Saturday, December 18, 2004

commercials as cultural barometers?

I arrived in Taipei yesterday, only to discover that it's over 20 degrees Celsius here, and humid. At least I was somewhat intelligent and brought layers, so only half of my clothes are useless.

Anyway, I was watching TV this afternoon and made a couple of observations about the commercials. First, more than half of them are in Taiwanese (as opposed to Mandarin Chinese). I don't remember exactly, but I'm fairly certain that this was not the case, five or ten years ago.

Also, the commercials here seem to rely a lot less on putting young, good-looking people on the air. For example, I saw several ads for cold medicines, featuring very average-looking, middle-aged women, telling some (only moderately attractive) young adults that a particular product would cure their colds. To me, it was quite a contrast, compared with American cold commercials, which typically feature impossibly young and attractive mothers ministering to their cute-as-a-button kids.

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