Exploitation of culture?

Continuing the ongoing theme of culture and brands and new markets is this news story on a recent KFC TV commercial made specially for China. It raises the question of whether ‘transcreating’ your brand’s message into local cultural symbols can go too far? And be considered patronizing instead? Remember this?

It seems to me that there is a fine line that must be trod by transnationals, not easy to do, but by trial and error, between appealing to local tastes and incorporating local motifs and parodying it instead or using stereotypes. Where and how do you draw that line? Simply pointing fingers at the mistakes won’t do, I’m ashamed to admit, as I’ve been doing.

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200607070009_02An example that appealed to me comes from this article on Asian design influences, and shown here is a Nokia phone that incorporates ornamentation in a tasteful way. The black box is apparently an HP laptop with a ‘wavy’ lacquer finish. These are nicely done.

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This entry was posted in Business, India/China/Asia. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Exploitation of culture?

  1. niti bhan says:

    I’d like to link to Tasos Calantzis’ insightful post on this topic here,
    http://www.readymade.co.za/2006/07/design-global-design-local-part-2.html

  2. Hilmir says:

    Hey Niti, this might be of interest to you. More stuff dripping with Asian elements! This looks so much like a concept I submitted to a Motorola competition a while back! Gosh! I wonder if it’s also etched into the metal housing..hmm..

  3. niti bhan says:

    Cool! thanks Hilmir!

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