Cultural Inertia

by Ben Perreira

There’s something very inert about things that are familiar to us. In the same way that rhyming lyrics are aurally pleasing, our own cultures elicit positive feelings.

Consider when people move to new countries. Aside from those who claim to be “moving to Canada” after each presidential election, people generally move for opportunity, not to change cultures. We grow up appreciating cultural nuance in almost every part of our lives – food, gatherings, family orientation, media, brands, language, etc. 

If we’re thinking about this in a commercials sense (more or less what we do here), we see that language is not the key determining factor. If an American were to move to the UK this would become immediately apparent, and the products would be more similar to those purchased by other Western Europeans than to those purchased by Americans.

The things that matter most to people are often emotions expressed through language, but they are certainly not dependent on language to remain important. That distinction is key.