Communicate your creative idea anywhere in the world

You’ve developed a compelling global campaign. Now you want to roll it out in local markets. Here’s the challenge. How do you ensure that every consumer across every market has the same experience with your brand? The answer lies in your ability to convey this global message in a culturally relevant way. 

Global creative idea, local reality

An idea might sound great when presented by an enthusiastic creative team in a trendy ad agency in London or New York. But how can you ensure this idea will touch your local audiences in Paris, Beijing or Marrakech? Global marketing scandals regularly erupt in the media, prompting us to wonder how anyone could come up with such a poor idea or overlook such a blatant error. But it’s pretty easy to get it wrong – just one word or image can result in differences in perception and local market teams not using centrally-created assets. 

Of course, creativity will always be at the heart of your campaign idea, but it can be restricted by market and cultural realities. Time and marketing budget are often wasted when the message from your centrally-produced campaign fails to resonate with a local market, which is why we recommend running cultural checks at different stages of your campaign. This includes initial concept testing and cultural consultations with localisation experts who can share recommendations on whether a creative route will work locally. In addition, thorough local market research is essential to validate your creative idea and ensure it adheres to local codes and regulations. This helps to reduce wasted budget when unoptimised assets go live and avoids expensive, last-minute reworks and reshoots when assets don’t meet local market regulations. It is important to ensure that resources and efforts are effectively utilised throughout the campaign development process.

One well-known success story is the Haribo Kids’ Voices campaign. First developed and released for the UK market, the standout simplicity of the campaign, coupled with the clear brand positioning ensures that the concept can be easily extended to resonate with multiple audiences around the world. In fact, the campaign continued to be adapted for new markets many years later. 

A clear creative concept, together with considered localisation means the campaign easily engages audiences across different cultures, languages and countries, without diluting the brand in international markets.

In a more recent example, global health brand Fitbit successfully integrated cultural insights into their ‘Feel your Power’ campaign to maximise in-market impact. The central creative concept was ‘Inner Strength’, but the cultural expression of this varies from market to market. In the UK for example, ‘inner strength’ means outward displays of positivity and laughing in the face of adversity, whereas in Germany there’s a more communal approach, where ‘inner strength’ means connecting with friends and family.

So, how to maintain a global narrative and brand consistency, while maximising cultural relevance and avoiding asset wastage? Take an insight-driven approach throughout the campaign development process, gathering the local market needs at an early stage to avoid duplication later down the line, and adapting the creative execution so that the imagery and copy resonates with local consumers and drives brand awareness.