January 31st, 2016
Don’t get caught in an argument between these two men!
It’s no laughing matter to get caught in the middle of an argument between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, especially if you’re the brand guardian of the most popular carbonated soft drink on the planet. At the end of 2015 Coca-Cola published a seemingly innocent map depicting Crimea as part of Ukraine, sparking outrage amongst VK (Russia’s most popular social network) users.
Russia without Crimea: Russians offended
Russia’s bringing Crimean territory back into the motherland is highly popular with the local population. And while Coca-Cola’s link with Ukraine may please the American administration, it offended Russian nationals.
Is Santa an American provocateur?
VK was instantly saturated with fury against the iconic American brand, suddenly seen as an “Evil Imperialist” out to humiliate the Russian people. Could it be that Santa, the beloved figure popularised by Coca-Cola, was actually an American provocateur in disguise?
Although an innocent faux-pas, the map was all the more damaging as the brand was making a deliberate effort to tap into a local mindset via Russian cultural references.
Crimea part of Russia: Ukrainians offended
In response to the VK community seething with outrage, Coca-Cola made a somewhat perplexing, 180-degree marketing translation turn. Instead of defusing the situation, Coca-Cola released a new version of the map that included Crimea and several other disputed territories within Russia’s border.
The move angered Ukrainians, who called for a boycott of Coke products. Following a barrage of angry tweets and images of Coca-Cola being flushed down toilets, the soft drink giant apologised and removed the offending map altogether.
This is far from an isolated incident. With frontiers quickly shifting in various parts of the world and cultural sensitivities running high, brands cannot afford to rest on long-held assumptions about national borders.
What to do?
The CIA’s website is a good source for marketers to track geopolitical change
Microsoft has led the way by establishing a division that tracks geopolitical and cultural risk: all marketing executions are vetted by it, and its database of cultural issues to avoid is gradually enriched over time. Unfortunately this resource is not publicly available: the software giant sees it as a strategic asset.
The CIA’s website (www.cia.gov) is probably the best resource to stay up to date with geopolitical change. It provides some of the most accurate intelligence in the world, openly publishes a surprising amount of information, and is free!
Textappeal can help keep marketers and their agencies safe too, by systematically checking brand materials for cultural and geopolitical issues, validating executions for travel, and advising how to deal with cross-border dilemmas that may result in brand damage.
Posted in: CultureShocks Blog
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January 19th, 2016
Textappeal are excited to announce our new partnership with BBDO Worldwide, the creative force behind some of the world’s most-loved advertising.
This global and forward-thinking advertising agency took us on board to handle transcreation across seven different markets.
As a leading transcreation agency we not only take language into account, but cultural context too. This allows us to create effective copy for global brand campaigns ensuring a message is never, ever, lost in translation.
Posted in: News
Tagged: advertising, advertising agency, advertising ideas, advertising slogans, advertising strategy translation.com translation in hindi transcreation, arabic transcreation, cantonese translation, chinese language translation, chinese transcreation, corporate advertising, creative advertising, creative translation, creative translation agency#, deceptive advertising, document translation, doner advertising, finnish transcreation, french language translation, french to english translation service, french translations, history of advertising, korean translation, language translation, language translators, legal translation, legal translation services, magazine advertising, medical translator, newspaper advertising, print advertising, professional translation medical translation, professional translator, simultaneous interpretation, simultaneous translation, spanish translations, technical translation, television advertising, transcreation, transcreation agency london, transcreation london, translate document, translate websites, translation agency, translation company, translation sites, translation website, translator website, tv advertising, web advertising, web translator, website advertising professional translation services, website translate, website translation, women in advertising
January 11th, 2016
Launched just under a year ago, Social Talent connects brands to social influencers, helping with their digital strategy and ensuring effective returns.
Join us for an intimate recording with the entrepreneur and digital guru at 12pm on Tuesday, 12th January
At the below address:
1-8 Batemans Buildings
South Soho Square
London W1D 3EN
Please note spaces are limited and are booked on a first come first served basis.
“I’m all about meaningful, jargon free, actionable online communication structures that actually have an commercial, emotional and memorable impact on the business.”
