It’s always fun to find examples of multinationals adapting their products for host markets. Such adaptation (a.k.a. local responsiveness) is one of the key choices such firms face (along with decisions regarding the extent to which resources and activities will be shared/integrated)
The recent 40th birthday of Sesame Street reminded me of their expansion efforts. Actually, Google’s adapted logos showcasing the very familiar characters alerted to me the anniversary.
The list of logos Google used is indicative of the adaptativeness of the Sesame Street creators (once known as the Children’s Television Workshop – now called Sesame Workshop). There were different Muppets featured on Google’s page in Belgium, the Netherlands, Israel, India, South Africa and Mexico.
India’s character’s (above) include Boombah, “a hedonistic, vegetarian lion who believes he is descended from one of India’s historic royal families” and Chamki, “a schoolgirl dressed in the uniform of an Indian government school [who] is the only Sesame Muppet to practice a martial art”. The show is called Galli Galli Sim Sim on the subcontinent, and is predominantly in Hindi.
It isn’t surprising that a company targeting children has made such substantial alterations to meet the needs of overseas markets. Making the show understandable (i.e. in a local language) and relevant (reflecting these kids’ experiences) is the only way the show would achieve its aims (it is worth noting the firm here is a not-for-profit). But I like it because its a fun example.
Oh, and of course, we shouldn’t ignore that Google also adapts its interface for host country audiences…
Any other quirky examples out there?