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CultureShocks Blog

Anti-Smoking Campaign Ignites Passion

Anti-Smoking Campaign Ignites Passion

  |   CultureShocks Blog

The News:

A French anti-smoking campaign showing teenagers in a pose suggesting oral sex has caused an outrage in France. According to critics the ads trivialise sexual abuse and distract from the real health threats caused by smoking.

 

Behind the News:

Although French advertising agencies are known for their tendency to use sexual references in their campaigns to increase consumer awareness, the posters for the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association Droits des Non-Fumeurs playing with the image of fellatio are regarded as going one step too far by the French.

The ads which are respectively showing one teenage girl and two boys kneeling in front of an older man having a cigarette in their mouth which seems to point at the man’s trousers feature the slogan: “Smoking Means Being a Slave to Tobacco.”

According to the association who commissioned the campaign, the posters do not illustrate sexual abuse in any form. They were created to shock young smokers and alter their behaviour which traditional campaigns are failing to do due to their low impact.

Despite tobacco being acknowledged as a serious health risk, being the number one cause of avoidable deaths (half of French students over 14 have tried it), many people regard the ads as unacceptable. According to a spokeswoman of the feminist pressure group Chiennes de Garde, it is “inadmissible” that an image implying sexual abuse should be used for an anti-smoking campaign and a spokeswoman of the conservative group Familles de France said that she plans to lodge a complaint with the French advertising standards watchdog.

Although these ads are only going to be published in France it is very likely that a similar outrage would be caused in other countries. Despite the fact that shock advertising is widely used around the world it has always been the most controversial form and advertising agencies have to be aware of the cultural standards in their country in order to launch a successful campaign.

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Belle d’Opium Ad Forbidden in Britain

  |   CultureShocks Blog

The News:

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently banned Yves Saint Laurent’s television advert for their fragrance Belle D’Opium. They were concerned that a scene in which the actress playing “Belle” runs her finger down her inner elbow could be interpreted as simulating drug use, whilst her expressive dance movements could be seen as illustrations of the effects of drugs. (more…)

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Chinese Campaign Backfires in Korea

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Chinese Campaign Backfires in Korea

The News:

Korean netizens have protested against a Chinese ad campaign for the online game World II.

In features Chinese pop singer Han Geng, who launched his successful career in Korea (for those of you who follow Asian pop, his band was called “Super Junior”).

In a video promoting World II, Han is yelled at in Korean by a bossy lady from Korea. Thanks to World II, the singer gets revenge on her in the virtual world of electronic games, boosting his self-confidence. He then returns to reality, puts on an incredible gig and becomes a superstar. The video ends with a shot of the Korean lady, lost in the crowd, looking up to Han in awe.

(more…)

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Royal Offence in China

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Royal Offence in China

The News:

The Chinese brand of women’s lingerie, Jealousy International, has released a print ad featuring a Princess Diana look-alike, playing a cello in underwear. A young boy (Prince William?) holds a music score for her to read, with the headline “Feel the Romance of British Royalty”.

(more…)

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modern advertising magazine on digital across cultures

TEXTAPPEAL: The Advantage of Talents

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Beijing, August 2010 – “Textappeal: the Advantage of Talents” – Interview to Elliot Polak published on Modern Advertising Magazine.

 

In China, even people who work in Advertising industry might not know the name of this company. They hosted a seminar in Cannes this year featuring the topic: Digital Across Cultures. When Elliot, the founder and CEO, introduced the company he highlighted a word “transcreation”. We can’t find a concise and corresponding Chinese word to explain it as the need of this kind of service might only start to grow rapidly in the future due to the late start of Chinese economy and advertising industry.

 

Actually, majority operation of this company is from global brands or their creative agencies as their creative ideas and communication will unavoidably face difference countries, regions, ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds and their marketing will have to transfer accordingly. As we mentioned previously the example of Coke Cola, this refers to complicated and subtle details like strategy, creative illustration and text etc. Therefore, Elliot doesn’t like the idea of describing their work as “translation”.

 

VERTU phone launched a global campaign in 2007. In the unified creative draft for all markets around the world, the model is wearing a slightly wrinkled white casual suit to illustrate the target is high-end frequent travellers. VERTU phone, which plays the main role in the ad, is held in one hand of the model. However, the final version of the campaign had changed white colour to beige, casual suit to formal and even the hand of the model had been trimmed as neat and smooth as possible. The reason behind it is just because TEXTAPPEAL had provided 3 suggestions on the original creative draft: in china, firstly, a successful man should have wore formal and sleek suit; secondly, white colour is related to Chinese funerals; thirdly, the hair on the model’s hand might be considered as masculine charm in western world, while in China a pair of clean and smooth skin hands will be preferred.

 

cross cultural vertu ad transcreated by Textappeal 1           cross cultural vertu ad transcreated by Textappeal

 

Similar cultural differences exist almost in all cross-border communications and advertisements. For example, in one of the print ads of Barclays Wealth, a classic “vintage” car in the European version of the ad had been changed in China to a brand new car which is fashionable and modern. As Chinese, we believe everyone understands this.

 

Barclays Wealth 1         Barclays Wealth 2

 

We are very curious that facing such a huge number of countries and regions around the world how can TEXTAPPEAL conduct such a service which seems “there is nothing they don’t understand”. “Talents are the core. It consists of multilingual project managers in the London headquarters and 1470 partners all round the world covering 151 countries”, Elliot said. Not too long after the interview, we found exclusive introduction of their talents’ structure and concept on their newly renovated websites.

 

In the party in Cannes, there is a girl called Masie showed up together with him. She is from China and is one of the London team members. When Masie started to talk about this team, enthusiasm came up naturally: “it is because we all have different backgrounds and from different countries that it’s fun to work together. Our over 1000 partners are again from different countries. You can experience the brilliance of the whole world with vivid details through them.” Of course, according to Elliot’s standard of talent selecting, apart from language and culture this team has to be experts of marketing and advertising as well. In the past 3 years, projects about China have been the major increase of the operation.

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Single P or Double P?

  |   CultureShocks Blog

The news:

On billboards in Buenos Aires, Argentina, next to the familiar red, white and blue Pepsi logo, there is an eye-catching spelling mistake: “Pecsi”.

The spelling change is accompanied by slogans promoting “freedom of pronunciation” (“el libre albedrio pronunciativo”) and “the beautiful democracy of pronunciation” (“la hermosa democracia pronunciatoria”).

(more…)

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French 'Dexter' Radio Spot Not For The Faint-Hearted

  |   CultureShocks Blog

THE NEWS:

Have you ever heard a child tell you that he will cut mean people into pieces, put the bits into bags and hide the corpses so that nobody will find them – just like his daddy does? This is how an ad on French radio begins, for the American drama series Dexter and Canal +. It was adapted from what was initially a successful print and outdoors campaign. Dexter, broadcast in France by the TV channel Canal +, features a sexy policeman during the day who is driven by an uncontrollable urge to kill murderers at night.

(more…)

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