Listen the live podcast here: http://mixlr.com/mastersmavericks
Posted in: News
Tagged: business podcast, creative translation, creative translation agency#, Elliot Polak, elliot polak podcast, global marketing, global social media, guru marketing, jason barrett, live business podcast, marketing consultancy, marketing digital, marketing podcast, social media podcast, social talent, transcreation podcast
December 21st, 2015
The ability for a global brand to pivot on a dime in order to meet the needs of an ever-changing digital marketplace is arguably one of the biggest challenges a company faces today. At an exciting and insightful Advisory Board Dinner hosted by Textappeal and Newsroom last month, a group of senior professionals gathered to share thoughts, opinions, and advice on the challenges of global social media.
The topic, How to translate global brands to local social, saw our own Director Elliot Polak pose a number of questions to representatives from Aer Lingus, Dunkin’ Brands, Microsoft, Montblanc and Ralph Lauren, as well as several agencies. Here we review some of the key takeways from the event.
Why Travel is a Powerful Brand Motivator
Second to only relationship updates (no surprise there) the top ideas shared on Facebook are travel related. From a psychology standpoint, why is that so?
Michelle Lee, the Director of Marketing and Guest Experience at Aer Lingus cited the inspirational aspects of the travel experience. “How you use your time outside work is why travel is so popular,” Michelle noted. “As a social currency, travel is used to show our best selves and truly engages our connections.”
Because airlines want to be envisioned as lifestyle brands by consumers, social media can help tap into the most inspirational aspects of travel across a variety of digital platforms.
Spreading Global Messages for Local Good
Psychological word techniques are a tried-and-true method to influence change in a consumer’s vision of a brand. Can the same psychology be used to motivate positive social change?
Alex Van Gestel, CEO of Verbalisation, explained how terror organisations like ISIS are able to use social media to their advantage to recruit and radicalise. To counter such messages, Verbalisation launched a campaign using the hashtag #NotAnotherBrother in order to counter extremists with a narrative that upends the risk and reward of falling into the trap of extremism, as well as a message of hope to disenfranchised youths. “Behavior change is the mission,” Alex said, “and we’re deploying a message that contrasts the promises versus the reality.”
Don’t Control the Conversation. Be a Part of It
Where does a brand live in a digital conversation? And if the audience is in control, do they own the brand? Lisa Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at Nomads Agency, explained the importance of influencing people’s experiences more positively. “You can’t control conversations anymore and you can’t tell people what to say,” Lisa explained, “so instead you want to be a part of the conversation.”
Not Just Big Data; But Nimble Data
“What if Unilever knew what it already knows?” asked one of our guests from IBM.
As one of the largest companies in the world, with dozens of highly-recognizable brands under its umbrella, Unilever’s challenge is to move quickly in the digital space. By using a thinking computer like IBM’s Watson, Unilever can take the info from a consumer package company and glean all sorts of insights in order to power it’s digital marketing platform.
Be Consistent…But Even More So Be Authentic
Maintaining consistency across each digital channel is a huge challenge for any marketing team, especially when a brand must create different messages for each market around the globe. But a phenomenon that is eclipsing into traditional aspects of marketing is the idea of authenticity, being genuine, and generating a story.
Jason Barret, the founder of Social Talent explains that brand influencers are among the most important individuals for any brand. “Advocates are authentic; they care about the brand,” Jason stressed. “They are loyal, and having a real fan that will stick up for the brand by themselves is tremendously powerful.”
As budgets migrate away from traditional channels and into digital ones, marketers and advertisers must rise to the challenge. For decades, the rule was that brands spoke, and people listened. That’s not so anymore. Deeply listening to what people say and what they are consuming can make a brand and it’s offering all the more meaningful. Instead of being the one’s talking, we should now be the ones listening.
