Before I landed in Shanghai in 1998, even after four years of living in Hong Kong, my world view was “typically American.” It’s difficult for non-Americans to appreciate the sense of exceptionalism we grow up with. From Ronald Reagan’s stirring references to the United States as a “shining city on a hill” to civil studies that represented American democracy as the culmination of Western history, we were raised with a quasi-religious belief in Jeffersonian ideals – an inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness rooted in individualism – as the destiny of all mankind. For the past ten years, however, my job has been to advertise both Western and Chinese products to the Chinese. Some call me a sell out or, even worse, an abettor of dictators. Regardless, I quickly learned that brands must align themselves with a Chinese world view, lest they sacrifice both revenue and profit on the altar of cultural absolutism.