Soda Sales

The disappointed salesman of a soda brand returns from his Middle East assignment after failing miserably to capture a new market for the product. His boss asked, "Why weren't you successful over there?"

The salesman explained, "When I got posted in the Middle East, I was very confident that I could make a good sales pitch as soda is virtually unknown there. But, I had a problem -- I didn't know to speak Arabic."

He continued, "So, I planned to convey the message through just images across a series of three adjacent posters. The first poster depicts a man crawling through the hot desert sand... totally exhausted and panting. In the second poster, the man is drinking our soda, and in the third poster, our man is now totally refreshed and smiling. We posted these three-poster ads all over the place!"

"That should have worked -- what went wrong?"asked the boss.

The salesman replied, "Who knew that when your language is read right to left, that that's how you also see images in a series?"

Moral of the Story: There is no such thing as a "universally" good idea because every culture has its own particular characteristics that impact perception.

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