Marketing Mayhem

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Marketing Mayhem
(Maybe some market research could have been helpful.)
What’s the problem…?
United Airlines handed out white
carnations to the passengers to
commemorate some of its first flights to
Hong Kong.
For many Asians white flowers represent
bad luck and even death.
So United Airlines changed the flowers to
red carnations.
What’s the problem… ?
A company advertised eyewear in Thailand
by featuring a variety of cute animals
wearing glasses.
Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist
country and animals are considered to be a
lower form of life.
No self-respecting Thai would wear
anything worn by animals.
Source: http://www.deborahswallow.com/2009/08/20/cross-cultural-marketing-blunders/#more-813
What’s the problem … ?
Toothpaste company Pepsodent tried to
sell its toothpaste in Southeast Asia by
emphasising that it “whitens your teeth”…
They found out that the local native people
chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth,
which they find attractive.
Chewing betel nuts is said to strengthen
teeth (it may have anti-bacterial qualities)
and is associated with various rituals and
ceremonies.
Sources: http://www.deborahswallow.com/2009/08/20/cross-cultural-marketing-blunders/#more-813
http://www.i18nguy.com/translations.html
And then there is the language…
They don’t call it a ‘language barrier’ for
nothing….
What’s the problem…?
When Pepsi began marketing its products
in China, it translated the company slogan
- "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life“ literally.
The Chinese version of the slogan meant:
"Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the
grave”!
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Ten-Biggest-International-Marketing-Mistakes-of-All-Time&id=529007
What’s the problem…?
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) also
translated their slogan – “finger-lickin'
good” – into Chinese.
Except in Chinese, their slogan read “eat your
fingers off”!
Source: http://www.i18nguy.com/translations.html
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