Brands take global approach

04 August 2011

NEW YORK: Major brand owners including Gap, Beiersdorf and PepsiCo are taking an increasingly global approach to advertising and marketing.

Gap, the US retailer, is rolling out a new multi-market effort supporting its 1969 collection, and covering a wide variety of countries, such as Australia, China, Greece, Japan and Russia.

This initiative focuses on the firm's denim design studio in Los Angeles. Seth Farbman, Gap's chief marketing officer, revealed the emphasis will be on "storytelling" rather than simple advertising.

"It will be incredibly surprising to most people that this thing exists," he told AdAge. "It's not even what I would think of as Gap, and I think about the brand all the time."

Nivea, Beiersdorf's beauty range, is also pursuing a worldwide programme called "Skincare for Life", making particularly heavy use of new media tools from social networks to augmented reality.

Beiersdorf spent two years working with agency Blast Radius to tailor its digital strategy, and has tapped pop star Rihanna to promote Nivea.

"As online channels are part of our consumers' everyday life, we have a strong focus on digital touchpoints," said Ralph Gusko, Beiersdorf's board member, brands.

Lenovo, the Chinese technology giant, has also allied with agency Saatchi & Saatchi to boost international awareness of its portfolio, which incorporates offerings like PCs and the IdeaPad tablet.

The resulting "For those who do" campaign is to leverage mediums from outdoor and print to social media and, hopefully, word of mouth.

"The whole idea behind 'For those who do' is that Lenovo provides whatever is necessary or needed for you to achieve what you want to achieve," said Keith Liu, Lenovo's business development director, emerging markets group.

Nokia, adidas and Levi's are among the other companies undertaking similar schemes, which require a nuanced approach at the corporate level, Massimo d'Amore, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages Americas, said.

"Technology, both social networks and mobile platforms, have created this global generation," he argued. "We really want to connect our global brands with the global generation, and the best way to do that is with global management."

Data sourced from Business Today, Today Online, Channel News Asia; additional content by Warc staff