We continue our blog on Painful Advertising Mistakes when launching a campaign to a multicultural market.
Breast Milk Baby
These cultural nuances are not simply a one way street, and cultural misunderstandings in marketing are pretty much universal. We do see cases of Spanish ads gone wrong when transculturating from Spanish to English, i.e. from Spain to the United States.
Last year Berjuan, a Spanish Toy Company, released their marketing campaign “Bebé Glotón” or “Breast Milk Baby,” a breast feeding baby doll for little girls. Although the toy proved popular in Europe, American consumers were, to put it lightly, less enthused. While the doll is on toy store shelves in the United States today, a lot of parents and critics feel this toy is not suited for young children.
“Cultural misunderstandings in marketing can be universal when companies ignore the culture of their consumer market no matter the language. Companies must be aware of who their target audience is and the social norms of that audience,” according to George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer of The San Jose Group.
Moral of the Story: Advertisers need to be aware of the target market and the social norms of that audience’s society and/or acceptable practices. This will ensure if a product/ad is going to resonate with that audience and be culturally relevant, i.e. in the USA breast feeding is not considered a subject to talk about with children, etc.