Canadian take on US television

Auditions for the Canadian version of The Bachelor are now underway. While this has many women in their 20s lining up for their 15 minutes of fame, it also begs the question – why do we need a Canadian version? After all, Canadians and Americans are pretty much the same. Right?

Wrong. Smart advertisers and marketers have long known the needs of Canadian and American consumers are quite different. American magazines have discovered just reproducing their magazine in Canada with only a few minor changes has not been well received. Rather, Canadians are a patriotic bunch, preferring to subscribe to mediums that have a Canadian-focused message.

The Bachelor is just the latest US-based television show making a distinctly Canadian appearance in Canada. We can thank Jillian Harris (former contestant as well as Bachelorette) for drawing the show’s attention north of the border. During her season, she brought the men to Canada, for a distinctly Canadian experience in British Columbia and Alberta. In addition to providing great tourism exposure for her country, it also created pride and excitement amongst Canadian viewers seeing their countryside featured to millions of people.

Creating a distinctly Canadian product is a smart move by ABC. It expands upon on popular format, providing new advertising revenue opportunities in Canada (which has faired better in the recession than the US). And who knows, maybe true love will prevail – for contestants, the tourism industry and advertisers.