Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz ...

Here in Canada, most of our favorite television shows are American. My favorite show is Mad Men, and oddly enough, it is produced by Lionsgate Television -- which is Canadian. Who knew! The show is set in the fictional advertising agency of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and one of their main accounts is a cigarette firm.  The advertisers have requested the advertising firm to whitewash cigarettes and make them appear safe, because studies were beginning to show they were a health hazard.  People were dying from cigarette smoking, and that would never do.  In Mad Men, everyone smokes, drinks, and generally carries on in ways that would be shockingly politically incorrect by today's standards.  Those were the days...

On this side of the border, when we watch Canadian and American television, the main differences we notice between the two countries are the advertisements. In America, the major advertisers are car companies, fast food chains and pharmaceuticals. There is almost a correlation between those three things, don't you think? In Canada, the main advertisements are beer ads, home improvement products and cleaning products. Do we have some sort of a fetish about our homes here in Canada? We also have a lot of travel and tourism advertisements, so it appears that once our houses are sparkling clean, we like to escape.

We also like to think we're the same as our American cousins to the south, but we're really quite different in many ways. Our money is in all different colours, we still spell everything the British way -- neighbour, favour, labour -- we keep changing the words to our national anthem, and we'll keep doing it until we get it right. And we have our own language.

"Please take your runners off the chesterfield while you're eating your poutine, or you won't get a Nanaimo bar for dessert, eh..."

Okay .... what did I just say...?

But mostly, we take our beer -- and our beer ads -- very seriously.  Never make fun of a Canuck, or his beer, or you'll suffer the consequences, eh...?

20 comments:

Firefly said...

I love the advert. People in the USA think we live in mud and grass huts, lions walk around in the streets, ect, ect. And when they come to South Africa they can't believe how developed it is over here. Oh yes, and we are all black.

the walking man said...

Take your feet off the table while you eat you cheese and curd fries or you get no ice cream for desert.

A Viagra shower with a lone showering man says a lot about what they are advertising.

kenju said...

I knew it meant feet off the table, but the rest was a mystery to me. Eh?

Barb said...

Funny, I didn't realize the differences in Canada. I've only been through once from Michigan to Niagra Falls as a teen. I remember the scenery was just beautiful ~ which is saying a lot. As a teenager I really didn't appreciate such things on a regular basis.

Linda said...

One of my favorite shows is Flashpoint, and I think it is produced in Canada. Someday, I'm going to visit our neighbor to the north!

Indian Pundit said...

Hahaha....nice advert.
One American guy once said to me that in canada there are "no brain surgeons"....hahahaha
Then he could not understand why i was laughing......

jblack designs said...

Funny ad. Canada rules HGTV--makes sense since it's from Canada--but Mad Men's producer, too? Ah, poised for a world shift soon, perhaps.

True story: A good friend of mine immigrated to Victoria, B.C., about a decade ago. The first time I visited, we went to a weekly philosophy discussion at a local pub (decidedly not an American-type activity). At one point, someone said something about "our neighbors south of the border," and I found myself thinking, "hmmm...I didn't know they thought about Mexico that way ... oh ... wait ... they mean US! Whoa."

I've lived in other countries and states, but, being in Texas for so long, "south of the border" just conjures up Mexico these days.

One of the benefits of travel: Seeing yourself from someone else's boundaries.

Thanks for the laugh today!

Jennifer

DJan said...

Oh, that's a priceless video. I watched it twice to get it all. I think it's funny how just crossing that border the world is supposed to be so different. But I do know when I cross over that it's not the USA. I've often wondered what the clues are other than the km versus miles speed signs...

Katy said...

A dear friend of mine spent a year in Canada. She sent me a lovely care package of Kraft Macaroni and Ketchup along with gravy flavored potato chips. I think that was the point when I realized just how different Canada really is.

In all seriousness though, I find it interesting how different the advertisements are depending on what channel you are watching. Lots of cleaning products are shown on "women's channels" like Lifetime, but turn on a sporting event (and I guess Mad Men) and its nothing but commercials for drugs.

Jennifer D said...

Great Post.I agree with you concerning the American Ads. I find the drug commercials very disturbing and I often wonder what it is doing to our youth.My teen son spends way too much time thinking about diseases.

I love learning about Canucks and I have noticed many Canadian accents on HGTV. Holmes on Homes is one of my favs. The way they say "house" cracks me up!;0)

OH yeah... I LOVE Mad Men. It is just so stylish.

KrippledWarrior said...

I truly appreciate my Canadian Friends and neighbors. Even if I don't jive the lingo. Dig That? Can you smell me cooking?

lakeviewer said...

Oh, this was funnnnnnnn! No, I couldn't understand your language there, Jo. I'd have to have a dictionary.

Lindy said...

Oh, Firefly, don't be silly! We Yanks know that you aren't all black! However would aparthied have worked all those years with everyone looking the same?
Be careful before throwing stones. If I thought that all Canadians were like the French Canadian tourists we host here each summer, there would have been a war at the longest peaceful border in the world long ago.
Yes, we are all different no matter where we are from, but we all love our families, want a safe and quiet home, and hope for a bright future for our children.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The old coot smiling in the shower after getting lucky, thanks to drugs, made me giggle. His partner must have been on some serious drugs, too, or blind drunk. (Blind is operative here.)

Wolynski said...

The main difference between the U.S. and Canada is that it's cold up North - maybe not near the Pacific, but it's too cold for me everywhere else.

Love "Mad Men" - am at the end of season 1.

Paula Slade said...

Loved your line "... so it appears that once our houses are sparkling clean, we like to escape." LOL The commercial was funny too. Thanks for the giggles Jo. :)

Boodoggy said...

Greatest Canadian word, hands down, is "garburator" for disposal.

A human kind of human said...

A friend has just returned from Canada after attending her son's there (it took her six weeks to attend the wedding - lol) and she claims that your lifestyle are very similar to ours. I guess she is right because here in South Africa we are also very touchy when it comes to our beer!

A human kind of human said...

...and oh yes! I am so glad to see that Canadians can spell correctly.

Nancy said...

Mad Men is my favorite television show. I also like Covert Affairs on USA. As for advertising - that's what the mute button is for!