Doug Vanisky, Founder, Publisher and Creative Director of dogstar creative agency on localizing campaigns.
Today we meet Doug Vanisky, Founder and Creative Director of a boutique creative agency in Portland USA, while he is sipping on a cup of coffee. He is not only an inspiring creative mind who has done award-winning work for Fortune 500 brands, but also a publisher of industry shaping books and an Acupuncture and Herbology guru.
During this interview we tapped into Doug’s perspective on the importance of the localisation of campaigns. His American lens definitely brought another layer to delvv.io’s ongoing conversation around this topic. Enjoy the read!
Doug: I live in Portland, OR so the first three words that come to mind are progressive, weird, and coffee.
Doug: Sure. I think the spirit of the Wild West and creative freedom permeates the brands, artists, and organizations in the area. This might surface most clearly in the heavy design focus in our area. Nike is our most famous local brand and these qualities can be seen in their groundbreaking design and ad work throughout the years.
Doug: I think the annual Design Week Portland conference and the XOXO conferences are great examples of the community, creativity, and collaborative nature of the local culture.
Doug: Creative, rugged, innovative, compassionate and progressive.
Doug: It is important. Each country and differing areas within a country have a different perspective, baseline audience, social norms, and even regulatory. If a brand communication isn't further tailored to the specific local audience it seeks to connect with, messaging may go wide of the mark.
Doug: Well, it depends on the brand, the communication, and the audience. If the creative work speaks to a human experience anyone can relate to, then localizing isn't make or break. However, if the messaging doesn't connect with the region, or worse, is offensive to a local culture, this runs the risk of doing the brand real harm (at least on the local level).
I believe Nike also just launched Equality Initiative, which sort of speaks to the values of the local area. Lastly, Spotify had a recent campaign that used billboards with different messaging for different local areas.
Doug: It is possible that a campaign direction that isn't a good fit for a locality would be hard for local creatives to adapt. However, sometimes the creative part of our job is overcoming such challenges. Like the Stoics say, the obstacle is the opportunity.
Doug: Commit to doing strong audience research.
Doug: Great question. Globalization also dilutes localisation, so I think it comes down to speaking to your primary audience in an authentic way first and foremost, regardless of their location, and then allowing for local customization of that messaging.
Thank you for the nuggets of knowledge and insights to chew on Doug. Until next time...
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