I recently finished reading
Making Sense of International Advertising
Yes, I know the title is a bit odd. Yet whether you create global advertisements, businesses, or Web sites, you should read this book.
Author Simon Anholt writes about the challenges of creating successful global advertising campaigns. Most companies fail miserably in this department, and he outlines the reasons why. He also provides a model for “smart centralization,” which he believes international advertising agencies should follow. This model also makes a great deal of sense for the development and management of global Web sites, which is one reason I enjoyed this book. I also liked how Anholt explained the inherent tension of trying to be both global and local at the same time. Here’s an excerpt:
The fundamental challenges of international marketing communications are about preserving the perfect balance between sensitivity to the culture of the brand and sensitivity to the culture of the consumers around the world. If you abandon or relax your grip on the first sensitivity, you end up with fragmentation, loss of identity, and loss of control. Abandon or relax your grip on the second, and you fail to communicate effectively, and fail to build a global brand.
I also liked what he had to say about the importance of translation:
So when the question comes up, why can’t we just use English? I always ask this question: do you think that consumers should make the effort to understand us, or should we be making the effort to be understood by them? Are we more interested in being respected, or showing respect?
For more information, go to Amazon