Here at Ad Contrarian world headquarters we have a little 2-word commandment: Be specific.
You see, we think that "1,000 songs in your pocket" is a better promise than "world-class MP3 player."
We think that "15 minutes can save you 15%" is more motivating than "get huge savings."
We think "$5 Footlong" is a better idea than "really cheap and really big."
We believe in being specific.
As usual, this precept runs counter to contemporary marketing thinking. Today's busy marketing windbag is too lazy to bother with specifics. He doesn't want one campaign that is specific to, say, the UK and another that is specific to China. He doesn't really care that in one culture yogurt is a dessert and in another it's an ingredient. Don't bother him with the idea that the world and its people are filled with a million little subtleties. It's too much darn work.
He wants globularity. He wants to do one big thing and run it everywhere. That way, he doesn't have to think too much or strain too hard.
The upshot of this is that we get "global" ad campaigns that are about everything in general and nothing in particular.
Just have a look at Pepsi's new global ad effort that we picked on here the other day (picking on Pepsi is not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle.) It stars two actors who are not-quite-Hispanic, not-quite-Anglo, not-quite-Mediterranean, and not-quite-Middle-Eastern. They are in places that are not-quite-anywhere, doing stuff that is not-quite-anything.
It is a monument to non-specific globularity.
So what if there's no evidence that "global" campaigns are any more effective than any other campaigns? So what if there's mountains of evidence that specifics are more motivating than generalities? This is a new age and being global is, like, totally awesome.
Being everything to everyone, everywhere is not strategy. It is absence of strategy.
"The essence of strategy is sacrifice." David Ogilvy said that.
"When you make ads about everything, you make ads about nothing." I said that.
...my fabulous new commenting software still isn't working. On the other hand, it's been nice not being called an idiot for a couple of days.