As part of our “Go Canadians, Go” project, Marketing asked dozens of Canucks working abroad (or those who’ve returned with a few years of international experience) to give us their impressions of the differences between Canada’s industry and others. Does being Canadian give you a leg up?
The best part about being a Canadian working in Singapore is that, for the very first time in my life, I’m somewhat exotic. Sure, there are lots of Australians and Brits in Singapore, even decent French representation, but Canadians seem to be relatively rare, at least in the advertising industry.
We’re seen either as slightly more civilized Americans or as a hardy Northern people, like Norwegians or Finns. In a country where the thermometer bobs between a scorching 30 and 32 degrees Celsius every day of the year, I can instantly gain respect for my Canadian fortitude by talking of sub-zero temperatures, shoveling driveways and knee-length down coats. I have personally introduced my local colleagues to the previously unknown weather condition called an “ice storm.”
Despite the differences in weather, moving from Toronto to Singapore was a bit like stepping into a parallel universe where the world of advertising is almost exactly the same. Singapore is often referred to as “Asia lite.” It’s considered a comfortable introduction to the region for Western expats, especially when compared to the pace of Shanghai, the late-night drinking culture of Hong Kong or the traffic jams of Jakarta.
Read the rest on Marketing.