As we continue our journey comparing advertisements across the world, is it important to look at other countries that have the same language as us. England may be one of the most similar countries to America, besides Canada, but does that mean they make ads the same way we do? Of course not, they have their own culture, beliefs, and set of regulations that advertisements must follow.
Before we start looking at the advertisements made in England, it is important to know one thing about their culture. England is extremely homogeneous. This means that their population is made of people who are extremely similar to each other. They are predominantly white and all share very similar views. This is much different than America, we are very diverse and have two different political parties that people can support. Being a very homogeneous society allows ad companies to make ads that are riskier because they know there is a small chance of actually offending anyone.
Another aspect of England that forces their ads to be unique, would be their strict laws and regulations when it comes to advertising. Companies are not as free to advertise freely like they are in America. One industry you can see different regulations than in America would be the automotive industry. Car companies are not allowed to make the speed or power of a car the selling point. This forces the car companies to go out of their comfort zone and think of creative ways to show off their products.
In America, it is common to see a celebrity in a commercial every time you watch TV. Most of the time the commercial does not even relate to the celebrity but they are still in it. England handles the use of celebrities much differently. The use of celebrities in ads is much lower, and when they are used they are used in a much different way. In America, celebrities are often used to make a product look hot and trendy. In England, most celebrities who are used are known to be reliable and loved by the public. This means that when a celebrity is used in an ad they are used like a friend you know, someone you trust, not someone you wish you were.
One of the most surprising things about England’s advertising world is what their Super Bowl equivalent would be. No, it’s not a soccer game or another type of sporting event, it’s actually Christmas day. December 25th is the most expensive day to air ads in England. There is no specific time during the day that is especially expensive it is just the day as a whole. Christmas is repeatedly the day where the most amount of money is spent on advertising as a whole.
When comparing ads in America to ads in England it is easy to see how even if countries use the same language, their use of ads can be very different. Moral of the story, if you are ever in a situation where you need to produce ads in a country you are not familiar with (even if they also speak English), it is important to take the time to understand not only their laws and regulations but also their culture. There is the obvious reason that you do not want to offend someone, but you also don’t want to send millions of dollars to have an ad be a total flop!
By: Ryan Baldwin
Edwards, J. (2010, March). Why British Ads are Better Than American Ones. CBS News. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-british-ads-are-better-than-american-ones/
Melanie, A, and Aronson, M. (2016, January). Seven Culture-defining Differences Between UK and US Ads. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2016/jan/08/culture-defining-differences-uk-us-ads