Up yours

Nivea knows how NOT to fall into the traps set by cultural differences and the meaning of images by country.

I scanned in the press ad below from a German magazine. It would never have appeared in a UK magazine (or Australia or NZ). Why? Because this gesture – cleverly suggesting to the German that this product has dual effects on anti-ageing, is a major insult to Brits:

nivea2.jpg

This would be like producing an ad for Germans or Americans like this (yes, I airbrushed it):

nivearude2.jpg

If you want to know more about why two fingers, palm away from the viewer, means “fuck off” to a Brit, do ask.

Now the reason Nivea did not get this wrong is that they adapt advertising rather than impose ads on subsidiaries. Ideas and advertising concepts may be developed centrally, from Germany, but then local input is added to ensure visuals and messaging are ticking the right boxes. In particular they do this with TV. Well done to them for watching out for cultural differences.

More: here.

Alex Woodruff

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