I once wrote a small book on the nuances of global culture and their effects on communications campaign. It's "How To Create Global Talkability," and you're free to download here. This is from The Poke is equally as insightful - Europe, as viewed by Americans.
15 days to go - personally, can't wait. The sanctimonious whining of anyone from Spielberg to Konnie Huq can be parked to one side. Seeing China have its well deserved moment in the sun will be captivating, breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Londoners are about to get a big wake-up call.
Throughout Asia, an 'instant noodle meal solution,' is an efficient, tasty and wholesome snack. Here in the UK we have Pot Noodle. Our and AKQA's latest work for them, with more than just a nod to Guinness...
No Facebook yet in China, and it may be some time. Its pronunciation in Chinese sounds like 'Doomed To Die." Not to worry - in the country where there's a caring and sharing approach to idea generation, you can sign up to whichever clone you like. Mobinode points out U.discuz.net, Xiaonei or Yeejee which look comfortably familiar to a pair of Western middle class social networking eyes.
More importantly, kop a load of a bunch more 'China's massive' stats. In the last 6 months, 48 million more people tucked into the Internet, report Kaiser and China Web 2.0 Review. That means we're now up to a total of 210 million users - primarily well educated and city-based. However, 40% of that new 48 million are living out in the sticks. You can find a meaningless stat about China every day - but that's a significant one. Greater access to education and information is coming to the masses.
I don't know who you are, but you'll be like me. We don't have proper jobs. As Mrs Martin Lukes' commented, we're all "just faffing about."
Except this man. This is a real man with a real job. This is David Higgins and his job is to build an Olympic Park.
The London 2012 Olympics will cost GBP10.3bn. David's in charge of GBP9bn of that - and with it he's got to see that an 80,000 capacity Olympic stadium, an aquatic centre, a velodrome, an Olympic village and a media centre are all standing and fit for purpose in some dark hinterland of east London when the world turns up in five years time. There's no mealy-mouthiness going on when you meet David down the Rotary Club. His annual appraisal doesn't have too many grey areas.
I like David a lot, and I'd like to sit down with him in his office and get my head round how the hell he does it. If you read this very refreshing interview, and if you have ever undertaken any form of 'project' in your life, you end up doing what I've been doing today...getting distracted, your mind wandering back to David and his job, and starting hundreds of phases in your head with, "how does he know," or "what if," or "how on Earth...?"
LOCOG should be / will be looking to Beijing for lessons as they prepare for 2012. For once, LOCOG should accept a lesson in communication from China - because it's time to get a grip on the drip-drip of budgetary bungling and the tepid passion the UK has for the Olympics. If David was in Beijing he would be a Chinese national hero - the man who holds China's dreams in his hands. In the UK he's perceived as just one of a quagmire of bungling bureaucrats with acronyms and dodgy calculators, tucked away in a corner of east London, as remote from the citizens of Putney as they are those in Pudsey.
GBP60bn thrown down the toilet of Northern Rock, or GBP10bn for an experience that will shape a generation financially, physically, spiritually? I know what's better value for money. It's about time we started to see, hear and feel a campaign that connects with the country - that starts building an Olympic spirit with young and the not-so-young. David Higgins doesn't need our support, but he certainly deserves it.
Positive word of mouth sells products. Brands and products that are talked about, shared, recommended or loved, sell. Brands and products that are ignored, fail. Marketers doodle on pads in meetings, thinking, "how do I secure positive word of mouth, or 'talkability' for my brand?"
For global marketers, there's a bigger question. How do I create positive word of mouth and fame for my global brand across different cultures, in different languages, through different media contexts?
Is it possible to create global 'talkability' for a brand or idea?
If so, how is it done?
Want to know? Click on the link and read Creating Global 'Talkability'. It's written by me.
4 weeks in, 'so Jim, how are you finding being back in London?'
Well I've had a clear illustration why the East Asian economies continue to leave the Westerners for dead. One might be the different attitude the two cultures have to a simple thing called a deadline.
A deadline is essentially a promise. "I promise I will deliver you something by this time on that day," so an employee may say to his boss, or a supplier may say to a customer. My experiences in Hong Kong were clear - deadlines meant deadlines. People that missed deadlines did so with embarassment, shame, and no end of apologies.
In the UK it's different. A supplier - let's call them Sky Broadband by way of example - write to you and say, we'll have you connected by then. And then they don't. And they're not that bothered really anyway. So my first Sky bill arrives for the month, and it's for 36 quid a month, rather than the 41 quid I'd agreed when I signed a contract for TV and broadband. They've lost 5 quid. That's called lower productivity.
As it says at the top of the page, it's no rocket science.