GLOBAL VILLAGE

By Published on .

Bettina Korn's new job is to convert Swatch wearers into Swatch drivers. Next month she's off to Swatch HQ in Biel, Switzerland, as ad director for the Smart car, short for Swatch Mercedes and Art. Her first task: pick an ad agency within six months to prepare for the car's spring 1998 launch by Swatch and partner Mercedes-Benz.

Is this the right man for the job? Maybe Deutsche Telekom should have picked someone who actually owns a phone to star in its $60 million ad campaign to persuade Germans, notoriously reluctant to buy stock, to invest in the telecommunications giant's huge $10 billion public offering. Manfred Krug confided to German news magazine Focus, "When somebody wants to reach me, he has to write me a letter."

Beware those brand awareness research scores. A traveling Andersen Consulting exec was pleased when an airport customs official not only recognized his consulting company's name but spontaneously conjured up the image from Andersen's international ad campaign by Young & Rubicam of little fish forming a shark. "And you make," the customs agent exclaimed triumphantly, "fish aquariums."

Unilever was never this trendy. The old factory where Unilever once turned out Oxo bouillion cubes-and still has OXO spelled out in huge neon lights-has just reopened as London's hottest eatery, the panoramic-view Oxo Tower Restaurant on the Thames River. Owner Dickson Poon, the Hong Kong entrepreneur who acquired London department store Harvey Nichols and is rumored to be trying to buy Barneys in New York, wants his own restaurant empire.

Apres ski McDonald's. The first ski-through McDonald's opens at the bottom of the slopes of Sweden's Lindsvall ski resort next month. If enough skiers swoop through the test site, McDonald's figures up to 100 Scandinavian resorts have ski-through potential.

Burma's abysmal human rights record is winning the country pariah status, a dilemma for some multinational marketers, but at least you can advertise. One adman reports that Burma's "advertising regulations are quite relaxed for a military junta." (Special Report, Page I-13).

It's bad enough now, but the ringing of cellular phones may make life unbearable by 2004. Nokia forecasts that 90% of North Americans and 83% of Western Europeans will have their own cellular phones then. The figure is even higher-94%-in Scandinavia. The quietest spots on earth will be Central and Eastern Europe, where 44% and 37% of the population will have mobile phones, and Africa, at 43%.

What do Chinese women want? Imported lacey bras in wine red, violet and black, according to Asia Market Intelligence's Peter Read in Hong Kong. Imports are soaring, but mostly from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong rather than international brands from the U.S. and Europe. Wonderbra, take note.

Martini drinkers who travel can try a different promotion in each market. In the Czech Republic, win a calendar or dream vacation by sticking a stamp for buying Martini in one of the half million "passports" distributed in October in Elle, Esquire and Playboy. The self-styled "beautiful people's drink" invites U.K. consumers to send photos of their best body parts.

Contributing: Dagmar Mussey, Dusseldorf; Gerard O'Dwyer, Helsinki; Bruce Crumley, Paris; Normandy Madden, Prague.

In this article:
Most Popular