“Get Jersey Shored” All Around the World

Can a title have the same meaning across the world without losing its core message? What if it was the title of a whole TV series?

MTV is about to test these waters by airing their hit series “Jersey Shore” on its international channels in more than 30 countries starting this week.

MTV has a global marketing strategy that promotes the show as “Get Jersey Shored” in different regions of the world using even the same advertisements. MTV believes that they have found “universal ideas, universal truths, and produced a campaign that will fit with everyone.”

This bold strategy – using the same ad content for all regions – contradicts typical advertising best practices, which dictate customizing the message to resonate with the target audience of each region. Which begs the question: How confident is MTV that viewers in Spain will perceive their ad the same way that a viewer in China would?

There are some famous (and humorous) stories of companies trying to use their English language marketing message without customization, and it has rarely ended well. For example, Coors Light tried their slogan “Turn it loose” in Spanish, which translated to “Suffer from diarrhea” and Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors from the grave” in Chinese.

It will be interesting to see if their strategy pays-off. Do you think that MTV’s strategy in this case is plausible?