How to Make Sure Global Creative Works for Local Markets

You might have developed the best creative in the world as far as your central team is concerned, but the real test is when the time comes to implement the creative in local markets, when working on a global marketing campaign.

Carrying out thorough marketing research is key to ensuring your global creative can be adapted for local markets — but if you rely on central assumptions, the road ahead will be rocky.

Read on to discover the common stumbling blocks businesses face when they haven’t taken local markets fully into consideration, ways to avoid them, and how a global toolkit can help.

Where do global creative ideas slip up?


Landscapes and images of people vary from market to market. The images you pick for the UK market will most likely not work in Brazil, or even places closer to home such as France.


Humour can be great for brands wanting to give their campaigns the feel-good factor, however humour rarely translates. Something that’s hilarious in Europe may not go down as well in Asia. Worse still, it could be deemed offensive — so tread carefully!


Animals are treated with varying levels of respect in each market, so it’s best to steer clear of them entirely in advertising. While the sight of children playing with a dog in the garden portrays a happy home in Europe and the Americas, this could cause offence in the Middle East.


Great metaphors can be powerful and memorable, but only if they’re understood in the first place. Metaphors related to local superstitions or proverbs from your country/region may resonate less with people in other markets, weakening your campaign.


The positive and negative connotations associated with different colours can vary significantly across markets — either supporting or contradicting your campaign values. Researching this area thoroughly will enable you to utilise your brand and campaign colours.


It’s a good idea to make the most out of local traditions, but be wary of using ‘international’ traditions like Valentine’s Day for all markets. Local perceptions can vary, so make sure to do your research first!

Related Read: Global vs Local Marketing — Where Things Get Sticky

A Better Way: The benefits of having a global marketing toolkit

We think there’s A Better Way to make global creative concepts work for local markets — and having a global toolkit on hand is a good place to start.

Acting as a framework for your global campaign, a global toolkit provides you with a restricted number of ads that you can then localise into different formats and languages. While a global toolkit enforces some structure, it also allows you the freedom to adapt your campaign to suit local markets. For example, if an image doesn’t work in the target market, or an aspect of your copy won’t resonate in a particular region, you’re free to swap it out for something that truly resonates.

Having a global toolkit on hand gives local markets a strong starting point in terms of global branding and messaging strategy and allows them to communicate and engage with local audiences the right way.

This ‘freedom in a framework’ approach ultimately helps to build upon your brand’s identity in a way that’s consistent across all of your respective markets.

To discover how to make translations work for global campaigns, download our free guide today.

Freedman International
Freedman International profile picture

Relevant Articles


Subscribe to our content

Want to stay tuned to the latest global marketing news and have access to exclusive content and events?
Easy, just fill out the form below.

Subscribe to our content

Want to stay tuned to the latest global marketing news and have access to exclusive content and events?
Easy, just fill out the form below.