This is an excerpt of the full article by Prof. Dieter Georg Herbst, Head of the Post-MBA “Digital Brand Management around the World”, Berlin University Of The Arts, Career College, published in the Brand Quarterly & Brand2Global ‘Global Marketing’ Special Edition.
A look at any newspaper, magazine or television programming gives the impression that the world has become a village with a population of like individuals. Differences have disappeared and the ones that still exist, won’t for much longer. The world as a village?
The impression of assimilation only increases when we consider Chinese youths who dress in western fashions, eat western foods and listen to western music. Here in the western world, we eat pot stickers, consult feng shui experts and attend the Beijing Opera.
Yet who would contend about themselves that they had oriented their values, their thoughts, their feelings and their behavior on an Asian culture? A deeper study shows rather quickly how locally rooted culture around the world is. Why are there national editions of the Financial Times, National Geographic and CNN? Of MTV and even Sesame Street?
In a Nike spot, U.S. basketball star LeBron James out-dribbles a Kung Fu master and several dragons. The Chinese departments for radio, film and television banned the commercial because of their perceived offense to national dignity. Indignation too, that a black beat a white.
Car manufacturer BMW wanted to import its European “Driving Force” campaign to China. The campaign flopped. Reason: the ads depicted people sweating. Not something you can sell cars to the Chinese upper classes with. Chinese are among a group with the least active sweat glands. They are unfamiliar with arm pit odor and proud of it.
You can read the full article online at BrandQuarterly.com as an individual website article or check out this and much more great content in the Brand Quarterly & Brand2Global ‘Global Marketing’ Special Edition.