Talk About Cultural Differences: Engineer Meet Marketer

I was reminded of the Human Genone Project during a conference session today looking at “intra-disciplinary” and “inter-disciplinary” approaches to “advancing service science with cultural considerations.”  The conference, funded by the National Science Foundation and presented by the International Services System Engineering Research Lab (ISSER) at the University of Puerto Rico, looks at how “the outcome…

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Jewish vs. Hindu and the Familiarity/Assumption Continuum

In setting up a web-presence for your company via social media, there’s an obvious time money continuum:  Either you’ll spend oodles of time creating profiles, links, etc. at low or no cost to you, or you can save time and pay someone else to do it.  Basically, when one goes up, the other goes down. …

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Intercultural Communications: Where do Objective and Subjective Meet?

  In field of Diversity and Intercultural Communications it’s all about action.  What is your company’s recruitment strategy?  Do you have a Supplier Diversity Program?  What about mentoring?  Internships?  What faces are featured in your internal and external communications?  Take a look at this photo (by Charlie Gesell, AP) from MSNBC of students this week…

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Diversifying Your Audience by Diversifying Your Organization

  (Originally posted on Illinois Arts Alliance “One State” Conference Blog, 5-12-09) I’m presenting at a conference at the University of Puerto Rico on “Representations of Race and Culture in Advertising and Marketing” next week.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, the conference will look at the influence of cultural identity on service delivery, and is…

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Heineken, Multicultural Marketing, and the 5 Second Rule

Sometimes I think the best way to avoid perpetuating racial or cultural stereotypes in advertising is to purposely mix it up, which is why I liked the new “Let a Stranger Take You Home” ad for Heineken by Wieden + Kennedy, Portland.  The spot opens with an Asian looking young man singing along to a…

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Lost in Translation: Dab vs. Pinch vs. Smidgeon

I met an interesting woman the other day, founder and owner of Workforce Language Services, who has a PhD in Linguistics and Anthropology.   We were talking about the ongoing challenge as practitioners to prove the business case for diversity, and she told me about a language training project she had done for a client in…

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Culture Shock: Everyone’s Being Mean to Me!

  After much whining during our trip to see family in Brazil last week, my eight year old son announced that he was behaving badly because “everyone here is being mean to me.”  Knowing that nothing could be further from the truth, I immediately went from being (annoyed) mother to ethnographer:  This was culture shock…a gut…

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Burger King Multicultural Marketing “Misstep”…or Worse?

Diversity, Inc., yesterday reported that Burger King “does it right” by pulling its Texican WHOPPER ad following outcry from the Mexican Ambassador in Spain at the ad’s offense.  More than a “misstep” as Diversity, Inc. called it, Burger King seems to base much of its advertising on objectifying or setting up power imbalances between cultures. …

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Hardees Ad Alienates Women, Hindus

And I thought the Burger King Burger Shots ad was offensive in its objectification of women!  The new Hardees Western Bacon Thickburger campaign, created for the US market by Mendelsohn Zien Advertising, LLC, goes over the top with its raunchy scene of model/actress/author Padma Lakshmi seductively eating said product.  The fact that she is Indian/Hindu seems like…

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10 Things to Help You in Sao Paulo, Brazil (or a country other than your own)

 My son Dillon and I find ourselves unexpectedly in Brazil.  Here is our list, created jointly, of 10 things to adapt more easily to another country: Ask questions.  Dillon asks in English, he gets responses in Portuguese-not sure how it works, but accompanied by pointing and context, it does seem to work! Meet a guy…

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