A contributing writer for Fast Company, Lucas Conley is an experienced journalist with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of fields, his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, SPIN, and ESPN: The Magazine, among other publications.
Topic: International Perspectives on Branding
Lucas Conley: I’ve noticed the different attitudes. Certainly, one of the things about Europe that’s worth noting is that they’re passing some big new rules over there that are kind of gating advertisers out of certain content, product placement for instance. There’s a new law passed over in the EU that basically requires before and after programs and during commercial breaks on television that the product placements are revealed so you know they’re being pitched as opposed to just organically in the script. In the U.K. the media minister there has said he’ll never allow product placement in British programming so there’s a different attitude in Europe towards marketing but it’s also on the street. If you talk to people in England, there seems to be a little more tolerance for it. There’s kind of an attitude of it’s not affecting me as much as I think in the U.S. there’s a little more of a knee-jerk reaction when people hear about some of the marketing that’s going on out there in terms of the new technologies or new philosophies in marketing. In Asia that’s another community entirely in terms of how marketing is working right now. The status of certain brands there is higher than anywhere else in the world, especially luxury in China right now, certainly in Japan, in order to identify yourself in a community either as a person who’s coming up in China with a new business, an entrepreneur, you get the Lexus or you get the new car or you get the new Louis Vuitton purse. These are status symbols. They just opened a new Ritz Carlton in I think it was Hong Kong and one of the reviewers’ comments when he stayed there a night was that the logo was everywhere and unlike in the U.S. this logo was stamped on the box that held the remote control. And the idea there was that the logo, that status, that exterior symbol, is very important in Asia to the degree that you’ll find certain products like lingerie or cleaning products that you don’t see publicly don’t do very well there in comparison to the rest of the world because people think why would I invest in this luxury good, Victoria’s Secret or Lush bath products, if my neighbors don’t know that I use it? Where is the status? What-- And what’s the use for this brand for me? So that is kind of another shade of how marketing is used globally.
Recorded on: 7/23/08