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4 Examples of Impactful Cross-cultural Marketing

Diverging from the homogenous undertones of a one-size fits all approach towards marketing, we see the bigger brands paying more attention to how ‘culture’ and ‘cultural context’ plays a big part in the way we consume goods and services. Cross cultural marketing is about recognising different cultural identities and their correlative values, issues and interests; it is about realigning brand images to best satisfy those perceptions. However, it is often easier said than done. No doubt we have heard our fair share of marketing blunders. Which begs the question: What makes a good cross-cultural campaign? Well, without further ado here are some of our picks for successful cross-cultural marketing.


1) Coca Cola: "America is Beautiful"


In 2013, the multinational soft drink giant aired a heartfelt commercial across the American small screen. The ad spot featured actors singing a patriotic ode “America the Beautiful” in 7 different languages; the premise of the ad being that America as the land of diversity, and therefore of the land of the beautiful, and a place where Coca Cola is for everyone. Marketing experts associate this form of advertising as inclusive marketing, where the aim is to appeal to as a wide a range of audience demographic as possible, capitalising on the diverse American population. The emotionally stirring ad was especially effective given that it was broadcasted during the Superbowl season, a time when the nation is swept with patriotic fever.

2) L'Oreal: #YoursTruly

The Harvard Business Review sings praises for the cosmetic superpower’s mastery of multiculturalism. This is most exquisitely encapsulated by their 2016 L’Oreal Paris UK campaign #YOURSTRULY. The advertisements feature 23 of the UK’s most influential and inspirational ambassadors for diversity, each representing a different shade in the foundation range. Each ambassador shares the story of how they found the perfect shade for them, and stresses the importance of expressing your identity with confidence. To seal the brand’s limelight status as an advocate for diversity in the beauty industry its already well-established tagline “I’m worth it” was switched for a more inclusive alternative “We are all worth it”.

3) Adidas: "One in a Billlion"

Adidas’ 2017 “One in a Billion” ad is a beautiful example of value-based marketing. The video begins with basketball athletes practising routinely in militant fashion. Besides having a bit of tongue in cheek towards Under Armour’s 2015 “Rule Yourself” campaign, the scene reflects the collectivism and disciplinal system that has hence made China the superpower it is today. However, shifting away from rigid conventions, we see an ensemble of China’s rising athletes breaking away from the status quo to express themselves in their own chosen sport later in the video. The theme of individualism taps into a powerful emerging consumer desire in China to explore and express who they are.

4) Samsung: "We'll take care of you wherever you are"

Good cross-cultural marketing is about understanding prevalent social issues and capturing its realities with a local lens. Samsung ranks No. 1 in the YouTube 2017 Ads Leaderboard for their feel-good video following a young Samsung engineer who travel to a remote Indian village in order to fix a TV. His journey emphasizes just how disconnected villages can be through the various challenges that stump the young man on his journey. Not only does the video showcase Samsung going above and beyond for their customers, it also paints a heartwarming picture of how integrated Samsung is within India’s local communities.