Thinking World First. Elliot Polak looks at the success of brands from the Middle East with Mahsa Motamedi, Amer Bitar, Karam Annab and Matthew Willsher.Read More
The removal of posters publicizing Jean Dujardin’s latest film may have been pivotal to his Oscar success. (more…)Read More
The Japanese food market can be particularly hard to crack for foreign brands. Ask Mars, who have finally managed to get M&Ms and Snickers onto Japanese shelves after thirty five years of hard work. This is only part of the battle though. The next step is competing with domestic brands that dominate the packaged food market in Japan thanks to their unrivalled insight.
A worthy rival has been found in the form of KitKat. So what is its secret to success? KitKat’s popularity in the Japanese food market can be attributed to solid investment by Nestle since its launch in Japan in the 1970s. Consumers in Japan have a notoriously short attention span, with products battling to stay relevant in the market. KitKat has constantly been innovating new flavours, such as green tea and wasabi, to keep the Japanese public interested in the product. Nestle have produced over 200 limited edition flavours. (more…)Read More
Social media networks were set ablaze recently with the release of an advertising campaign for HEMA, a chain of Dutch department stores. The campaign for the store’s new ‘Mega Push-Up Bra’ is fronted by androgynous male model, Andrej Pejic. (more…)Read More
The German sportswear retailer, Puma, has pulled a line of limited edition trainers featuring the colours of the UAE flag after complaints that they were disrespectful.
These commemorative trainers were created to mark the 40th UAE National Day, but rapidly caused uproar amongst Emirati consumers.
The word’s third-largest sportswear brand released an emailed statement affirming that “Puma took the feedback from our consumers very seriously and has indefinitely actioned the removal of the shoe from all stores.”
Behind the News:
In Arab culture, the shoe is considered dirty because it is on the ground and associated with the foot, the lowest part of the body, which prompted complaints that featuring the national colours trainers was culturally insensitive.
Moreover, the flag is a sacred symbol for the UAE and due to this, many felt that Puma had trivialized it by using the flag’s colours on its trainers.
Puma issued a statement in which the retailer apologised for this grave cultural misunderstanding, emphasising that “the shoe was never intended to upset or offend our customers here in the Middle East, but to give the people of the UAE a piece of locally-created design as a symbol of recognition of this great occasion.”
An Arab expat working in the UAE said that “big brands have to realise that you cannot have one idea for the whole world. Each area you operate in has to be have tailor-made solutions. Especially here in the Middle East, where cultural sensitivities are key, you have to be very careful. “Read More
This week Benetton revealed its latest ad campaign, supporting the Unhate foundation, which features a number of politicians and religious figureheads kissing, including US president Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. (more…)Read More
Recently, Levi’s decided to temporarily withdraw a campaign in the UK that showed scenes of rioting, as the company feared this would be culturally insensitive in the wake of the devastating riots that took place across Britain in August. (more…)Read More