Sony’s US-specific informational video for its NEX camera runs 2:59. It’s set solely to music. Sony’s video for the Japanese market runs 6:58 and has technical narration throughout. That’s just the beginning of the differences.
Sayaka Katamura and Haruna Kawamoto did a nice informal analysis of the differences that Sony perceives when selling to the US and Japanese markets in a recent post on Ishmael’s Corner. The takeaway? The importance of localizing storytelling.
Reading this article was particularly timely as my co-workers and I are planning an inclusion & diversity event for our Asia Pacific theatre. We held a combination in-person and Telepresence video event in January that was well attended by our North American and European geographies. Of course, that means that it was in the middle of the night for our APAC colleagues. Ah, the joys of a global business.
Our team is arranging group viewings of the event video at our Bangalore and Chinese offices. It’s clear (like the differences in those two Sony ads) that we can’t just drop the video in without some context. We’ve got team members engaging with the site leaders in India and China to determine the best way to leverage the US/Europe video. Our goal is to kick off our 2011 inclusion and diversity initiatives in the region. We’re particularly interested in getting local team members recruited to run events of their own!
I would love to hear how you’ve customized messages for different geographies.
Edited/amended after Feb 28 original post:
So, do Americans have short attention spans? Rest easy, US readers. As Sayaka and Mikuna discussed with me below in the comments section, one of the key differences in the videos is the demographic target. I would also say there’s a difference in the desired viewer response. Sony seems to be targeting a very specific segment with their US-market video. I would posit that the video is meant to make an emotional connection and trigger a peer-to-peer product discussion or a scanning of on-line reviews. The Japanese-market video is for a wider age range and is packed with more information so the viewers can actually use it for decision making.
Did it work? Well, I made it 90 seconds into Sony’s U.S. tailored video. Then, I made a note to talk to my photography-crazy coworker about the camera model.
Do you have an Inclusion and Diversity story to share? Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.