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Apple in Tune with TV Ads Outside the U.S.

Apple in Tune with TV Ads Outside the U.S.

by , 2:25 PM EST, March 2nd, 2007

When Apple took their very successful "Get A Mac" ads overseas, they paid careful attention to the culture of the other countries according to an online story at The Wall Street Journal published Thursday.

"...in Japanese culture, where direct-comparison ads have long been frowned upon, it's rude to brag about one's strengths. So for Japanese versions of the ads that rolled out last fall, two local comedians from a troupe called the Rahmens made subtle changes to emphasize that Macs and PCs are not that different," the article explained.

Similarly, in order to create the same kind of dynamic that John Hodgman and Justin Long have in the U.S., Apple hired two well-known actors from a sitcom in Britain but had to fine tune the famous formula and take into account local culture and politics.

The story explained: "TBWA also wrote a new spot for the U.K. that uses a real statistic to deliver one of the key messages of the campaign: that PCs are designed for work and Macs for fun. In the ad, Mac points out Brits work longer hours than any other nationality in Europe. "And they get less holidays," says PC. "Smashing, isn't it?""

Another detail that Apple had to consider was the casual clothing worn by the U.S. actors. Japanese viewers haven't yet adopted the American "office casual" movement.

Even with this attention to local detail and culture there have still been cases where the ads didn't receive a completely warm reception. A Guardian columnist mocked Apple for trying to be too cool. But then, TMO notes, there have been serious misunderstandings, even in the U.S. by notable people, regarding the intent of the Apple ads.

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