Global Shouldn’t Mean Good Enough…

It’s a cheeky globe. Look at it there.

Hello hello. Not written anything for a little while, but I thought I should.

Working for a very big network agency with quite a lot of worldwide business, I come across all sorts of brands every day, ones i’ve never heard of, and may never work on ever again, due to some of the obscure markets we work in.

This has some tremendous benefits – you get to work with and observe consumers of nationalities you don’t know a great deal about, and deal with markets you really don’t know anything about. So it’s a great learning experience.

That said, it’s also hugely daunting; who am I to say or judge what housewives in Russia will look for in a deodorant or a bleach? And you do begin to realise that no-one really knows much about certain markets and segments – it’s amazing really, but there’s a damn good reason why they’re called emerging markets.

One thing that working here HAS taught me, having worked on the odd global campaign or two…is just how much harder it is to sell really good work globally. Sure, you can sell ‘nice’ or ‘good enough’ work. But that’s not why I got into the business, and surely not what most people wanted to either; nor work on clients where all you do is adapt, adapt, adapt the work.

And it makes you appreciate things – like just how good an idea has to be to work across each market, and how very good the whole network has to be to get each networked agency (because, God knows, sometimes the biggest problem is making the decision about which agency does what) singing from the same hymn sheet.

No, I wanted to write this post to talk about how, because there is such a fight, and because there are so many more people the work has to be sold to (unlike nice, straightforward domestic work, which basically has a Marketing Director and his or her wishes) – ‘good enough’ is presented as the right way a lot of the time.

And i’m tired of ‘global’ being used as an excuse for the work being crap. So that difficult Portugese client won’t buy the work? So craft something which’ll appeal to him or her. Don’t just sit back and let the final hurdle bugger all of the work. Frankly, i’m tired of lowest common denominator work selling.

I’m chuffed that thinking like ‘When a baby is born, so is a mother’, ‘Dirt is good’ and ‘The world’s local bank’ survive. But these are too much in the minority. And if advertising’s becoming more worldwide, there’s never been more of a need to stop thinking of global as another swearword (next to ‘client’) and as a reason why the work didn’t sell. The work didn’t sell because the agency didn’t do enough.