I'm no different to most British people in my relationship with the USA. I love and loathe it in equal parts. It is after all the land of opportunity and liberty. But both those things come at a high price and the coldness and conservatism of the country can seem scary. Still its a great place to go on holiday to.   

One thing that I find endlessly fascinating are the commercials on TV. I was mainly watching Fox and CNN and so I'm not sure if the adverts I saw were typical of the ones that are shown on national TV.

There were three categories of adverts that caught my eye. The first of which were the political ones (we were holidaying during the build up to the mid term elections). Watching these ads never gave any information about what the candidate who paid for the commercial stood for and what they intended to do once in power. Instead without fail these ads were all about the shortcomings, failures and previous misdeeds of the candidate's opponent.

Financial products unsurprisingly get much coverage as well. There are obviously rules in place that mean that the adverts have to cover the possible pitfalls that may come with the product been pushed. You can tell when you hit this part of the advert because the voice over starts to speak at double the speed and masses of tiny writing starts to scroll down the screen at high speed. Buyer beware indeed!

One noticeable difference between UK and US commercials is the lack of humour in the American adverts. In the UK humour is the chief way that products are sold. I'm not saying that this is a good thing. Most of the British adverts are very poor and the humour just embarrassingly bad. The puke-inducing sincerity employed in the US equivalents is no better just differently awful.

Anyway back to my categories of adverts. The third category is health. This is something I've always noticed while visiting the States. There is an openness and frankness about health matters on US telly that as a confirmed hypochondriac I find hard to stomach. 

As somebody who has to regularly look away during an average episode of 'Casualty' I'm horrified by the endless streams of adverts dealing with haemorrhoids, prostrate issues, diarrhea etc.

Much like the financial adverts there are obviously rules in place about the medical adverts. The adverts go to great lengths to talk about side effects of drugs and also the sort of people who shouldn't take said drug. In fact for most products the time spent outlining the possible side effects and categories of people who it wouldn't be beneficial for took up most of the commercial time. Which left me wondering if anybody would buy a product off the back of one of these adverts. On the other hand the puerile schoolboy inside me loved the warning on the commercial for some 'viagra style' product to seek medical help if an erection lasts for more than two hours! 



Music inspired by a trip to the US

Stories from the States.

US Politics

Stuff I Love - Pixar

Reviewing US Myspace Acts

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