Local brands. Local flavour.

I know we all have just been recovered from the Christmas ‘commercial’ craze, but I just picked up this news from my Czech friends and thought this is such a great example of brands making the best use of local culture.

Kofola, a Czech soft drink that competes with the likes of Coca-Cola dropped Santa Clause (Jezisek) in the festive commercial since 03. The ad made use of a local legend, according to which a golden pig shows itself to those fasting on Christmas Day. The commercial shows while trekking through a snow-covered forest in a quest of a Christmas tree, a father tells his daughter the golden pig tale until the little girl declares she won’t have to fast because she already sees a pig. A wild boar chases them away.

One of the main challenges for global brands seeking to expand to foreign markets is the task of balancing standardization with customization. When global brands expand overseas, they are often tempted to repeat their tried and tested formula in the new market as well. In execution terms meaning they often without further exploration, will try to adopt the global advertising with minimum adjustments for the local market. The assumption is that customers would be too eager to adopt the brand because of its ‘global reputation’. However, we have to understand that each market has its own subtleties, unique characteristics and preferences. Many of these unique characteristics are deeply inspired by the local culture. The challenge in fact is how to build on the global platform and execute it creatively with local relevance. In this day and age of 360˚ communications, it could well be achieved by combining local executions in ‘non traditional’ medium.

In the case of Kofola, obviously they do not have that ‘baggage’ since they are a home grown brand, but their creative tactics is something that global brands can take reference from.

TVC link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlTUBgyvQaA