Thursday, June 15, 2006

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.

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