Strictly Come Dancing (UK) VS. Dancing With the Stars (US)


When Strictly Come Dancing hit the record books last year as the “world’s most successful reality show”, it was only a matter of time til we devoted an article to the cultural phenomenon that has swept the world’s curiosity.

The BBC Worldwide produced show has been exported to 30+ countries around the globe (with the first being Dancing With the Stars – Australia). In India, the series is known as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, while Norwegians can’t get enough of Skal vi danse.

While the shows follow the same general format, the graphics packaging, promotion, and title design of each show illustrates some interesting cultural differences.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the title sequences from the American offering of DWTS that airs on ABC:

And Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One:

Further, take a look at the on-air promotions approach to the franchise. Again, one from the US, the other from the UK.

As you know, I’ve been a big proponent of exporting our unique regional (national) design sensibilities to the global design marketplace. This discussion offers an opportunity to ask: How does the design and branding of our shows reflect the cultural DNA of the countries in which they are presented? Share your thoughts.



Filed under branding, marketing, promo

4 responses to “Strictly Come Dancing (UK) VS. Dancing With the Stars (US)

  1. Mark K

    Thanks for sharing the side-by-sides, appreciate the opportunity for discussion. As a Creative Director for an Australian network, I must say that I’ve always found the packaging of US television to be pretty sensational. Perhaps American audiences are bombarded with so much “stuff” that breaking through requires a different type of visual. Would be interested to see what others think.

  2. Ln151

    Really enjoyed the Strictly promo. Pitch perfect pacing.

  3. Perhaps we Brit’s credit our audience with a bit more cultural awareness than our American counterparts…The title of the show referencing Luhrmann’s film, the promo being less ‘obvious’ about what we’re seeing. I also think the titles of the US show are safe in every way, although on the face of it they might look more ‘sexy’, which is interesting. The british titles are more original in terms of graphical style without ceasing to appeal to a mainstream audience.

  4. What’s interesting about this conversation is being able to see how folks around the world interpret the visuals.

    To Steve Kirby: Appreciate the insight into the title.

    As for safe vs unsafe, sexy vs unsexy; I think we get into murky territory saying one is better than the other. Perhaps what is more accurate is what each demo feels more comfortable with.

    To be honest, I like both, and can appreciate seeing the interpretations. Thanks for this great posting!

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