Blogs from Abroad: British Accents Aren’t The Only Difference

As it is my first time in London, everything seems brand new and different to me: the people, the accents, the food.

However, what strikes me as being the most different is the advertisements. This past week, as I walked down High Street Kensington after classes and took the Tube to the Tate Modern on my day off, I took note of and documented some of the best examples I could find of how different U.K. ads are. Here is what I found:

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Figures 1 and 2: Most of the ads I saw were text-centric, ads that made the main focus the copy, not the image. In the examples above, the copy literally becomes the image. This is the most striking difference to me in U.K. ads.

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Figure 3: Some ads had entire paragraphs of text that take a minute to read. Differently, U.S. advertisements tend to keep copy short, I immediately turned my attention to this ad. I spent a few minutes reading this ad, so it succeeded in its purpose.

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Figures 4 and 5: Because most of the ads I saw place such a heavy emphasis on copy, they also often employ puns, play on words, or visual imagery. These ads unintentionally tell me the most about British culture and values: that they value humor, wit, and good writing above all else.



Amelia Henning, Study Abroad Correspondent

Amelia Henning is a senior in COM majoring in advertising, double minoring in art history and visual arts. She is currently studying abroad in London, and she spends her free time abroad on the hunt for London’s best chicken tikka masala.

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