Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

British TV isn’t the same as American productions. It’s different

Outside my dormitory room’s window in Exeter, lay a grassy hill with sheep grazing.

I was at a conference a few hours’ drive southwest of London and yet the pastoral scene reminded me of my boyhood home in western Pennsylvania.

The view in Exeter was the same exact scene I saw every day growing up. Near my high school, sheep grazed on a hill, thick with green grass in the western Pennsylvania town of Ligonier, which had its origin as a pivotal fort for the British — back in 1758.

Yet it was different. Just like British television.

My week-long trip to Exeter with a stay in London showed me just how similar Britain is to the northeast U.S. Lots of green hills, plenty of rain, and farm animals in their smelly glory make for a culturally close connection.

The differences, though, were obvious like a dorm room that had tap for beer, towns with narrow streets, and shops selling gear to play cricket instead of baseball.

Compared to previous trips I had made to Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan, I found that England was comfortable and familiar. The differences between British English and American chatter are funny. Bonnet, for example, sounds the same in either country but refers to the hood of a car in the U.K. and a hat in the U.S. We can joke about it.

Trying to communicate in Asia was a monumental task.

Britain is the birthplace for many stories that have endured in American culture. Legendary outlaw Robin Hood and The Christmas Carol come to mind while a cultural closeness stemming from colonial times still links both audiences today.

And yet the differences let us peek into a world that we don’t know.

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