Leo Burnett Company LTD
Leo Burnett is an advertising agency that was founded in 1935 in Chicago. One of their clients is Ontann Beauty Care (OBC), which is a leading global manufacturer of health and beauty care products. OBC has been awarding Leo Burnett’s (LB) its business for many years. OBC has been a client of LB’s Toronto and London offices since 1958 and mid-1970, respectively. OBC has centralized its global marketing campaign for a given brand and creates the communication materials as templates for local offices to follow. Local offices are then responsible for adapting these raw global materials and developing local “below the line” materials. LB also centralized its decision making to better service it original client. In 1998, OBC presented a new skin care line that would target a rapid growing population of consumer over the age of 50. This new skin care line would be called “Forever Young”, and was more expensive than other OBC skin care products. OBC awarded its advertising and brand communication to LB. Mirroring the global OBC team structure; LB global brand team remained in London and formed satellite teams in Toronto and Taiwan. The Taiwanese Team would receive the creative templates from the LB global team and would adapt for the local market. In addition, they would have to adapt the television ads and retake photos for the print ads with an Asian model. The Toronto team would use English television ads and print advertising for the Canadian market. Furthermore, they would produce direct marketing and Web site materials. In short, the Toronto Team had less autonomy, and was not able to adapt to the Canadian market. The results showed the Forever Young launch in Taiwan was successful. While the results of the launch in Canada was below “action standards”, in spite of the success of the isolated pre-launch test. Furthermore, LB’s future business with OBC was now in jeopardy and tension raised within LB to improve the OBC brand in the Canadian market. One of the first contributing factors is the idea of Pluralism of Cultures vs. Cultural Pluralism. What should a firm pay attention to: The unique cultural characteristics of Canada or the variety of cultures within Canada? In my opinion, cultural pluralism is a contributing factor in the lack of success of the launch. Canada has many different cultures within its nation. When LB decided to use the data from a small town in the interior of British Columbia to make a general assumption about the entire nation of Canada they should have known that one area should not be the blue print for an entire nation. The product trail and product sales indexed 120 against its objective, which had a base index of 100. This is a successful result, but that is only one area in Canada. For example, Canada is known for having a French and British influence in different areas. Canadian also has many American cultural norms. The Canadian launch indexed 50 against a base index of 100, which is not a surprising result considering the fact that LB only tested one area of Canada. Next, we have the idea of a global mindset. LB had their global team headquarters for the project in London. The reason for this was because London had experience in leading global business teams and it was closer to OBC’s global team. When dealing with Canada, LB London wanted to push English filmed television ads & print ads in the Canadian market. At the same time, LB allowed Taiwan to exercise autonomy. This proved to be unsuccessful for the Canadian market, and successful for the Taiwanese market. The reason for this is the idea that there needs to be shared views when it comes to thinking globally and locally. The ads being run in Taiwan were adapted to include a popular Asian actress, and this also allowed the product to show how effective it was on Asian skin. Taiwan is a successful example of incorporating local and global thinking. In Canada, ads featured a blond Caucasian actress as the...
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