The common past of England and France is characterized by rivalry and conflicts. A history teacher in my school in London tried to explain us the complexity of the current relations between these two countries. If it seems that there is always a competition between the two cultures there are not conflicts anymore like those during the XIXth century. In those times the identity of the English culture was based on the fact it-self of not being French. Being French was worst than anything for them but this could be understandable, in fact the French were invading their count
I was very surprised by the numerous retailers, brands or products which were called after French words, such as the famous chain of restaurants PRET A MANGER. The use of French words in marketing is due to the strong reputation of France in many domains, as food, wine, luxury, fashion. This technique is particularly effective in the UK due to the proximity of the two countries both geographical and cultural. It appeared to me that English people are really fond of French food, or French wines and that is why so many brands are using French words, in order to spark respect and confidence towards the product or the brand. But English can feel reassured they don’t have to be jealous with French culture !
ry,the battle of Trafalgar square is a good example. But the fact is, good or very bad, France and England have always been strongly linked and I think this is why the influence of French culture is so important in England, and vice versa but as I’m leaving in London for two months I’m focusing on this country.
Humour and sex are relevant components in Communication nowadays. they can be mixed or not, but generally the mix of both concepts is very successful. Here is a British example. The famous store Harvey Nichols lauched a few weeks ago this tricky advertising campaign, promoting the sales, and which shows men and women with the crotch wetted. The photograph goes with a very explicit slogan: ” Try to contain your excitement”. This campaign was a huge success in London, as the amount of sales was colossal, are reporting the newspapers.
When I first saw the ad I didn’t understand because I had not read the slogan and I found it very funny and at the same time so bold. In France it could not be possible to make such a campaign, some people would be shocked and it would be very hazardous for a store to advertise its sales in this way.
Thus communication has to take into account if the campaign will or not be an international campaign or just a national one, because cultural differences between countries are so huge that it is almost impossible that they love the same advertising. In England humour makes part entirely of communication and this is an humour very “Bristish”, which would work with difficulty in France and even more in the US. Taking into account cultural differences is absolutly necessary in communication, that’s why I will never see an ad like this in France and what a pity, because even though it is tricky it is also very funny.
The project demanding in one of my courses in my international section was to imagine the design of the bottle of the next limited edition of the famous brand, in the case we would work for this famous company. We thought about the French touch, and the best way for transmiting a message to an international population is to used stereoptypes. Indeed everybody will understand the theme we chose. This idea of an ” Abolut Frenchie ” comes in the wakes of the series of the limited edition bottles linked to famous cities and to countries.
We also had another idea : Absolut Caviar, I realised two ads, in the spirit of the advertsing campaign of Absolut Vodka, with a very smart tool, Photophiltre, which is very pratical and easier than Photoshop. If you are interested in here is the link of the first one: Absolut Caviar ad and here is the second one: Absolut Caviar presentation.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I think French people are kind of self -sufficient with their own culture and their own “domestic” business. We have to confess, comparing to other European countries, we have very low languages abilities, which stay generally very scholar and basic. Yes Actually In France we DO speak French and only French. That is the French way of thinking and we have to admit that it makes part of it charm.
This is very “Latin”, I think, because we can find the same type of behaviour in Spain and Italy. For example dubbing a movy is a very common practice in France (actually if we only get the subtitles we are completely lost !) and we cannot imagine the movies in other way. In the two latin european countries this is exactly the same and this practice seems normal but actually with a global point of view this is weird. Many countries accept to receive foreign films without changing anything more than adding subtitles .
On the same way if you decide to go in Spain or in Italy without knowing some language basic It might be king of difficult to communicate.
But concerning French people I would like to add another point; it is not French people who are like that but French customs, French organization. At school we don’t have enough linguistic courses it is clear and concerning the newspapers and the television we do not learn enough about the reel life abroad. Yes we know when there is a terrorist attack in the US, we know when there is a genocide in africa or other slaughter and murders but we are not shown the good aspects, the cultural aspect and the different ways of developping.
I told in the desription of this blog that I would like it to be a sort of newspaper which permits to make the current world more understandable, I don’t have this pretension but I would like to try and that’s why I’m lauching “The Chronicles Of The Unknown News” which will expose the news which are not on first pages of the newspapers but which are very important and relevent for the country in question.