The difference between local and global Marketing is a question that often raises it’s head when certain kinds of marketers gather and has perhaps launched a thousand dissertations.  But it seems that the question is becoming increasingly redundant in the connected age.  Well at least the kind of locally created controversial campaign that exploits icons and ignores sensitivities.   This week the WWF has become swamped in controversy with “Tsunami”, a print advertisement for WWF Brazil created by DDB Brasil. http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2009/wwf-tsunami-on-911/ The print ad, created in 2008, shows multiple planes heading through the skies around the New York skyline, bound, it seems, for the World Trade Center. “The Tsunami Killed 100 Times More People Than 9/11.”

The advert was created and shown in print and cable in Brasil apparently without creating a major outcry although it was quietly retired from circulation when it came to the attention of WWF’s global team.  That it could have been shown without creating a publicity storm is a reflection on different local sensitivities.  However, when circulated lately across and posted on U Tube the firestorm of negative press duly occurred as a local became global.

This raises the question of whether any campaign can truly be local.  If you would take the British ad phenomena of the year:  The meerkat one wonders if only because of the market or meerkat pun alone this great piece of creativity is limited to a local idea alone.  Would the strange animal accented humour work in the US market?  Would Russian consumers relate so readily to loveable count?  Has there been any Russian blog outrage at this parody of Russian aristocracy?

I guess the big question is if this need to make local campaigns work within a global filter mean that the danger of bland global executions is becoming foist on local ideas.  We know that any thought may become global so we begin with the premise that it must work globally.

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