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Localisation lessons for easter

Localisation Lessons from the Touchy Subject of Religious Holidays

As we gear up to Easter weekend you’ll see no end of web content, advertising campaigns and marketing material geared towards the holiday, everywhere you turn. This is standard practice of course – and it has been for decades – but, as marketing becomes an increasingly global affair, you have to rethink your holiday themed campaigns.

Few things in this world are as personal to us as our religious or spiritual beliefs (if we have any at all) and religious events can be a very touchy subject, both at home and further afield.


It’s not Easter for everybody this weekend

Obviously the first point to consider is, there are many people who won’t be celebrating Easter this weekend. It’s the same with every holiday and religious event (take a look at our blog on nations that banned Valentine’s Day) and you need to assess your entire target audience to avoid any faux pas.

It’s not just international audiences that call for consideration either – barely an Easter goes by in the UK without headlines surrounding the nation’s prominent Muslim population and its perception of Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny and other traditional symbols.

We’re not here to get involved in religious debates, but the point is, a large chunk of your UK audience may be practicing Muslims – and this is just one factor you have to consider with marketing around holiday events.

Localisation lesson: You don’t have to go overseas to encounter cultural diversity – so do your audience research and carefully consider your marketing approach, even within a single nation.


Easter isn’t religious for everyone

All religious holidays come with a debate over their origins and you don’t have to go far to see how heated the arguments can get (see the comments section). Once again, you don’t need to leave any given country to fuel the fire – with more than five major faiths in the UK alone and a large population with no religious affiliation.

Head 11,000 km to the East and the predominantly Buddhist nations of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar celebrate their traditional New Year around the spring equinox. You’ll find an incredible range of celebrations across Asia at this time of year – all of which are based around the astrological event we call the spring equinox, which roots back to the Christian interpretation of Easter as well, where Jesus was resurrected after three days. While those of no particular faith will probably look at this weekend as nothing more than one of many astrological phenomena, which influence cultures and religions around the world.

Localisation lesson: The same event can mean any number of things to different people so always localise your content for each audience you plan to target. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking nations are full of like-minded people and consider the best way to engage with the largest demographic possible.