Posted in: News
Tagged: advisory board dinner, aer lingus, challenges of global social media, dunkin' brands, global social media, influencers, microsoft, montblanc, newsroom advisory board dinner, nomads, ralph lauren, social media, social media influencers, social media listening, social talent, textappeal advisory board dinner, transcreation
December 16th, 2015
Elliot Polak has recently launched a new series of podcasts dedicated to innovation in global marketing. Hosted by Textappeal and Newsroom founder Elliot Polak, Masters and Mavericks is a monthly program designed to highlight individuals as well as organisations that are disrupting tried-and-true brand ideologies and social media challenges with fresh concepts and new business ideas for today’s digital marketplace.
For the inaugural Masters and Mavericks podcast, Elliot sat down with Åsa Caap, Pernod Ricard executive and Our/Vodka CEO & global director. Åsa explained what it takes to be an entrepreneur as well as an “intrapreneur” — a manager within a company who promotes innovate product development. Self-described herself as a “warrior who gets things done”, Åsa is a consummate self-starter who made a name for herself by founding and growing a number of small businesses in Sweden.
Her innovative approach to start-ups caught the eye of Pernod Ricard, who brought her onboard to manage the company’s signature Absolut Vodka brand. Åsa, however, had ideas about how Pernod Ricard could add a unique intrapreneurship to its business portfolio. Leveraging the corporate resources availed to her by Pernod Ricard, she founded Our/Vodka — a global local brand that is currently empowering entrepreneurs in nine cities around the globe, including Berlin, Detroit, Seattle, and now London.
Join us and listen as Åsa explains what it takes to bridge the gap between the corporate and start-up world and offers insight on her compelling new strategy to bring in-demand authenticity to consumers through cross-marketing global local brands such as Our/Vodka.
You can listen in on Elliot’s full interview with Åsa in the embedded player below. Be sure to check back for Masters and Mavericks #2 in early January with more on innovative approaches to cross marketing, global social media, and social media challenges.
Posted in: News
Tagged: cross marketing, global local brand, global marketing, global marketing podcast, global social media, global social media podcast, innovative marketing, mavericks, podcast, social media challenges, social media podcast
December 1st, 2015
Brazil is a highly diverse, multicultural and multi-ethnic society. Just what we love at Textappeal, but it can also create tensions and bring out the worst in some people – particularly on social media where haters can hide behind fake identities.
Criola, a local organization that defends black women’s rights, decided to hit back with a public campaign on the theme “virtual racism, real consequences”. The premise is that verbal racist attacks on Twitter are not just words, they are behaviours that can result in real world violence. Their insight is that words can equally be used as effective weapons to counter violence (or as marketers know, for any other purpose such as selling brands). Empty Billboards in different locations donated by media owners are used to “out” in public some the worst tweets haters might use online, in order to diminish their power. The ultimate goal is to change behaviours for the better.
This initiative is the first we’ve seen in the world that genuinely understands the social media racist narrative, and puts forwards a strong counter-narrative.
A bold and inspiring idea that, with a little cross-cultural adaptation, should be applicable to other countries plagued by social media – and real life – abuse. We’re pretty sure they wouldn’t mind someone borrowing it. Any takers?
Posted in: CultureShocks Blog
Tagged: advertising campaigns, cross-cultural adaptation, cross-cultural social media, global social media, racism on twitter, racismo virtual social media, social media, social media brazil, social media racism
October 16th, 2015
When launching a global campaign brands face many hurdles, from simply reaching a target market to figuring out what kind of methods best engage individual consumers. Not to mention staying competitive in an environment that is constantly evolving and to maintaining relevancy. Taking all of those factors into account, what is a marketer to do when faced with the additional challenge of building a campaign for a product that is culturally sensitive?
Culturally imposed taboos are so strong that they have a powerful effect on how a consumer chooses to spend. Take, for example, condom brands. While condoms are essential to public health, the challenge of getting a consumer to buy them starts with the most important factor: trust in the product. A recent ban in Russia on several types of medical products from foreign states, including contraceptives, had Russians sarcastically tweeting about the sorry quality of locally made condoms. While overcoming trust issues is one problem, just getting consumers to talk on Twitter is an entirely different story.
