comes to being a part of one country's staple diet, the harder it is to transfer across borders.

According to UNILEVER, one of the easiest categories to market globally is an impulse product - like ice cream bars. Products sometimes may have to be modified to compete locally; McDonald's added beer to their menus in Germany for example.

One Interesting point in the chapter is that while cultures and habits do vary, people's emotions are surprisingly similar, and that is what makes global brands possible.

Few points to look at on how to create a worldwide campaign. Three main points:
1. Agreement on International or regional brand positioning, image and strategy.
2. Local understanding of the business environment and of national language, values, and culture.
3. A shared advertiser-agency commitment to the concept of a global brand.

Other interesting and relevant points in this book.

- Think worldwide, not "international."
- Agree upon an umbrella strategy for the brand, including positioning and brand personality. A strong global positioning signifies that a brand means the same thing to consumers in all countries.
- Capture knowledge from experience. It is important to develop and articulate principles, and set directions for creative execution. Put what you've learned into papers and presentations. Include an example of advertising that usually works - or doesn't - and explain why.
- Encourage local initiative.
- Know the knowledge. Proper use of language is vital. Be careful with translations and adaptations.
- Know the culture. Different people have different values - the food they eat, the clothes they wear, in their relationships with each other.
- Think direct marketing.
- Make it easy. Create a strong idea and format that can be easily adapted for worldwide use.
- Create and produce the advertising locally. It is crucial to understand national attitudes and habits, as well as language.

Bib #20 Marketing Across Cultures

Usunier, Jean-Claude, ed. Marketing Across Cultures 3rd ed. 2000.

This book uses a two-stage cultural approach to exploring international marketing:
- A cross-cultural approach - this compares marketing systems and local commercial customs in various countries.

- An inter-cultural approach - the study of interaction between business peoples of different national markets.

What I find relevant in this book is that with the globalization of markets, it is emphasized in this book in particular how consumer behavior and marketing environments are converging at a global level while customers still give very different meanings to consumption. It also highlights the understanding of what is country-specific and what is universal, is essential for the design of marketing strategies that can successfully be implemented across national markets. The part of the book I found most helpful is on how the book explores the theoretical and practical implications of thinking local but acting global.

The difference offered in this book so far, compared to what I have read is that it emphasizes people, languages and cultures, and recognizes the diversity in local consumer knowledge and marketing practices. This approach, which is also followed by multinational companies, combines the search for global competitiveness with the necessary adjustment for local success.

Bib #19 "When is a cat not a cat?."

Garcia, Sara. "When is a cat not a cat?." Developing a single, strong, precise, motivating position is hard in one language, argues Sara Garcia: doing it in more that one requires an open mind. Admap. (1998): 1-5

This article I find very relevant is about the planners, researchers and marketing teams spend much time and effort trying to define a single meaningful identity for brands across international markets. While for some brands differences in the history of their development, product usage or the mix of markets make this impossible, it is still the marketer's dream. With a single succinct, motivating identity there is a good chance of being able to create a single advertising strategy and ultimately a single campaign.

However, en route to this dream goal, problems arise and the result is often trying to shoe-horn positionings into needs which they do not quite fit. To do this, the positioning is amended, reduced, manipulated and generally weakened. It is not quite the poignant concept we started out with. Why do we seem to be compromising and what can we do to enrich rather than impoverish?

This article demonstrated very well what went wrong with the recent Australian Tourism ad campaign which was launch globally last March 2006. The campaign which attracted a lot of attention the world over with it's selling line, "Where the bloody hell are you?" had to change some of its execution to suit local cultures in different national markets. The campaign was tailored to suit the Japanese market and because there is literally no swear words in Japanese thus limiting the effect intended of the selling line in the first place, the campaign had the "effect" it wanted reduced in some ways so that it could fit in a local market which is of course very compromising and risky. Compare these selling lines, "Where the bloody hell are you?" and the Japanese version, "Where are you?". Which one you prefer?

Bib #18 "One Language, Different Peoples."

