Last Sunday, they started airing the […] ads here in Japan. And here’s a surprise: they’re different. The Mac guy isn’t particularly cool and the PC guy is a real “salary man” type. The ads aren’t as obvious as the Western originals. In Japan, you need to be more subtle.
As a newcomer to Japan, and to the social interactions that occur while living and working here, this contrast to the West is impressed upon me every day. Even such fundamental components of Japanese culture, such as the language and it’s idioms, exemplify this difference – in my studying of Japanese I am constantly learning new methods of conveying an opinion in a manner which is understood and recognised but not offensive or belittling. For a grumpy gaijin like me it is almost as hard as the language itself.