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January 12, 2004

10 Ads America won't see

Interesting article about international print and TV commercial deemed unsuitable for the American market: 10 Ads America Won't See. It seems that a beer ad which uses the works "ejaculate" and "vagina" is unsuitable for the US market, as is a print ad featuring a modified Brazilian -- who knew? It's also a shame to learn that the fantastic Honda "cog" commercial won't be shown on US TV because a 2-minute spot is too expensive and it has a "lack of product benefits". I dunno -- the ability to disassembe the car and make your own Rube Goldbergian self-propelling machine seems like a cool feature to me. (You can watch this amazing video and see the other top 10 ads on the site.)

It's not surprising that there are lots of ads like this that don't make the US market. I noticed a real difference in TV commercials especially when I moved from Europe to the US. I can recall a lot of TV commercials in the UK that were really innovative and fun to watch, but I can't think of many here that got above the level of "supremely annoying". I suspect it might have something to do with commercial break length -- a 1/2 hour show in the UK typically only has one long commercial break (hence the "end of part one" you see in British TV show DVDs). Because the break is longer you have enough time to get up and make a cup of tea or whatever, so the commercials need to be more engaging and interesting to get you to watch. (I believe some commercial French TV stations don't even show commercials during movies, but have a very long block at the end.) Here in the US though the commercials have to do the "watch me! watch me!" thing to stand out, which usually means they're simply strident and annoying.

Posted by david at January 12, 2004 01:02 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

There are no commercial breaks on BBC TV or radio (in the UK) as you pay the BBC a license fee for your use of a TV. The resulting lack of breaks on these channels makes for better watching and the programmes are often pretty good too.

Posted by: Jay on January 30, 2004 07:58 AM
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