The American way

  • By Phyron
  • Mar 2, 2023
  •  – 2 min read

American car buyers are different from European car buyers. That’s why car advertising made for Americans is different from car advertising made for Europeans.

According to my old friend and international copywriter guru Mark Goldsmith, “American advertising is formulated around storytelling. Putting people into the picture and then giving it a positive spin for those who comply and buy. Europeans respond more to cost/quality messaging. As for other differences in approach it is very difficult to generalize. 

”But generally speaking European consumer advertising tends to be more sober, serious, and informative. While American ads are more emotive and employ high speed delivery.

“You may have noticed a 30 or 60 second TV spot is half about why you need to buy this or that, and half about warning that if you do it may hurt or even kill you so don’t say I didn’t tell you. Which they do to avoid being sued.” 

Mark is not the only one to think we are different. According to Elad Ben David, creative director at Sunday Sky, “most US ads are focused on the power of storytelling to help defining who the consumer is, and in return, allowing the audience to imagine themselves as part of that storyline. 

“While storytelling has taken North American brand advertising by storm the European market has yet to focus on delivering the brand experience to consumers… European consumers are also more sensitive to the cost and value of products.” 

He also said “that’s why brands have to bridge the gap by delivering advertising programs that generate the content and creative in real time, based on customer behaviour.” 

Regarding my own cultural bias … Over the years I have spent a lot of time in the US but, reflecting upon the differences indicated above I remain decidedly European. 

Importantly, there are also cultural differences WITHIN Europe and WITHIN America. Crossing the English channel can reveal a communication gap as deep as the Atlantic ocean.

But we are all human and we all spend more and more time online, that’s why we all respond better to online video. And that’s why 100% AUTOMATED video will change used car advertising everywhere.

Rolf Andersson
Writer and Editor