"Teen-agers-who make up a huge and growing part of the population around the world-represent the first truly international market in history," Pepsi-Cola International VP-Advertising Larry McIntosh told an audience at the recent Marketing 2020 conference organized by the International Advertising Association and Advertising Age International in New York. "An 18-year-old in Denmark has more in common with an 18-year-old in France than he does with his elders."
"Popular culture is one of the things that crosses borders," Mr. McIntosh said, "and celebrities have increasingly become worldwide properties-especially to TV viewing teens-but you have to pick the right stars."
The Pepsi executive also noted that "the risks with celebrities are huge," and pointed out that his company's contract with Michael Jackson was 80 pages long.
Conference attendees also were warned successful global marketing programs require unwavering vigilance against efforts to develop market-specific campaigns.
"Efforts to develop ads that are local and specific to countries can eat up a disproportionate share of resources," said Owen K. Rankin, VP-global marketing at Tambrands. "Everyone wants to get involved with advertising ....but the time and money that people spend ..... could be spent developing those local markets [in other ways].'