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Using a Well-Known Figure in Commercials

It usually takes companies detailed legal considerations and a big price to use public figures, such as celebrities, cartoon or movie characters, and their lookalike images, in commercials. This ABC News video shows us an interesting KFC commercial that is broadcasted in Hong Kong, China. In this ad, an Obama lookalike figure is “promoting” the newly introduced soft-roll fish filet burger in KFC. I am not a lawyer. I am curious to find out whether a federal or government agent holds his/her image rights as other public figures do --- I assume they might not have as much control as those who are private entities. Furthermore, how much control do public figures have over their image rights in a global market?

In addition to the legal issues, this video also indicates that it is very important for companies to adapt to a local “favor” or culture when doing business internationally. Many Chinese love seafood. It sounds natural to me that KFC is promoting a fish sandwich instead of deep-fried chicken. Next time when you dine in an American restaurant in an overseas location, please do not feel surprised when you find something “unusual” or “abnormal” on the menu. What are your opinions on adapting to a local culture in today’s global market?

Comments

  1. I think that adapting to the local culture in today's global market is extremely brilliant. When one is opening a business in a country, one should be mindful of the culture that is practiced there. Everybody is a potential customer so one needs to remember that one is catering to the people. In my home country, Malaysia, there are no pork served in McDonald's because it is a Muslim country. I was very surprised when I went to China and saw that the McDonald's there served pork burgers. In the McDonald's in Malaysia, there is also a porridge dish to cater to Malaysians as rice is our staple food. While the porridge option may not sell well at all in other countries like America, it is very popular in Malaysia and is a regular item on the menu. In Egypt, there is the 'McArabia' in their McDonalds which is basically a burger wrapped in a pita with tahini. These different options cater to the people's culture and has proved to be successful. Therefore, I think that it is a smart marketing plan to create things that are parallel to the people's culture in that particular country. Although people enjoy new and different items, a lot of people also like sticking to what is familiar to them and what makes them comfortable.

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