Friday, May 16, 2008

Would you like to supersize that?

One of the first things I noticed about la bella citta di Roma was the American products. As soon as I arrived in the city, I was disappointed to drive on the right side of the road and to only see signs for American products. But upon closer examination, I noticed that while these products are from US companies, they are not the same. Packaging varies, portions are smaller, and even the products themselves are different.

How do US companies determine how to change their products enough to make them international?

I am also very interested in some anti-American feelings shared among Romans. Does this decrease sales of US goods? Are Italians willing to walk around advertising US products? Do other Italians give them a hard time about it? From the prevalence of US goods I have seen in my first week, I feel like this is not the case. But perhaps we'll have an Italian replica of "freedom fries" on our hands?

And what kind of message are we really sending by making a Disney version of SPQR? But don't worry too much, at least you'll be able to find the golden arches anywhere you go. Including next to the Pantheon.

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