In Japan, where the notion of creating advertisements for condoms faces some powerful cultural taboos, one manufacturer opted to reach out to consumers through humour. Cleveland based ad agency Marcus Thomas came up with three 15-second spots for Okamoto that emphasize the significance of condoms, while adding some levity to the subject in order to appeal to Japanese consumers. In Singapore, condom manufacturer Durex went one step further by taking out a near full-page ad in a national newspaper, apologising for a product that has been so effective as to cause the country’s birth rate to drop significantly. The Durex campaign was successful in two ways. Firstly, by reestablishing their presence in a campaign that went viral on social media. And secondly, by using the whimsical idea of ‘saving face’, a cultural concept that many Singaporeans can relate to.
So how else can brands overcome cultural taboos? Doing seemingly obvious research, such as examining creativity from previous campaigns to make sure an ad isn’t breaching any local laws, is one way to get consumers to look directly at the benefits of a product. An article in The Guardian explained how major brand advertising campaigns, such as an MTV campaign for HIV awareness among teenagers and a campaign by Kotex for reusable menstrual pads in Uganda, managed to tackle taboos head-on in order to engage an audience. The Wharton School of Business adds to that argument, saying that online engagement over a product, whether it’s a digestive aid, condom, lice treatment, or adult diaper, helps to raise people’s awareness over the same issues. This, in turn, reduces embarrassment or shyness.
From whimsical ads to online engagement, the information age is arguably the era best suited for brands to tackle a cultural taboo. Not only does the internet provide a platform for people to discuss topics that they may not talk about in the open, it also provides a level of anonymity. Products can be ordered and delivered discreetly to one’s doorstep without anyone else being any the wiser. Brands can take solace in the fact that, while reaching out and getting an audience to engage is still challenging, the internet has made the actual sale much easier. If brands can come up with strategies that get those consumers to overcome cultural taboos and influence them to make an online purchase, then half the work is already done.
Posted in: CultureShocks Blog
Tagged: advertising campaign, advertising campaign japan, advertising campaign russia, cultural taboo, cultural taboos, japan ban, local social media, marketing, russia ban condom, social media
September 28th, 2015
For once, here’s a blurb not about the benefits of Textappeal or Newsroom, but someone else’s business that I happen to think is brilliant.
Global PR used to be enormously costly and complex to execute. Nicola Snell, a clear-minded and articulate PR expert is making it a lot simpler.
Her business is as straightforward as it is powerful: connecting home & gift brands with journalists & bloggers worldwide, via a single platform called Press Loft that posts releases and images for quick download.
How does it work? Pretty simple. Brands such as Laura Ashley sign up to distribute their message across markets. Publications such as The Times or Bloggers such as Brightbazaarblog.com can instantly download the most relevant news and pictures. There are already more than 12,000 journalists using the platform – and they are usually the ones recommending it as well. Everyone gets to try it out for free.
The reason I like this business so much? The way it instantly matches human talent from around the world to global publishing and PR needs, thanks to smart use of digital.
Posted in: News
Tagged: global pr, luxury gifts, new business, newsroom, pr agency, press loft, uber
September 21st, 2015
Most golf enthusiasts look at a round of 18 on the links as a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. The hazards, aside from wickedly slicing a ball into sand trap or lake, are few. But what would it be like to play on a course that offered a little more edge; where the hazards are sand dunes and waterfalls and instead of a golf cart you are asked to tear around from tee to tee in a SUV crossover?
A recent advertising promotion by Nissan did just that, by challenging Japanese car consumers as well as those with an affinity for adventure. The “X-Treme Golf Cup” pitted three competitors (out of 300 applicants) to play what the campaign billed as “18 holes of the most difficult golf ever played.” The players faced larger-than-life obstacles, such as braving deep caves, dense forests, and sheer cliffs over 1,934 kilometers during a 96 hour time period. The tournament’s grand prize was Nissan’s new X-Trail Hybrid—the same vehicle the three participants used to navigate the course. Check out Nissan’s short film on the challenge below:
In the 1 minute video, Nissan captures the appeal of why each golfer enjoys participating in such an outlandish event. (You can watch an extended version of the video here.) The agency responsible for the campaign, TBWA Hakuhodo, made a savvy decision when they decided on the creative path. Match the sensibilities of a Nissan crossover vehicle with gaman (我慢)—a term which loosely translates as “endurance.”
