Two major global advertising players are using the “Proud to be an American” message to promote their products, and not solely to capture Independence Day interest.

When Apple® rolled out its “Designed by Apple in California” ads shortly after the Mac Pro introduction, the content promoted how much creativity and engineering the Apple team puts into their products – presumably the American Apple team. Perhaps this was in response to the backlash that many corporations have been getting regarding their products being manufactured in low-wage countries.

Fast forward to the new motorola® ad (lowercase ‘m’ intended – new branding, new owner and all) running in major publications in the U.S. to promote the Moto X smartphone. The copy, message and imagery is similar to Apple’s ad, touting domestic design and engineering talent from the USA, but the big ‘sell’ includes the phrase “Assembled in the USA”.

For those who can translate marketing-ese, this is a term to promote that a product is made domestically, even if only a portion of the production process is completed here.

The big question is, how does the American consumer view these messages? Does it make a difference knowing that at least part, if not all, the products you purchase are made in America even in today’s global economy? Do ads like these create consumer preference for the brand because some part is American-made?  And, finally, do consumers understand the subtle difference between “Designed / Assembled in the USA”, and “Made in the USA”, or do they feel that advertisers are taking advantage of that subtlety to promote an image that may not be all that it seems?

What do you think?