Gnadig, Ayo. "One Language, Different Peoples." The Language and Behavior Profile - A Tool for Intercultural Communication and Understanding. World Association of Research Professionals. (2004): 1-12

The big question posed in the first part of the introduction of this article really intrigued me.

Why is it - though the same language is spoken - that we sometimes don't understand each other?

The paper aims to demonstrate a method to identify differences in communication and a tool to deal with them - the Language and Behavior Profile. It is followed by an expose about four German speaking countries/markets and how understanding differences in communication can feed into meaningful brand communication.

West Germany, East Germany, Switzerland and Austria are especially interesting in this this respect because they share a common language and culture - but it has become obvious that there are strong underlying differences in the mentalities of their populations that are important for marketing communications, in as much they represent four different markets for marketing that often need to be addressed separately. Their differences seem to be rooted in their history, which is most obvious in the case of the differences between East and West Germany.

To deal with these differences, clearly expressed in the question I placed in the first part of this entry, with the help of the Language and Behavior Profile we will discover how different cultures think, what dives them and how this is apparent in their use of language.

This will then help to understand why the communication of a brand works in one country and not at all in others. The questions and topics in the article raised interesting issues explaining why is it important to understand a culture and how people belonging to a certain part of a region act the way they do.

Bib #17 "Cultural and language effects on Chinese bilinguals' and Canadians' responses to advertising."

Toffoli, Roy and Laroche, Michel. "Cultural and language effects on Chinese bilinguals' and Canadians' responses to advertising." International Journal of Advertising 21.4 (2002): 1-12

Increasing globalization of businesses is a sign that more work needs to be done on examining how consumers from different cultures perceive and react to different communication factors.

This journal examines how audiences from Hong Kong and English Canada - two cultures at opposite ends of the individualism - collectivism spectrum - differ in their perception of the honesty and forcefulness of a message source in an informational advertisement. It also examines the effects of these differences on the attitude towards the ad and the brand.

The journal also points out the notion that as an individual masters a second language he/she also adopts some of the cultural attitudes and values related to that language. This adoption of attitudes and values of the culture associated with a second language represents a form of acculturation.

The results of the study demonstrated in the journal, reinforce the need for managers to understand the distinctive characteristics of Chinese communication and their implications for persuasive messages.

Bib #16 "Cosmopolitanism." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2002 Edition)

Brown, Eric and Kleingeld, Pauline. "Cosmopolitanism." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2002 Edition). 2002:, June 2006

The word ‘cosmopolitan’, which derives from the Greek word kosmopolitês (‘citizen of the world’), has been used to describe a wide variety of important views in moral and socio-political philosophy. The nebulous core shared by all cosmopolitan views is the idea that all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, do (or at least can) belong to a single community, and that this community should be cultivated. Different versions of cosmopolitanism envision this community in different ways, some focusing on political institutions, others on moral norms or relationships, and still others focusing on shared markets or forms of cultural expression. The philosophical interest in cosmopolitanism lies in its challenge to commonly recognized attachments to fellow-citizens, the local state, parochially shared cultures, and the like.

Cosmopolitanism - regarding my intention of developing this Mediating "cultural-linguistic-CREATIVE-interpreter-translator mediator" agency, this word is actually very relevant to what I want to do and is also one of the important things I need to carefully look at and examine. I have to define the word Cosmopolitanism in order to understand and also find out to what degree of complexity in global advertising, marketing and communications across different market. For example, the new nouveau riche in the outskirts of Beijing, might have very similar taste in music, TV programs, cars, house, way of life and style compare to someone who is also wealthy in let say, California. The local Beijing "new money" might not share similar values and style and the way of life with someone who is a farmer working at the paddy field in Beijing, but instead, have more similar qualities and aspirations with h/hers California counterpart.

Bib #15 "Language Copywriting Services."

n.a. "Language Copywriting Services." EBusiness Globalisation and Translation Experts. 17 March 2006:, 15 June 2006.

Translation alone can only mirror the exact meaning of the source (original) word for word or sentence for sentence. As the original text was written for English audience, the expression, style and how information is presented target the English speaking audience. Different cultural audience model and express information differently, so translation alone can not mirror the same marketing pitch or the under laying message design to influence the readers. This is where language copywriting comes in.

