When I was working in Russia, I took on a project for Pillsbury. They were launching brands and wanted to know if the Russians would react positively to their central brand cue, the Dough Boy. This was back in 1997 when brands were very new to Russia (Coca Cola, McDonalds were just starting, Vogue launched its first edition.
We did interviews with consumers around the country to see what they thought of this adorable character. The incentive for the project was a small amount of money. As part of the research, we were showing them pictures of the Dough Boy to see how they would react. It was a surprise. Right away they loved him just like we in the West do. And in many cases they begged to be given “Dough Boy Key Chains” which we had in stock rather than receiving a monetary payment.
The brand used the little guy to promote brands. The launch was a huge success. Many lessons were learned. Some brands cannot go global, the themes they live on just do not translate. However, some simple ideas, like this one go to the hearts of consumers. And can be used in a profound manny. Use your best brand assets, the money will follow.