Trend - BITE sized marketing trends

Globally consistent platforms with hyper-regionalisation

Success or failure of global marketing campaigns depends entirely on landing the core message in a timely and relevant way, and this seems to be where many brands simply don’t appear to have the necessary reach, budget or indeed ambition to deliver meaningful, engaging communications to a global audience.

Take some of the hideous ‘global’ campaigns online and on TV for household cleaning products, cars, toothpaste, etc. Irrelevant, vanilla nonsense. There are infinitely smarter ways to engage your audience than producing one spot, dubbed in three languages and a blanket bombing media buy.

So, what if you are an ambitious global brand with limited spend, or just want to adopt a smarter approach despite having access to a large piggy bank? What if you do still want a cohesive brand message but don’t want to knock all the sharp edges off your campaign to please everyone?

It starts with understanding the region of course, and your place in it. You don’t need a networked agency squabbling with itself over budget to do that; you just need smart people who can gain the right insights from the right places.

The right thing to do, is to do that first.

Then, and only then, build the platform. Funnel all of the local insights into the development of the campaign at the outset. Let them inform the campaign platform. Do not develop the global campaign platform first from your 14th floor office on Madison Avenue and then apply the insights in an attempt to adapt it regionally. That’s a fairly fundamental difference.

Yes, it seems obvious that it should be that methodology. But, in a rush to appease the board, or to take a new idea to a global conference, it’s very often big idea first, we’ll worry about adaptation later, leaving disgruntled regional marketeers with a platform that just doesn’t translate.

Whether you are a tortoise lagging behind, or a hare sprinting off to keep the board happy, it needs to be understood: global campaigns require a consistent platform with hyper-regionalised activation to communicate with today’s discerning audiences.

New Balance - 247 - ZAK
Ph. Will Nichols

New Balance – 247

New Balance had made a tacit promise to consumers to put action before hype, products and services before marketing bullsh*t. Having created this strategy for them, now was the time for us to launch their first entirely new model in 20 years, the 247. It had to be bold, clear, driven by the product proposition and globally relevant.

We started with the product team to better understand the product: a sneaker that can be worn for any occasion, to suit everyone, to be worn all day.

Then we looked outside the business, outside our agency. We looked to our selfhood network of under 30s around the world in the most culturally progressive cities. We observed their city lives. Nomadic in some cases, temporarily fixed in some, firmly rooted in others. All were connected via a shared attitude, to define and at the same time be defined by the culture of the city they were in. They, and their cities, were connected to each other by art, music, tech and fashion. They fed off each other, making each other more, better, different, unique.

Our campaign platform become the articulation of this insight and the product proposition. Life in 247 defined everything this product was about, and everything our audience was about.

Compact enough to carry the weight of a global campaign consistently, yet broad enough to have meaning to consumers around the world if activated in a hyper-regional manner in their cities.

Our plan? Launch in 7 cities within 24 hours. Supported by influencers capturing 24 hours in their cities. Anchored by a retail and content campaign filmed and shot in Shanghai, London and New York.

We worked with NB to establish the distribution plan which included seeding a limited edition co-lab model ahead of launch to build hype, then launch three tiers of product month by month to excite, engage and commercialise the platform.

Local teams would bring the platform to life in each key city. This hyper-regionalised approach meant that each city had a flexible enough framework to deliver an entirely unique launch event without losing the core message. Events featured local influencers, music, food, interactive tech and lifestyle culture. All tuned to engage and captivate the consumers connected to each city.

London was an intimate dinner event tailored for particularly discerning sneakerheads, Shanghai was a convenience store style pop-up with live music from local artists, NYC was a retailer co-lab with street art and performances from renowned rappers Jadakis and Fabolous.

With the launches of the first 247 ‘Luxe’ model gaining over 150m impressions to date through media and outperforming the brand’s totem 574 model on Google, the 48hr sell through for the product was extraordinarily successful.

For us, this is proof of three things. A robust, insight driven approach to building a campaign platform. Comprehension of that platform worldwide by both regional marketing teams and regional consumers. And finally, hyper-regionalisation equalling commercial and brand equity success around the world.

Agency: ZAK, London

48 hours
Sold out
150 million
media impressions
New Balance - 247 - ZAK
Ph. Will Nichols
New Balance - 247 - ZAK
Ph. Will Nichols

Nike - Women's Equality

Nike Women’s Equality campaign delivered separate assets when it could have just launched one big global ad featuring many women from diverse backgrounds to arguably achieve the same objective. But, in creating ads featuring and targeting Middle Eastern Women, Russian women, Turkish Women, Indian women, and more, Nike created a far more relevant campaign driving higher engagement through powerful, recognisable executions.

Nike - Women's Equality


Starbucks has a history of regional innovation when activating its brand in different markets and yet the brand ‘feels’ the same wherever it goes. In Japan, stores are decorated in keeping with Shintoism, honouring nature. The menu features local breads, Matcha Teas and white puddings. In China, stores are adapted to the culture of under 30s consumers visiting in large groups. Stores are adapted from one and two person layouts to seating up to ten people.


About the author

Matt Bennett, ZAK, CCO and Co-Founder

Matt Bennett is a co-founder and co-owner of ZAK, responsible for all creative output and strategic counsel. Having worked in various agency roles throughout his career Matt has always felt there is a stronger role for more challenging insight and bolder creative thinking in delivering commercial returns for brands. Matt has worked across most consumer lifestyle categories and has launched two brands into Global Football in the last 6 years.

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