Multicultural marketing secrets: #3.



As always, in the complex world of multicultural communications, there's more than one side to multiple language communications.

In some cases, English is still your best bet - though not the Queen's variety, perhaps.
International variants whether patois, pidgin or dialect possess colour, immediacy and spirit that make them instantly accessible to your audience

The English themselves employ this with great effect.
Consider I could doon a broon.
A tremendously successful slogan for Newcastle Brown, in dialect known to Geordies everywhere.
(Psst: know of others? Send in your entries.)

For our South Asian audiences, we usually recommend the use of English-only ads because our audience’s familiarity with the language cannot be underestimated.

It is worth noting that India by itself, has more English speakers than any other country in the world.
English is India’s language of business, government and law and is the language that straddles the linguistic divide between North and South Indian languages. Over 2.4 million people read the Times of India daily.

And when one considers that there are 23 official languages, 12 of which are represented on the country's currency. It seems more like a mind-boggling tower of babel than a market.

Yet, major advertisers in India have typically solved this problem with simple efficiency: they run their ads in English.
Oh yes, when they know their markets, and can afford multiple language buys in regional newspapers and so on, they do run advertising in the regional language(s) too. But typically, English leads.

It might be worth taking a leaf out of that book. A market study we conducted with Professor Dilip Soman at the University of Toronto's Marketing Faculty, taught us that many immigrants from these groups were offended when marketers chose to speak to them in their native tongues. For these English-medium highly educated, often multilingual new Canadians, it felt vaguely patronising. Not a good place to begin a relationship methinks.

text copyright 2008 Gavin Barrett All rights reserved
Image: Bangles in Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. The fixed price signs indicate that there is no bargaining allowed, in, from left, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and English. Photo taken by David Boyk in 2003. Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 License.

You may also like

No comments :

Popular Posts

Copyright Gavin Barrett. Powered by Blogger.

Plagiarism Watch!

Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Protection