Winning in the post-geographic age

Martin Weigel
Wieden+Kennedy

Martin Weigel reveals how Wieden+Kennedy in Amsterdam creates global work for the likes of Nike and Coca-Cola and offers some tips for developing multi-market strategies.

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Developing work for 'export' is of course nothing unusual. That said, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam is an unusual office, in that the vast majority of its output is designed not for the Netherlands, but for somewhere else. That somewhere else can encompass 70-plus markets across all continents. It can encompass an entire region or continent other than our own. Or it can be designed for just one single market outside our own. But the choice to act as a post-geographic agency isn't, for the most part, a response to the emergence of a post-geographic world. The financial crisis has demonstrated how we are ever more inter-dependent. But the lines we draw across the globe sometimes lead us to overstate the disappearance of geography and distance. For example, it's estimated that 90% of people will never leave the country in which they were born, 2% of all telephone call minutes are international, 21% of us news coverage is international, 38% of European news coverage is international, and no more than 5% of private charitable giving goes overseas.