Localisation Brand Strategy Globalization

Why the current advertising adaptation model needs an overhaul

By Katie Roberts

Freedman International


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March 6, 2023 | 8 min read

Katie Roberts of localization specialist agency Freedman walks through key things to consider when adapting to new markets – and why it needs to change.

Light shutter effects inside dark graffiti'd tunnel

It’s second nature to want to share your ideas with the rest of the world, but what is the best way to do it? / Ricardo Rocha

When brands come up with a great idea, it’s natural that they want to share it with as many potential customers as possible. But ensuring a global campaign resonates around the world means taking a custom approach to the local markets where assets will appear. After all, failing to take different markets into account can dramatically damage a campaign’s success. 

At Freedman, we understand the importance of adaptation. So, before you start rolling out a brand’s creative in local markets, here’s how to adopt an adaptation model that ensures your advertising messages are successful in local markets. Simply ask yourself the following questions.

Are you sharing a consistent message?

Just as marketers think about what channels to focus on, it’s important to also think about the assets a campaign plans to prioritize. From long-form articles to Twitter posts and outdoor advertising, we work with brands to identify the elements of the content marketing mix that will resonate most with the audience in a specific marketplace.

Armed with this local understanding, the process of creating, testing, approving and validating campaign assets is streamlined, ensuring the right message is received all around the world.

Are the right people in place?

As a global implementation agency, we combine and efficiently manage a range of processes and services required to deliver a successful campaign. 

Keeping everyone in the loop, helping each other out and making sure the briefs are spot on – all these go towards fostering a happy team. We collaborate extensively with global and local marketers and agencies across the ecosystem to ensure seamless campaign planning and implementation.

Effective communication

When coordinating an implementation project, the information goes forward and backward several times a day between the many people involved. We work hard to keep the lines of communication open and remove the potential for any ambiguity or misunderstanding. This helps everyone uphold the aims and objectives of the project.

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Planning & processes

Coordinating resources, predicting costs and foreseeing potential risks or changes of scope. We take care of everything – from identifying the right translator for the project, briefing them and ensuring they understand the scope of work and delivery deadlines. This means being aware and adaptable when it comes to operating in different time zones and different languages.


A costly but critical requirement, this covers regulatory compliance, legal considerations, image rights and talent rights. We consult our in-market experts when it comes to complying with region-specific requirements. 


Before any production work can start, files received from the client or creative agency are checked by the production studio to ensure they are fit for production. The studio will look out for any issues to do with resolution or adherence to brand guidelines, as well as missing files.


The process of reworking a master file to accommodate media specifications and market requirements. This can include resizing, editing, typesetting, retouching and more to fulfill a brief.

Quality assurance

Also known as ‘quality control’, this is a crucial production step, during which every asset produced is checked for any visual discrepancy or resolution issue. Once files have been thoroughly checked, they are then shared with local clients for local market approval.

Trafficking & delivery

Once the ads are approved, they will be trafficked and delivered to publishers. Trafficking means adverts are provided to publishers with the right instructions on which ads or spots to run and on which dates and times. Trafficking can be done by the media agency, the production agency, or a specialized third party such as Adstream, IMD or BeamTV.

Are you able to rely on a brand guardian?

What a brand guardian doesn’t know about a brand isn’t worth knowing – and that’s what makes them one of the most valuable people to work on an international marketing campaign. They can oversee and lead everyone involved in a campaign, and their sole focus is to ensure that every piece of work stays within the parameters of the brand.

They decipher brand guidelines to create clear and concise instructions for creatives and know how important it is to adhere to these guidelines at all times. It’s too big a responsibility to neglect – because one incorrect element can be a serious issue and, if not rectified early, can cause problems in the future.  

In addition, as it is an information-holding role, brand guardians must be accessible and open to working with all colleagues across the account to ensure the workflow isn’t delayed. From conducting creative and cultural consultations to managing the production of assets and getting them out to market fast, we’ve helped hundreds of brands with their global marketing campaigns.

Localisation Brand Strategy Globalization

Content by The Drum Network member:

Freedman International

With over 30 years’ experience working with brands to build their presence internationally, we have crafted a best-in-class approach to harnessing cultural insights...

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