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Another One Bites the Grass

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Another One Bites the Grass

Making Sense of International Advertising


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

It the world of international marketing, it’s not borders that separate countries, it’s culture.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Author Simon Anholt, an international advertising consultant, says that the dangers of globalization can be just as formidable as the opportunities - if you fail to research the culture of your new markets. We’ve all heard the marketing legends of companies that embarrassed themselves by launching products into foreign markets without checking the translation of their brand names. Anholt retells several of these tales to illustrate the perils that await global firms that don’t take culture into account. Meshing advertising and marketing strategy, he presents a systemic approach to cross-border product expansion. GetAbstract recommends this book not only for its insightful, culturally adaptive marketing methodology, but also for the genuinely entertaining examples that might just make you laugh out loud.


Adapting Advertising to Culture

In today’s global marketplace, more and more companies are marketing their products and services abroad. However, the advertising industry is not keeping pace with this development, because many advertisers don’t understand the needs of other cultures.

To develop globalization, follow a strategy of "smart centralization," which is based on creating real international communications for a brand. Start with the basic idea you want that brand to convey; then adapt it to the culture in which you are promoting it, using a single central agency dedicated to that brand. You need this flexible approach to make your brand "fit to travel." This concept is based on being sensitive to the culture of your overseas consumers. Consider this at the very beginning of the brand development process - not at the end.

Given cultural differences, the traditional network approach to advertising doesn’t work in other countries and probably never will. Rather, in international advertising, small agencies are especially adapted to provide culturally customized services through smart centralization.

Using Words With Care

Be careful how you...

About the Author

Simon Anholt is the founder and chairman of World Writers Ltd., an international advertising consulting firm that provides strategic services to other advertising agencies as well as to clients such as DuPont, Time-Warner, Sara Lee, Sony and IBM.

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