Cultural Intelligence: How can brands and communication travel across cultures?

How can an advert perform well in one country, but prove significantly ineffective in another?

How can an advert perform well in one country, but prove significantly ineffective in another? Why would a global campaign from a US brand resonate in France, but miss the mark in the UK and Brazil? And what do brands need to understand for their marketing efforts to successfully traverse international borders?

There is a simple answer to these questions and to the challenge of brand communication travel: cultural intelligence.

The Ipsos Creative Excellence team conducted a meta-analysis of more than 1,200 ads that had been tested in at least two countries. Each ad’s performance was compared to identify whether it performed identically in the two countries or not.

The results? Only 31% of ads reached the same level of performance.

This paper explores the different frameworks and methodologies brands can use to better understand cultures, and subsequently, improve their cross-border marketing. These can then be applied to areas such as market landscape, brand image/equity and advertising context.

In parallel, Ipsos undertook a self-funded study called ‘Being Woman’ to understand what it means to be a modern-day woman across diverse cultures. The roots shaping gender and femininity proved very different within each.

Ipsos studied various empirical models to identify the critical dimensions of culture that offer the best chance of successful cultural transferability. The paper unpacks this analysis to provide brands and marketers with:

  • A methodology to better understand cultural transferability
  • Frameworks and case studies for understanding the cultural nuances of gender
  • Frameworks and case studies for understanding cultural transferability for women specifically, using the Ipsos ‘Being Woman’ study
  • Practical advice for activating campaigns specifically targeting females in different cultures
  • The Empathy Passport: How brands can combine art, science, curation, and ethnography to boost their cross-border marketing

To learn more, read Cultural Intelligence: How can brands and communication travel across cultures?

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