Countries are separated by much more than just miles and the language barrier is just that: a barrier. So when advertising internationally being aware of cultural quirks can save your campaign.
The classic “Got Milk?” slogan was licenced in 1998 and has since then become one of the most recognized phrases on the planet. However it was not always so. When translating the campaign to spanish there was a snag in which the Spanish version came out to be “Are you lactating?”
When everyone’s favorite soda, Coca-Cola launched in China there was some slight confusion. The phonetics of Coca-Cola translated to the phrase “bite the wax tadpole,” whatever that means.
Aside from being lost in translation, there are cultural norms and expectations that advertising companies have to keep track of. In 2004 a Nike commercial was banned in China. The ad featured LeBron James fighting animated dragons and kung-fu masters and offended China’s national dignity. More recently, this year Dunkin Donuts Thailand released an ad for their charcoal donut. A woman apparently in blackface and bright pink lipstick was featured in what the Human Rights Watch called “bizarre and racist.”
So before you start shipping your ads overseas, take a minute to check out this infographic presented by International Business Guide. Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments.
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