The good, the bad, the smug.


I'm torn.
Here's a brand new campaign from At&t advertising its global roaming capabilities. I've been watching it unfold in the pages of the New York Times over the last few weeks.

It's beautiful, visually lush.
I believe it is a precursor to multicultural advertising of the future; i.e., it is cross-cultural and therefore, truly multicultural.
At the same time, it picks up cues, graphics, icons, that are specific to individual cultures/locations.

That's the good part.

The bad part: where's the insight?
This is not a multicultural campaign of course, but to be honest it fails utterly despite the stunning art direction.
A campaign for global coverage running in the US is surely targeted at global travelers from the US visiting or working in the world's largest countries and fastest growing economies.

C'mon guys. It should have hit you like a brick.
The sum of all things Chinese is not the Great Wall.

India is not all caparisoned elephants or the Taj Mahal.

You have to rise above those hackneyed images.
Get with the times, cause they're a-changin'
Why do people want better coverage in India or China?
Because they're doing business there.

Think Shanghai, not the Great Wall.
Think Mumbai or Bangalore, where the money is made and your software is written.
Find a symbol that isn't the same damn symbol that everyone has ever used.

This campaign probably starts in some feebly educated American mind, wherein the rest of the world must be reduced to cliches, so as to effectively communicate with other feebly educated American minds.

No? Am I oversimplifying?
Have I offended some American friend or colleague who resents my generalization, and doesn't like me reducing Americans to a cliche?

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Article: Creative Commons License 2008 Gavin Barrett

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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

You tell em'! They have to raise their game. No more of the same old same old.

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