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LG: Big in Iran

Iran is testing nuclear technology, and robotic vacuum cleaners.

You can't pick up a newspaper these days without reading about ominous signs of political turbulence in Iran. But there is a human side to the country, too.

And that human side wants to watch music videos and clean their floors. That pretty much explains why South Korean electronics giant LG is the primary advertiser on Iran Music, a music video channel out of the country. Three videos go by, and then there's an ad for LG vacuum cleaners, including the robotic vacuum that competes with the Roomba.

LG and Iranian music Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks

Sometimes ads come on for other LG products, but primarily you get the one with the vacuums. Besides running infomercials, LG also pays to have its logo superimposed on the videos.

Appliances aren't a sideline for LG. The company has used expensive, fancy appliances to build its brand and revenue in the U.S.

And speaking of the videos, it's remarkable how the basic plot lines transcend cultures. There's the one where the guy stands on a hill in the middle of the night and sings to the streetlights below. In another, a couple has a fight while in a convertible. The woman gets out. They are reunited at the end. In another, a scruffy twenty-something outsmarts a fey yuppie counterpart.

If you turn down the sound and ignore the fact that the women are wearing head scarves, you'd swear you were watching VH1.

I was not in Iran, by the way. I was in the Mediterranean and got this channel on satellite TV. We got Palestine TV too, but, try as I might, I never managed to see the show where the fuzzy mascot exhorts kids to take up arms against Israel.