What creative should I use for my multicultural campaign?

The answer is easy, and not easy. Identity Communications, the intelligent multicultural agency, has some food for thought…

When it comes to a multicultural marketing campaign, marketers and their agencies rightly devote time and resources to developing the media schedule. When it comes to creative assets, clients think it’s all too hard or costly to develop bespoke in-language creative. Overwhelmingly clients translate their existing ‘mainstream’ creative.

Take for example, Bayer’s Elevit pregnancy multivitamin (below) targeting Chinese-Australian women. The investment on Youku Chinese video social media is significant, just about every pre-roll served this week uses either Elevit or Menevit material. In this case, the audio was left in English with text copy translated into Chinese.

Elevit multicultural marketing creative

Another example is our recent work for Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena Ultra Sheer (below). The mainstream creative, featuring Jennifer Garner, was subtitled into Chinese.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer - Chinese

A much rarer approach is developing bespoke in-language creative, particularly for TV. Reckitt Benckiser’s current campaign for Finish Quantum Ultimate dishwashing tablet (below) was developed and produced by Identity Communications especially for the Chinese-Australian audience. Concept and copy were developed in Chinese and translated to English for client feedback and approval. We sourced and selected local Chinese talent and shoot location. Judging by the comments across video and social media channels, the audience is resonating strongly with this bespoke creative approach.

Finish Quantum Ultimate Chinese TVC

Of course, it’s not one size fits all. Budget, timing and other factors come in to play in the real world. Here are some considerations that might help you decide:

  • Budget: if it’s a limited marketing budget, do you really want to spend 80% on creative and 20% on media?
  • Timing: in-language creative often take longer to produce, sourcing the right talent from a limited pool and translation lead time will add to your timeline
  • Creative capacity: there isn’t the breadth of creative and production talent compared to mainstream, so this may impact on quality
  • Collaboration: consider if your current creative agency could work with a cultural consultant during creative concept and development
  • Face to camera: if it’s just a voiceover, then consider revoicing the commercial
  • Customise static assets: TV production requires a larger budget, but if you’re doing a print advert which has talent, consider shooting the mainstream material with a mix of talent or shooting talent that’s from that community for your campaign
  • Product benefit: particularly in the beauty category, a well-known ‘mainstream’ talent may be the aspirational inspiration for this audience, so maybe subtitling is all that’s needed
  • People like me: then again, if the benefits of a beauty product might be better demonstrated on someone with a skin tone similar to your audience, maybe the ‘mainstream’ talent, especially if they aren’t well known, may not be appropriate
  • Your brand: if you are a major multinational, and you’re investing a significant budget in media, is there an expectation that you should develop tailored creative for the target community?
  • Brand sentiment benefits: in a world where creative is almost always translated from mainstream, consider the significant uplift in positive brand sentiment from investing in bespoke creative

We’re experienced in the creative scenarios outlined above. If you have a question about multicultural creative development please contact us.