Number 118... BINGO!

Think Glocal.

One of the most common questions I am asked when I lecture at the University is: "What are the key factors of success of an international advertising campaign?". My answer is straight-forward: a creative idea is excellent when it can be consistently deployed globally while remaining sufficiently flexible to be adapted locally.

This could sound like a non-answer, but here is a great example of what I mean.

The Number is a brand which has been able to deliver the unique brand positioning (the non-sense) in very different markets, with consistent communication patterns but with a brilliant flair for local humour. A tricky performance.

Pick your own number.

In the UK, fatherland of advertising and trash press, the brand icons spoofed gossip newspapers with a micro-website and famous TV ads such as this Honda commercial:

In France, a brilliant teaser campaign announced the arrival of a new phenomenon in Paris following an intriguing tour across the country most "exciting" villages. Two guys, dressed up in flashy tights, were dancing on the market places on the rhythms of a fitness TV program soundtrack from the 80s (at that time hosted by two iconic girls: Véronique & Davina). Big fun about once famous celebrities who are trying by all means to come back in the spotlight thanks to reality-shows.

In winter, the two brand icons came up with a new kind of winter sport, the skirf, making fun this time of the French habit for adopting so-called "fun" sport activities:

Finally, in Switzerland, where the brand has been launched recently, The Number decided to make fun of national pride, competition skiing:

The outcome of such an approach is the feeling that the brand is local. The communication resonates with the customer personal references, and benefits are immediate. the brand recognition and top of mind are rocketing which is key in the case of a product launch; online films are viraled to a great extent hence gearing up communication budgets; people spoof the ads (just have a quick pick at YouTube when you enter "118218", the official productions are quickly outnumbered by the private videos)...
In other words, the brand is adopted by the local culture, and its origins are blurred.

1 comment:

  1. Note received on my personal email from the head of strategic planning at Agence .V., the French agency who deployed the above mentionned campaign in France:
    "Interesting and relevant angle. In Italy, their agency has opted not to capitalise on the local reference, and it has been a failure..."