The Media Thinks You're Stupid

Sunday, June 29, 2008
Here's a prime example. General Mills sells Cheerios, in all it's forms: original, multi-grain, honey nut, apple cinammon, berry burst, frosted... I like Cheerios but only the original and multi-grain. Anyways, I've noticed something that really frosts my berries. Or it would if I had any. Canadians get a wide variety of television feeds from the US, within Canada, and if you have satellite, overseas. As such, we're exposed to a range of approaches to advertising, often on the same products which are now available everywhere. One of the many commercials we're innundated with is one for Multi-Grain Cheerios. Here in Canada, we're seeing two versions of the same commercial: identical except for the voices. The original is shown on Canadian channels using the actors' real voices complete with British accents (if I was more familiar I'd narrow it down for you but no). It's a cute little commercial - nothing groundbreaking but brings a little smile to the lips. Then there's the version shown on American channels. Same couple, same setting, same cereal, same discussion. The difference? The actors' voices have been dubbed over with American accents. It's not even the same actors doing the dubbing using a different accent.


This annoys me. A lot. Does General Mills and it's advertising genius' think that if Americans see a commercial with people speaking with a foriegn accent, they're less likely to purchase a box of their cereal? God forbid they decide to buy Special K instead! Or, gasp! MiniWheats! Seriously, do they think we're that stupid? Apparently they do. Or maybe we are. Perhaps Americans really can't understand various world accents other than their own. I find this strange considering the variety of accents within their own borders: Texans, Bostonians, New Yorkers, Southerners, etc. But then again, media outlets in the US won't bother showing the originals of British programs: they have to create their own, uniquely American versions. Perhaps they feel their viewers will be confused by the use of the words "flat" instead of apartment, or "lift" instead of elevator.

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