Truth | Truth


photo of Christopher Davies  | 

At McCann Bristol we pride ourselves on our Big-Small proposition. We are part of one of the biggest international networks with access to all the associated experience, knowledge and resources. Whilst at the same time we are a nimble, entrepreneurial and integrated team based in Bristol. On top of this, we are the only major UK creative agency with a network of local offices, which we believe allows us to better understand what is really going on across the country.

Our latest piece of proprietary research, The Truth About Global Brands 2: Powered by the Streets, exemplifies why this Big-Small mindset is so important, not just on a national, but an international level. The study explores both the macro cultural forces and deeply localised nuances impacting brands, people and the marketing landscape today. Our in-house global research experts, Truth Central, conducted a large-scale quantitative study, surveying more than 24,000 people in 29 countries. For the qualitative component of the research, McCann’s entire global network of agency staff took to the streets over a 24-hour period to deeply understand the culture in over 70 markets. This unique customer research methodology resulted in a one of a kind roadmap for how local and global brands can respond and thrive in today’s complex and ever-changing landscape.

The quantitative part of the study repeated research from 2015. Comparing results, we found the major difference was growing preference for and trust in local brands. People’s fears are often global, whereas their hopes are increasingly local and closer to home. The global brands still welcomed were those who were behaving like locals.

This has led us to move away from the concept of globalisation when we speak to brands about their international marketing. We instead talk about Deep Globality, defined as “The awareness of and efforts to thoughtfully spread a brand, idea and movement in a multi-market capacity, while actively enriching the local culture.” Acting Big whilst simultaneously acting Small.

There are three steps to achieving Deep Globality:

  • UNDERSTAND: People everywhere preferred brands with a deep understanding of the ordinary man in their market and a respect for local culture. We suggest investing in Big-Small research like this study, so you don’t just understand international macro trends, you also know the day to day reality for the woman on the street.
  • EMPATHISE: 81% of people surveyed across the world believe that global brands have the power to make the world a better place, more so than politicians! People want companies to play an empathetic and compassionate role in their lives, with top actions a brand could perform ranging from “spreading laughter, joy and happiness” to “bringing people together by helping eliminate prejudices and stereotypes”. In short, brands have permission to have an incredibly rich, human relationship with their consumers by thinking about the bigger, meaningful role they can play in their lives.
  • ENRICH: We need to stop thinking “does this marketing work IN this market” and start thinking “does this marketing work FOR this market”. Only if a brand is an additive to a local culture can it achieve love and relevancy today.

So basically, think Big-Small. It is possible to promote unifying, global brand values while understanding the nuances of individual cultures and marketing in a hyperlocal way. A global brand can behave in a local way and vice versa. At McCann we look to help brands find their gift of locality that they can deliver locally.

If you would like to know more or need some help calibrating your Deep Globality, please contact