European superiority

I see alot of commercials for new items that say “this product [or technology] has been used in Europe for years.”
And every drug that the FDA is considering approval of in the U.S. seems to have been available in Europe since 1904.
Is Europe that far ahead in medicines & consumer goods, or is America that far behind? And just what do they mean by “Europe”. The whole continent, one or two countries?
Anyone with input on this?

My favorite is the Euro-waxer, a hair wax removal system for women. Evidently it works so well, European women don’t feel the need to use it.

It’s a wax-based leg-hair removal system, of course. I’m just tired. There are other systems for removing hair wax that I’m sure some European would love to sell you.


Europe may be superior, but it is not a continent.

I’ll have the subcontinental breakfast, please.


There has to be an element of marketingspeak in this.

We ,in the UK, constantly get headlines about the fact that new and more effective drugs have been used in the States for years but yet the clinical trials are not complete over here so they have not been licensed.

This seems to apply especially to the new generation of chemotherapy drugs.

BTW talking of technology products, we are usually at least 6 months behind you when it comes to computors.I cannot tell you how often I have been looking for drivers on maufacturers sites only to find that there are better things available but only in the US.

I just saw a commercial for some pill that is supposed to increase a womans bust size. The announcers says “this product has been used for years in Europe. Now it’s available here”.

So is this just a marketing ploy? The majority of Americans have never been to Europe, and those that have been hadn’t been there long enough to check this out. Are advertisers using Europe as this Utopia of great products because most of us don’t know what’s going on over there? Or do they really have all these products that seems to take decades to get here? At least once a day I hear an ad touting “this technology has been available in Europe for years”. Is this true or just marketing mumbo-jumbo?

well, in many cases, people find reassurance that the product is already appreciated by others. As has been pointed out, in the US saying it is European gives it a certain je ne sais quoi (I saw a “euro shower head” today) while in Europe saying a product is American gives it a certain style… But notice that for certain products other origins also work: ancient health remedies from the far east… etc.

Just a marketing ploy - I’ve seen various adverts for slimming remedies (fat burners/fat magnets and the like) which claim to have proved sucessful for thousands of Americans, and accompanied by testimonials from Mrs Nancy Feldbaum, Des Moines and Mrs Pearl Moffat, Denver (apologies to and Mrs Nancy Feldbaums or Pearl Moffats that may be reading this, I didn’t mean you, I meant another one)

Marketing ploy gets my vote too. Maybe advertisers think that there’s something basely reassuring about being told that this product has been used by thousands of other white, middle-class citizens in a similar western democratic state without killing them.

(Okay, I exaggerate, but you get the point)

They’re using Australians for stuff now too, ‘Nads.’ Everybody loves stuff that ‘the others’ use.

What I want to know is why infomercials often feature some skeptical white-bread American dude as the straight man and a zany, colo(u)rful Brit or Aussie in a bow tie as the pitchman for the product. I think those infomercials were called Amazing Discoveries–anybody else remember them?

As far as Euro-superiority goes, we could probably open up a whole new thread to discuss the Mentos phenomenon . . .

Yup, Amazing Discoveries. The slacks and Polo Yank and the short Brit with the bow tie. OK, bad enough? Now, imagine them dubbed over in Dutch, the both of them. Whereas almost everything is subtitled on Dutch TV, they chose to dub over only two kinds of programs: childrens cartoons (makes sense, of course), and informercials. Speaks volumes about the target crowd, I suppose.

Incidently, when you label something “American” in Europe, it does seem to have a higher chance of selling. The Land of Opportunities and all that - it really seems to work for the masses. About the only exception to this rule are automobiles. You couldn’t sell a Ford Explorer here if your life depended on it.

As many have said, just a marketing ploy.

Here in the UK, most perfumes are sold with a French connection. German engineering is noteworthy, especially with cars. Any pasta/pizza product must mention Italians. Alcohol involves Sweden or Ireland.

I was trying to think what American stereotypes the advertisers use over here. Off the top of my head:

  • Elderly American with white hair (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
  • Suave man in Manhattan business district (some car)
  • gas station off desert road (jeans?)

I also hang with the marketing school of thought. Makes sense that a product will sell better if it’s ‘new and / or improved’ (to you) while at the same time it’s been tested elsewhere. Also, there’s the 'Hey, we’ve been missing out. Better check this stuff out." angle. Good marketing.

Quite where they claim it’s been ‘available’ probably depends on the publics perceptions. As glee says France = perfumes, Germany = anything mechanical, Italy = food, if they’re not sure or there’s no identifiable leading country: ‘Europe’.

Also, nowadays some sports orientated stuff has an allegedly Australian ‘heritage’ which is particularly irritating :wink:

Europe is incontinent?

Gotta tell the young 'uns 'bout this! :wally

Let us not forget that “as used in Europe” could mean “we have a bunch of crap we bought off the East Germans when the wall came down”, or “as used in Romania, with its well-known levels of product quality control and consumer protection legislation” :rolleyes: Europe’s a big place.

Some eastern European country (Russia?) makes Lada cars. They used to have a reputation of being slow, unreliable and poorly made. (I drove in one once, and it was!).

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western technology has trundled across in search of a profit. From a recent UK advert:

Business Suit type is being shown round gleaming car factory by moustachioed man with East European accent. It’s all wonderful stuff, with every car being individually inspected etc. They arrive at finished product. ‘Magnificent’ says Suit. ‘I hear you also make Lada cars here…’

Isn’t this bacause an Expedition bigger than the whole of Western Europe?

Actually it’s Skoda and they were made in East Germany.

The adverts are excellent - I liked the one with a forensic detective who, on request, gives detailed information about the driver and passenger involved in a car accident, but cannot identify the make of car (Skoda).

Hang on there. Glee is right. Lada cars are produced in Russia. Skodas are produced in the Czech republic, although they are nowadays owned by the Volkswagen Group, which explains their imrpoved quality over the last 6 years. The same cannot be said about Ladas, however.

(In fairness, Ladas are quite sturdy and don’t easily break down. But they’re hopelessly oldfashioned and quite unsafe to drive.)