Friday, February 13, 2009

Could a “co-director” help us infuse local culture into our global brands?

I was invited to speak at the Asia Brand Congress 2008 which allowed me to visit the magnificent city of Mumbai, India-- so when the movie Slumdog Millionaire was released, I was excited to see it. And I loved it. Obviously, I am not the only one. Slumdog Millionaire has been nominated for ten Academy Awards, has won five Critic’s Choice awards and four Golden Globes.

Slumdog Millionaire is a love story that springs from the chaotic streets of Mumbai when the main character’s life is followed from street orphan to TV quiz-show contestant.

Director Danny Boyle was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and credited his co-director Loveleen Tandan for the success of the movie.

Tandan infused the movie with authentic Indian culture. She did this by urging the incorporation of key artistic and cultural cues into the movie largely by translating a third of the dialogue into Hindi. It successfully connected the experiences of this young Indian boy to an American audience while eliminating any cultural barriers.

“As soon as she did it, the scenes just transformed,” says Mr. Boyle. “A good decision follows a good decision, and our first good decision was hiring Loveleen.”

While reading this, I am reminded of the issues we here at STINSON work to overcome when going global. What could we do even better to “transform” our brand message to relate to global companies and global audiences in a more effective way? I feel STINSON has the potential to take global brands to a greater level, but our first step is to communicate that in the most connected way possible. I would like to hear your suggestions or thoughts on global communications between companies. What co-direction should STINSON seek when expanding our brands globally?

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