Language copywriting aims to creatively write the language content that not only captures the exact meaning of the text, but also the expression, style and the under laying messages design to influence to reader.

Note: The mediating agency I am looking at developing will only hire copywriters who have a strong command of English and their native language, have the experience and background, or studied, or worked in the advertising industry as this Mediating agency will only serve the advertising, marketing and communication companies.

Bib #14 Grey Worldwide "The work - Pantene Shines." Grey Matter Issue Three 2006: 4

Found this article on Pantene - I find very relevant to my research topic. Pantene is a good example of a global brand tapping into different national markets by tailoring their campaign executions to suit a local culture. In a global first, Australia/ New Zealand was briefed as lead market for Pantene's international relaunch.

(the article)
In a category jam-packed with product choice, preening and over-promise, the new Pantene looks, feels and is a cut above. Pantene going into 2006 is smart, sassy, confident, up-market and refreshingly real. No longer predictable, she dresses differently - wearing a new logo and pack design - and she's different on the inside too, thanks to a new formula and a new attitude, embodied in the selling line - Shine, Pantene.

Look out for her in the TV, print, web, PR and in-store work, much of which was created by Grey Melbourne. Listen out for her music. She's someone you just might want to hang out with.

Bib #13 Grey Worldwide "ASIA - a complex challenge." Grey Matter Issue Two 2006: 1-2

I got this periodical while waiting for my filmed interview with Paul Gardner today who is the Group Chairman of GREY Global Group in Australia and New Zealand. According to him the agency used to be an ad agency but now has expanded to a media communications group. Some it's clients are AXA Investments (Paul's baby according to him), Australia Post, Ambi Pur, BOSS Hugo Boss, Australian Conservation Foundation, Ribena, Pringles, TAC, Leggo's and others. I will write more on my interview with him today on my next entry.

For now I am going to focus on the article that appeared in Grey Worldwide periodical, Grey Matter.

I found the article titled "ASIA - a complex challenge" as been very relevant to my research topic. The article is mainly about the recent study conducted by Grey on the attitudes and values of Asian people with a view to effectively marketing and communicating in Asia. Grey has conducted 4600 interviews in 11 countries, namely Hong Kong (I am going there on the 1st of July!), China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Korea and Japan. The findings reveal a great and complex place where western goods are welcome, but also a place that is becoming contemporary in its own way and will not accept the West unless it complements local cultures and traditions.

The article was also talking about how Asia is such a complex area and is not a homogenous region. Every Asian country has its own cultural traditions and these can not be disregarded for a Western fad. The region contains countries with vast and deeply engrained differences such as religious beliefs as varied as Buddhism, Catholicism and Islam. The article pointed out that one of the biggest mistakes from marketers is, being insensitive to these cultural, aesthetic and moral norms. Few examples such as in Thailand where they have a deep Buddhist tradition, some western commercials can seem brash, aggressive and hard sell. Likewise in India, advertising in commercials can seem overly suggestive and erotic, offending local sensitivities. Another good point in the article is that brands that can be highly tuned to cultural norms across the region certainly stand a better chance than those that are simply transporting western values.

The article talks about the laws affecting advertising and marketing in Asia which varies and are often very different let say for example Australia. In some cases the laws are inadequate and brands should be careful not to take advantage of these situations. One example is in India where there are no laws governing advertising which means children can be subjected to inappropriate communication for their age. One point on puffery in advertising that interest me is that, consumers in Asia pointed especially to medical, health care, diet products for typical over-claim. This is especially prevalent in Beijing and Shanghai where there is no laws on the prevention of over-claiming.

Relevancy to my topic: This periodical provides a thorough insight for my research on cross-cultural communication and my intention of developing a creative based translation-interpretation-cultural service as I have to look more carefully into issues regarding cultural, regional and communication sensitivities in Asia ESPECIALLY when Asia is not a homogenous region. I am now thinking of, instead of having a Chinese translator-interpreter representing China as a whole, I should look more into the different fragments of culture in China and have various translator-interpreter-creative mediators representing each of the many parts of China. That is my idea for now.