Belgium

Mobile devices are everywhere. People use their mobile devices in bed, during meals, on the toilet, while they're shopping, during meetings, while in labor … well, everywhere. Smartphones and tablets are a game-changing market force that can't be ignored—and neither can the four marketing opportunities they create for your brand.

Waffle House is grabbing attention for its anti-Belgian waffle World Cup marketing campaign ahead of yesterday's USA-Belgium game. And now other company Twitter accounts are joining with patriotic tweets for Team USA. Waffle House, based in Norcross, Georgia, has been encouraging Americans to boycott Belgian waffles, which of course, the restaurant chain doesn't serve.

I’m writing this post while visiting Antwerp, Belgium as part of the social business sessions I’m hosting along with The Fusion Marketing Experience. As part of the event, I had an opportunity to spend time with several Belgian journalists. One of the notable conversations was with Erik Verdonck of Pub, a local magazine focused on the advertising industry. The three themes we touched upon are not only timely, but representative of the challenges that face marketers and strategists around the globe.

The latest factoid to be pulled out of Greenlight’s “Search & Social Survey (2011-2012),” a global survey of 500 people that sought out information about user experiences and behaviors, reveals that many people around the world conduct online searches in more than one language. Seventy-six percent of the study’s participants claimed that they search for information on the Internet in two more languages. One hundred percent of Internet users in Belgium, Italy and Spain all conduct searches in multiple languages. Belgium’s sort of a given, though, as it has three official languages: Dutch, German and French. Italy and Spain …

Paris has Venus De Milo; Florence has Michelangelo’s David; New York has the Statue of Liberty; Copenhagen has the Little Mermaid; Brussels has Manneken Pis—a fat naked little boy proudly relieving himself in a fountain. Now London is going Brussels one better by placing giant billboards throughout Belgium—in Antwerp, Brussels, Liege and Ghent. The image is a grown male skinhead in jeans—with a big red cross painted on his bare back—creating a great arching stream as he proudly relieves himself into a teacup atop a small, round Hepplewhite table a few feet away. The purpose of the billboards is to promote Eurostar’s new

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