GLOBAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES: Changing marketing communications for each local market is a process called communication adaptation.
If it adapts both the product and the communications, the company engages in dual adaptation. Consider the message everywhere, varying only the language and name, General Mills positions its Hagen-Dazs brand in term of ‘’indulgence,’’ ‘’affordable luxury,’’ and ‘’ intense sensuality.’’ To communicate that message, it ran a 30-second TV spot called ‘’Sensation,’’ with the tagline ‘’Anticipated Like No Other’’ in markets all over the world, substituting only the voice-over in the language of each country.
The second possibility is to use the same message and creative theme globally but adapt the execution.
GE’s global ‘’Ecomagination ‘’ ad campaign substitutes creative content in Asia and in the Middle East to reflect cultural interests there. Even in the high-tech space, local adaption may be necessary.
The third approach, which Coco-Cola and Goodyear have used, consists of developing a global pool of ads from which each country selects the most appropriate. Finally, some companies allow their country managers to create country-specific ads—within guidelines, of course. The challenge is to make the message as compelling and effective as in the home market.
Companies that adapt their communications wrestle with a number of challenges.
They first must ensure their communications are legally and cultural acceptable. U.S. toy maker were surprised to learn that in many countries (Norway and Sweden ), for example), no TV ads may be directed at children under 12.
To foster a cultural of gender neutrality, Sweden also now prohibits ‘’sexist’’ advertising—a commercial that spoke of ‘’car for boys, princess for girls’’ was criticized by government advertising regulators.
A number countries are taking steps to eliminate ‘’super skinny’’ and airbrushed models in ads. Israel has banned ‘’underweight’’ models from print and TV ads and runway shows. Models must have a body-mass index-a calculated based on height and weight—of greater than 18.5.
According to that BMI standard, a female model who is 5 feet, and 8 inches tall can weigh no less than 119 pounds.
Firms next must check their creative strategies and communication approaches for appropriateness Comparative ads, though acceptable and even common in the United States and Canada, are less frequent very low tolerance for comparative advertising and prohibits bashing rivals in ads.
Companies also must be prepared to vary their messages’ appeal. In advertising its hair care products, Helene Curtis observed the middle-class British women wash their hair frequently, Spanish women less so, Japanese women avoid over-washing for fear of removing protective oils.
Language can vary too, whether the local language, another such as English, or some combination.
When a brand is at an early stage of development in its new market, consumer education may need to accompany brand development efforts.
In launching Chi k shampoo in rural areas of South India, where hair is washed with soap, Cavin-Kare showed people how to use the product through live ‘’touch and feel’’ demonstrations and free sachets at fairs.
Personal selling tactics may need to change too. The direct, no-nonsense approach favored in the United States (‘’let’s get down to business’’ and ‘’what’s in it for me’’) may not work as well in Europe or Asia as an indirect, Subtle approach.
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