Just how do those European folks get their point across?

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As someone more erudite than myself once said, ‘America and England are two countries seperated by the same language..’

After 20 years of marriage to an American and nearly ten years living in the US , I have lost count of the number of times when what I ‘said’ and what was ‘heard’ were two different things. None moreso than in the arena of humour…or humor as US english says. It is true that in the US humour is a very different animal than in the UK and the rest of europe, not better or worse ….just different.
When we are striving to make a connection with clients and prospects we will use anything we can find to break down the barriers between us, in most cass the ability to make somebody laugh will not only break down the barrier it often will cement you as a ‘good guy’ in the mind of the recipient.
I remember someone telling me that I had not kissed the ‘Blarney stone….I had swallowed it!’ This back handed compliment let me know that I could say just about anything and get away with it as far as this person was concerned. Being careful not to advocate being too familiar and too edgy, there is something wonderful about pushing some boundaries and stretching the envelope etc.

When a company or individual needs to grab attention there are a few ways to do so, many of these are well worn and frankly of debatable merit. In retail situations there is a tendency to be brash and loud , slashing prices and offering eternal free stuff in the hope that the consumer will eventually accept the brilliance of the product and stay with you. Only one problem with that however……when you fell for the sales pitch initially you must have ditched someone else first, so you will probably ditch this company when the next price slashing event crosses your path. I think we all know that this stuff has a short shelf life and does not work hence the rise of content marketing over the years . Such is the need to develop meaningful conversations , we see creative marketing departments producing increasingly sophisticated offerings to stand out.

There are times when the marketing can be too clever, too refined and too high brow. We, as creators of content can be too immersed in the nuances of the production, the delivery, the analytics, the everything..we sometimes forget to have a good time and entertain.

In some recent vBlogs on this website our CEO, Scot Combs says ‘ get out, go and do something!’ meaning , don’t agonise about every little detail to the point that nothing gets done better to get out , have ago and see if it hits the mark..after all this is still an emerging art form , it is not a science no matter how much the number crunchers try to convince you otherwise. If we all worked by the numbers we would all have viral video after viral video , have ever increasing retention and conversion rates etc etc..now we know that just does not happen ( unless you use 3rd Planet Media !!!!!!!!!!) . Seriously though , the magic of what we do is in the rule breaking, envelope pushing work that challenges our ideas and is just so simple it is stunningly brilliant……being able to stop people in their tracks long enough to make them focus on your message is an art.
In the US there are cultural norms as there are in the UK and Europe, they are different and care must be taken to align these norms with each audience, there is nothing worse than to produce a very funny successful campaign and to expect it to work wherever it is deployed, sadly chances are it will fall flat in the wrong market.

Have a look at this grand production featuring a picturesque town square in a small town in Belgium….it is simple, novel , funny but above all memorable, enjoy!


Bet you were and perhaps still are laughing..or should I be quiet? Are you watching it again but this time after calling someone else in from another room?

What about this from French car maker Renault…no trick photography, advertising to the German market…..


OUCH!!!!!!!!!!! Wouldn’t you just love to do that??? Gets the message over though without labouring ( UK spelling) the point…they all have 5* crash test ratings!

Finally, yes you have been a lovely audience , I will be here this time next week….. see how an extremely creative and entertaining presentation can inspire you to love a place….


I didn’t know you could do that with an iPad! Brilliant , clever, inspiring and fun…the perfect recipe!

When you next sit down to see how you can get noticed , try to think beyond convention, laugh loud and laugh often!

see you on the long and winding road…..Patrick

Website: www.3rdplanetmedia.com

Blogs: Bibliothèque | Vidiothèque | Audio Prodcast

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