Gaman is a unique Japanese mentality. Derived from Zen Buddhist thought, the concept has a lot to do with surviving hardship and showing stoic endurance through difficult times. A write-up in The Australian following the devastating 2011 earthquake why gaman is an important cultural idea, that helps Japanese overcome natural disasters or simply find enjoyment in games where feats of mental and physical endurance are highly prized.
From the business world to the playground, gaman (also known as gaman kurabe, or a “test of wills”) dictates a cultural desire to persevere at any cost and to not be undone by any sort of challenge, large or small. It’s a competitive spirit that emerges at the slightest hint of any sort of personal challenge.
Apply the idea of gaman to a marketing campaign directed at young Japanese consumers, and it’s easy to see why coming up with the idea of the X-Treme Golf Cup was a no-brainer. Mastering golf is no easy task in of itself. Mix it with a course designed to challenge a person’s abilities, and Nissan gets a subtle, storytelling-driven car campaign that makes the brand instantly synonymous with endurance, without a need for hard marketing. The company’s softer angle toward product placement means the emphasis is not only about the car, but also about the adventure. In a day and age where endurance is what separates Japanese automobiles from the competition, Nissan gives itself an enduring new edge.
For more on cross-cultural transcreation and social media solutions, get in touch with: Sergio.email@example.com.
Posted in: CultureShocks Blog
Tagged: advertising campaign, creative campaign, creative marketing, creative social media, cross cultural agency london, cross-cultural, marketing campaign, social media, transcreation
September 3rd, 2015
Lie-flat business class seats. First class compartments with en-suite showers. Gourmet meals. Bottomless champagne. Most airlines know that business travelers are essential to their bottom line. Therefore, most brands make smart investments in cabin comfort in order to stay competitive. But is it smarter to also reach out to a wider section of customers, even those who rarely (if ever) pay for a seat? Since airlines usually operate under thin profit margins, marketing teams must think creatively. Appealing to the culture of a particular customer through savvy social media engagement is one way to promote a brand.
Take Air France as an example. In a whimsical campaign earlier this summer, Air France reached out to its youngest flyers so they could help the airline promote a new partnership. The French flag carrier asked kids to draw pictures on a theme devised to celebrate the release of Mark Osborne’s film The Little Prince—a story based on the 1943 novella of the same name by the famous French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The theme titled, “draw me The Little Prince and an airplane,” let children submit their artwork to Air France in exchange for the chance to win prizes. The airline then promoted its new cadre of young artists by posting their artwork in response to customer questions on the Air France Twitter account.
— Air France FR (@AirFranceFR) July 30, 2015
Other ways Air France sought social engagement included reaching out to film buffs by allowing them to submit scripts in honor of the Cannes Film Festival. Early this month, Instagrammers who post pictures with the hashtags #IamOnAir and #AirFrance can win a chance to take control of the Air France Instagram account in celebration of summer travel.
Aside from meeting the expectations of the partnership between the film’s marketing team and its own brand, Air France managed to pull a kind-of social media trifecta: content generation, customer engagement as well as cultural awareness and reinforcement.
In spite of the ultra-modern aircraft that whisk passengers from one side of the globe to the other, flying these days, sadly, seems more of a chore than the travel adventure it used to be, where taking a flight was once a classic cultural experience. But technology can help alleviate some of that apathy by democratizing business and allowing the consumer to drive the brand, especially if a campaign taps into a person’s pathos, or emotional appeal.
By initiating campaigns like its drawing contest for the The Little Prince, Air France shows that it doesn’t see social media as an incomprehensible monolith, like many large corporations often do with embarrassing frequency. Instead, it’s a demonstration of customer engagement through a unique and creative angle, giving consumers the chance to connect the brand through a shared cultural experience.
For cross-cultural and global social media solutions please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in: CultureShocks Blog
Tagged: ad campaign, advertising, advertising campaign, Air France, creative services advertising, creative translation, creative translation experiment, digital marketing campaign, global advertising, global brand, global branding, global campaign, global creative services, global digital, global france, global marketing, global social media, Little prince, marketing translation, social media, social media campaign, transcreation