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Not Lost in Translation

Marketing tactics from abroad can work just as well here, too.
December 1, 2004

In Tokyo, two athletes dangle at more than 26 feet from a billboard and play a round of soccer. Is this the Asian edition of Fear Factor? Nope, it's just an ad for sneaker-maker Adidas. In an ever-cluttered advertising environment, international marketers are seeking bolder and weirder ways to hawk products.

U.S. entrepreneurs may wish to take a cue from audacious, buzz-generating overseas advertising. OK, so maybe you can't afford to stage a soccer game off the side of Trump Tower. But if you'd like to add more of a global flair to your U.S. marketing plan, consider the following in your adaptation:

U.S. advertisers may adapt the technique by running ads at theaters to a captive audience. Consider running current TV ads, or expanding a TV campaign to tell a longer story. Screenvision, a company that provides cinema advertising worldwide, has exclusive access to 14,000 screens across America.

You'll notice these overseas ads are pretty racy-that's one aspect of international advertising you can't adapt here. Coleman says, "In Europe, consumers are more willing to accept nudity, humor and even violence as part of advertising."