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and Culturalisation


To modernise and expand your business internationally, Tiny Lagoon offers all the marketing services you need for global management. To ensure success, we install best-in-class solutions and promote innovation across your entire online presence.



Tiny Lagoon Studios is an international creative solutions agency specialising in Entertainment and Technology. Our industry experience spans across broadcast, film, media, telco and gaming. From video production to culturalisation to compliance. We manage multi-territory projects from start to finish.


Whilst we specialise in entertainment and technology, we also like to give other daring brands the showbiz spotlight. So if you’re not in the entertainment world, we can help you take centre stage. Every industry deserves the chance to shine.




At a glance, it’s easy to confuse the concepts of localisation and culturalisation, but each plays a very different role when reaching audiences on a global scale.


Localisation is all about tailoring specific content to the target audience, taking regional linguistic differences into account too. England alone has many slang names for a single item based on where you live. So we're always checking, are we talking roll, barm, cob, or a bap here? Don't get us started on the woodlouse / chucky pig names for that creature.


Culturalisation goes a step further than that, creating content that is not simply translated, but is culturally appropriate and meaningful to audiences of a specific target market.


While localisation work can begin as soon as the words hit the paper, culturalisation work begins at the very early concept stage; identifying potential cultural clashes and even changing the course of a project entirely if necessary. A costly creative and reputational mistake to get wrong if not factored in early.


Our global team uses in-depth cultural expertise and insights to ensure brand messaging connects with local target audiences in an authentic way. Quite simply, we ensure that everything a brand stands for is replicated seamlessly in each desired market via culturalisation.


We always keep an eye out for things that could potentially be a problem. We ask the important questions like; is anything within this world going to cause a negative reaction?

We help to enhance a product specifically for a certain market, beyond just translation. We make sure this is what people want to see, we're not a fan of box-ticking. 

Global Work Orientation


This type of orientation can be incredibly valuable to cultivate for anyone working for multinationals. We spend an equal balance of time with colleagues around the world getting to know them as people, as well as working styles. We embrace cultural differences by:

  • Sharing food with each other - “the snack exchange” - getting to know the comforts we all enjoy in our own country

  • Commonality - whether it’s talking about games we are playing, or films we have seen. We’re all fans of our industry. We also spend time talking about childhood through ice-breakers at the start of every meeting. A small amount of time that gives a huge amount of context. It builds trust in our team and translates to more effective collaboration and teamwork

  • Creating a sense of belonging with the larger organisation or client projects - EVERYONE has a role no matter what your title or seniority. You will often hear us refer to documents or processes that are named after individuals. The clients then also become accustomed to using these names too. It creates organisational identification

  • How we interact with distant subsidiaries and partners - engaging on a personal level helps make the gap smaller. Whether it’s following each other on social media, or visiting each other when we are travelling - these efforts give you the water cooler moments where you get to know your colleagues

  • Knowledge sharing - Right from 101 introduction calls to learn the history of the company, it’s partners and clients, through to learning about economical challenges in each country right now helps you understand the personal challenges an individual might be facing in their home country. It also means we spend a lot of time sharing opinions on new products, films or games and the response in their country. These have become self-voluntary interactions without any corporate intervention

  • Global career experience - Exposure to projects spanning multiple territories gives everyone the chance to broaden their horizons with their career as well as personal work goals. In this day and age, a lot of businesses are looking for individuals with international experience on some level. Our multinational team are building resilience and expertise by the day, which is a skill that cannot be taught - it has to be experienced

  • Communication - single source of truth documents and aligned tools for collaboration





When trying to expand a product or brand internationally, the most straightforward option is to go “global”. The problem is, a product we might think of as “global” is most likely a local one that happens to have a strong appeal in many markets.


Think of Kit Kat, the well-known chocolate wafer snack created in the UK in the 1930s, sold in many places around the world. Chocolate snacks are popular in most markets, but to be successful in new ones they have to be strong and appealing enough to compete with foreign and domestic brands already present in those markets.


To be able to crack the Japanese food market and stay relevant in the country’s snack food scene, Nestlé (which acquired the original manufacturer Rowntree) and Kit Kat have been continuously innovating in their product since their initial launch in Japan in the 1970s.


Rather than sticking with their tried and tested original product and classic variants, Nestlé have produced over 300 different flavours, including cherry blossom, wasabi, and apple vinegar, to cater for local tastes. Many of these flavours are exclusive to this market and produced only seasonally or sold in certain regions within the country, which gives them a definite limited edition status.


Behind the creation of all these varieties was the concept of “omiyage”, a Japanese word that means giving a souvenir, or memento, which is very popular in Japanese culture. Taking this into account, Nestlé came up with the idea of creating regional and seasonal flavours with exclusive quality packaging which people could bring home to family and friends after taking a trip around the country. On the other hand, luck might have played an extra part in the product’s success. The name Kit Kat resembles the phrase “kitto katsu”, a way of wishing good luck in Japan, making the chocolate bars a popular choice for students and young people during the exams period.


Thanks to good local market insight, Kit Kat has become one of the most popular snack brands in Japan, taking the top selling sales position from national confectionery Meiji in 2014.


Other brands with a similar approach in other markets are Starbucks and McDonalds, with global branding and standard menu items around the world but also locally relevant products.


TINY LAGOON TOP TIP: Culturalisation is also this - understanding the needs and likes of a particular market and acting on them., Iin this case not only adapting an existing product but also creating new ones based on the demand and peculiarities of each market. (Get to know your market. Talk to local customers. Ask for feedback).



We can’t have a conversation about culturalisation without discussing another aspect of it: proactive culturalisation. Proactive culturalisation is the deliberate adaptation of cultural elements to enhance the relatability and engagement of a product or experience within a specific cultural context.


On Tiny Lagoon Island, our favourite example of proactive culturalisation, and how it might not always work, is the culturalisation of the Indian version of Spiderman. Creating an Indian version of Spiderman unarguably presents a captivating opportunity to infuse a playful twist into the superhero's narrative. However, it’s vital to approach proactive culturalisation with web-swinging enthusiasm and caution, as hasty efforts may tangle you in unintended consequences. 


In this particular instance, people had a strong attachment to the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker from New York City, and their desire for familiarity outweighed the desire for cultural adaptation. It emphasises that when dealing with beloved figures like Spider-Man, culturalisation may not always align with audience preferences. This case underscores the significance of thorough research and a deep understanding of the target market to ensure that proactive culturalisation aligns with audience expectations. By considering these factors, we can effectively navigate the challenges and create a culturally resonant and well-received adaptation.


TINY LAGOON TOP TIP: With culturalisation, proper research and strategic planning are crucial to ensure that cultural elements are incorporated thoughtfully and respectfully, avoiding stereotypes or misrepresentations. Rushing into culturalisation without considering the diverse nuances and sensitivities of a culture can potentially perpetuate stereotypes and dilute the essence of what you are trying to achieve.




In the realm of popular culture, culturalisation plays a pivotal role in shaping our favourite movies, making them resonate across diverse audiences worldwide.


In the images below you can see how Marvel Studios altered the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster in Italy due to a hand gesture, which can be considered offensive. When culture meets content, it's not just the language that needs to be considered.

Doctor Strange.png
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