Adapting global ideas: The right tone, in the right place.

A lot of people asked me about the strategy and techniques of adapting creative content for different markets. Many people think that it’s all just about language and at the most requiring some image changes. I often approach it from a very different way. I look at the strength of an idea and re-imagine how this could be manifested in different market, appealing to a different set of consumers – sometimes even tweaking it to fit into the different consumer profiles and tastes in different countries.

I came across with this latest commercial of Blackberry and thought I like to use this as a simple example to illustrate what I meant by this holistic way of adaptation.

The commercial here promotes the new features of the Blackberry Bold in a simple, product oriented way. By using an orchestra soundtrack highlighting the smoothness of the way you can navigate all the features and subtly suggesting how all the features work seamlessly together.

To adapt this, the same idea can easily be transformed brilliantly in each market with diverse culture simply by composing a soundtrack using very local musical instruments that are unique to that country – from Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korea, Middle East, India, Africa or…even regional music such as Scottish or Irish. In fact this idea can even be elevated to create specific spot for each target segment – such as using a background music featuring opera (targeting to the posh) to hip-hop (for the much cooler community! Bring it on Jay-Z)

By doing so, you enhance the idea and not just ‘translating’ it.

With a bit of creativity, any idea can work brilliantly in each local market; and all ideas should behave just like it was created specially for the local consumers.

In future blogs I will share with you other useful techniques and approaches. I like to hear your thoughts.

If you want to take your creative ideas global, just tweet @louiechow #takingcreativityglobal