Alli was a big hit when launched in the US. GlaxoSmithKline wanted to repeat that success in Europe. The campaign targeted overweight European adults. They asked Duffy Agency to help prepare, launch, and manage the campaign. The idea was to simply adapt the promotional materials that had worked so well in the US for use in Europe. Language was flagged as one of the biggest challenges to “Europeanizing” the launch campaign. However, this paled in comparison to other challenges that arose.
The brand strategies and promotional materials that worked so well in the US were tailored to the beliefs, perceptions, needs, and dietary habits of Americans. As we began our investigation, it quickly became evident that the attitudes that Europeans had with regard to their diet, their weight, overall health, and weight loss aids varied significantly from one European country to the next, and all countries varied significantly from the US. This meant that the strategies and promotion needed to be rethought and adapted for each European country. Also, the content program relied heavily on recipes, which also varied from country to country.
Duffy Agency set up and managed the launch across seven European countries as lead agency. This included:
- Pre-launch research and strategy development in each country
- Managing all aspects the promotional campaign both offline and online
- Adapting the content of promotional materials to suit the seven European markets
- Managing all TV, print, and online content into local languages
- SEO on all web assets
- Set up approval protocols between local market companies, HQ, and other partners
- Creating new online assets that were relevant to our markets based on local target research, such as local recipes
- Strategies and materials designed for target’s in one country may not readily transfer to the same demographic in another country.
- Strategies and materials developed in the US or elsewhere cannot be adapted for an entire region like Europe. They must be adapted for each country. Same goes for other regions such as South America, Africa, Asia, or the Middle East.
- Some product categories are far more susceptible to market differences on a national and even sub-national level than others. OTC weight loss aids are one such category.
- When coordinating between several countries at once, it is critical that the lead agency is experienced in such work and has clear protocols for all parties to follow.
- Language issues on multi-nation launches are not as complex as cultural issues regarding consumer perceptions and attitudes as well as regulatory environments.
- Most agencies are experienced launching campaigns within the borders of their own country even if they are part of a large agency network. This requires specialized expertise