Cultural perspectives – getting it right isn’t just about niche

This post is really a space to show some images that I wanted to share in response to an interesting post by Simon Pulman at

Simon had raised a thought-provoking issue about cultural perspectives and localization to which I’d responded, but wanted to show some examples of a fabulous (and equally thought-provoking) ad campaign that HSBC bank have been running for a couple of years now.

It hinges on cultural perspectives and how there are multiple perspectives on any given subject, so that something can be deemed culturally cool or accepted in one location or culture but then frowned upon or even offensive in another.  It’s definitely food for thought as our transmedia properties diffuse the barriers of geography, beliefs and behaviours.

This began as a response to a tweet from Simon saying, “Part of the role of #transmedia in coming years will be to raise awareness of a property among a wide audience prior to the core release” to which Jeff Gomez had replied, ““Transmedia will also widen core audience bases by offering engaging canonical content designed to appeal to different segments”.

I’d immediately interpreted the “offering of engaging canonical content to appeal to different segments” to mean that story elements told in different modes across varied platforms would appeal to different behaviours or even genres – rom com fans who love to watch movies but not necessarily read a novel, or sci fi addicts who only feel fully engaged if they’re game playing and leaning forward rather than sitting back and watching a movie…  So it was interesting to see that Simon had picked up on an interesting issue of localization.  The post is definitely worth a read as a reminder that the staples of transmedia should continue to include relevance and authenticity.

One of the things I love about transmedia strategy – being able to control what you lose control of and it’s exciting (but kinda scary too) to never be totally certain how that audience are going to interpret or react to the message that you’d hoped to convey!  Transmedia can cater to niche audiences, grouping them globally by interests or mutual goals, but there’s never a guarantee that they’re going to do with it what you’d hoped.  Hence the importance once again of knowing your audience and engaging with them on a level and tone that is genuine and current.  Storybibles? – vital!  What’s your main character’s perspective – the guy in the suit? A follower or a leader?  The stiletto shoe – pleasure or pain?  Knowing your characters, in terms of culture, language, behaviours and social interests? – vital!  Nina Bargiel was thinking on her feet as part of MTV’s Valemont and Savage County but notes that whilst the static content cannot be edited or altered, transmedia allowed different modes of presenting it.   Knowing your target market, your potential audience and underlying message of your story? – vital!

But it’s the comments on this HSBC ad that make me think how sensitive a truly global transmedia property needs to be.  Of course, a little controversy is a great tool for raising awareness and hype, but it’s still food for thought….

“In some parts of the world throwing stones to protect the tribe is obedient and in others it’s disobedient…”

More on the HSBC ‘yourpointofview’ campaign at

Get over to and leave your thoughts/comments….

Oh, and Happy New Year!!


5 thoughts on “Cultural perspectives – getting it right isn’t just about niche

  1. Transmedia has some serious implications about potential. From a business standpoint, a creative arts standpoint and a political and social standpoint.

    Not only are there multiple perceptions of an add there are multiple perceptions of space, time, real unreal.

    All of which are included in the telling of our stories through social networking etc.

  2. Pingback: Broadening story threads » Silverstring Media

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