Cultural World Domination

When we first arrived in New York as Russian refugees many, many years ago, everything was so confusing. I remember lying on the bed in a hotel room somewhere in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, with my whole family (mother, father, sister, and me) and watching commercials on TV. There was a stick figure running around the screen screaming “Cherio-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-s.” We debated for hours trying figure out what it was about.

And then there was a time when my parents let me buy a bag of Cheetos. I almost vomited when I tried one—in Russia, things that looked like that were sweet. The complete mismatch between my expectations and the actual taste made me gag. To this day, I hate the stuff!

So when companies are on the path of world domination with their products, understanding cultural differences in background knowledge, perceptual expectations, preferred ways of doing things is a must. To see how some giants customize their products to make them more culturally sensitive, I took a look at McDonalds‘ menus from around the world. Check it out:


I went looking for the old Cheerios commercial, but could only find this one—it’s close, but the one we saw didn’t have photos of breakfast:

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