iOS app Android app

Saul Gitlin
Saul Gitlin (冀碩臨) is a nationally recognized expert, strategist, and commentator in the field cross-cultural and multilingual marketing and communications.

He regularly addresses national and regional marketing industry, corporate, and trade conferences, and is heavily quoted in the business and news media both in the US and abroad. He is also a prolific author of articles and commentary focused on Asia and China, as well as issues related to cross-cultural business development. His writing, insights, and perspectives have been featured in Advertising Age, Adweek, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, and many other leading offline and online media outlets.

Saul spent a long portion of his career overseas, including 7 years in senior operations and marketing positions for multinational corporations in the People’s Republic of China. He is completely fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Hebrew, and French, and holds a B.A. degree in Asian Studies from Cornell, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale, and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

The commentary in Saul's blogs is his alone, and does not reflect the opinions of any organizations with which he is affiliated.

Follow Saul on Twitter at “ChinaSaul”

Entries by Saul Gitlin

A Long Weekend in France Without Leaving North America (Really!)

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 12:16 PM

This time last week, my wife and I were sitting at a café in a small town in France. We went there for a long weekend - a change-of-pace from our hectic life in New York City. We enjoyed the narrow, quintessentially European-styled streets, the French village architecture, the cafés,...

Read Post

Alibaba May Be Ascendant, But Bomoda Gives Brands Their Own "Open Sesame" For China

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 11:40 PM

In the classic tale, "Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves," the protagonist undergoes a rags-to-riches transformation to emerge as the sole guardian of a secret incantation ("Open Sesame") that grants him exclusive access to an immeasurable, hidden treasure.

How fitting, then, that this story's modern corporate namesake - the...

Read Post

Chinese New Year: 'Flood' of Top Brands Now Marketing to Chinese Residents of North America

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 11:36 AM

If the widespread attention to an emerging consumer audience by the biggest brands across North America represents a "coming-of-age" moment which validates that audience's contribution to business growth, then there is no question that Chinese consumers living in the U.S. and Canada have now "arrived." And, at no time during...

Read Post

A North American Celebrity With 1+ Billion Fans Who You Probably Never Heard Of!

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 9:26 AM

If the number of people in the world who know your name, recognize your face and are fans of your work is the prime measure of celebrity, then, as the Los Angeles Times noted in a 2004 feature article, he is certainly "one of the most recognized personalities...

Read Post

The 'Long March' to Learning Chinese: Top 5 Tips

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 3:00 PM

As a non-Asian student in the 1980s who graduated with a B.A. in Chinese language and history, and an M.A. in East Asian Studies focused on classical Chinese literature, I became somewhat of a "curiosity" for family and friends. Back then, China was only just starting to emerge from its...

Read Post

Dennis Rodman: 'Buffoon' or 'Breakthrough'?

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 3:52 PM

"Traitor," "Idiot," "Buffoon" -- the western media has been awash with dismissive vitriol describing Dennis Rodman's latest trip to see his "friend" -- Kim Jong Un -- the supreme leader of North Korea. Yet, whatever the criticism, Rodman has succeeded in getting Kim's focused and ongoing attention. This follows more...

Read Post

America Meets and Greets the World... in Mississippi!

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 2:13 PM

A first-time visitor to Oxford, Mississippi is easily struck by the quaint charm of this town located just a one hour drive from Memphis. The central square is walled on all sides by quintessentially Southern-style, double-story, open-porch architecture that houses a wide range of eateries, gift shops, and retailers. Home...

Read Post

Chinese Travelers: A Growing 'Revolution' for Businesses in North America

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 3:36 PM

Last fall, a former Chinese employee of mine who goes by the Western name Marc, suddenly called me after more than a decade hiatus in our correspondence. He told me that he was now running his own travel company in Shanghai, and was in New York City leading a group...

Read Post

Volkswagen 2013 Super Bowl TV Spot Racist? Nope!

(10) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 5:25 PM

The brouhaha over Volkswagen's 2013 Super Bowl TV commercial escalates, with commentators divided as to whether or not the commercial is racist.

I am a senior communications executive working for the last 16 years in multicultural advertising, and neither I nor my agency colleagues find this commercial inappropriate.


Read Post

The Republican Party and Multicultural Voters: 3 Steps Towards Relevance

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 2:53 PM

In the voluminous online and offline deconstruction of the 2012 general election results, one topic has been hotly discussed: the abysmal failure of the GOP to secure the nation's multicultural vote. President Obama handily secured 93 percent of the African American vote, 73 percent of Asian American voters, and 71...

Read Post

The Linsanity Effect: Jeremy Lin and the Coming-of-Age of the Asian American Consumer

(8) Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 2:06 PM

Now that Ben & Jerry's has apologized for its absurd stereotyping in issuing a Linsanity ice cream made with fortune cookies (a food that has no link to actual Chinese heritage and culture, but is rather a North American phenomenon), the brand should learn from its misstep and take the...

Read Post

What Was Groupon Thinking?

(58) Comments | Posted February 8, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Imagine this:

A Groupon Superbowl TV commercial opens with rich images of ancient culture and tradition... on the West Bank. We see the sun rising over a minaret, punctuated by calls for morning prayer. Cut to a quick glimpse of a famed religious site -- the Cave of the...

Read Post

The Power of Ping Pong

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2010 | 11:21 AM

Other than at the 38th parallel on the Korean peninsula, the closest proximity that Americans and North Koreans have recently found themselves is in South Africa at the World Cup. Of course there are some huge differences. In Korea, the proximity is characterized by a 50+ year face-off of opposing...

Read Post

Remembering Oscar

(1) Comments | Posted June 5, 2010 | 12:00 PM

On our third morning in China, Oscar Messina, a 34-year old Argentinean resident of Los Angeles who was traveling alone on my tour, told me he had caught a cold and would sit-out the day's sightseeing. Since this was a common occurrence on tour groups, I didn't think much of...

Read Post