Friday, December 22, 2006

in the ocean / or in a glass / cool water is such a gas

I was out at dinner last night (Indian, and yes it was fantastic) with a bunch of fellow non-Indonesians...five English, three New Zealanders (us), an Austrian, a Taiwanese, a Filipino, and two Australians to be exact. Somebody asked if anyone wanted some Aids. There was, as you'd expect, deadly silence (the word deadly being appropriate here of course). The question was repeated in all innocence but no one put their hand up. And then it clicked. Only, I imagine, in Indonesia would a large company, with massive R&D budgets and a huge market share slip up so badly as to call their water ADES. English as a second language often has a new meaning when applied by multi-nationals who can afford to know better but clearly are so arrogant not to bother to ensure they've got it right. In this case they even spent a truck load of money to ensure placement and image. Considering its in no way the dominant brand, or even close, why on earth didn't someone say: ahhhh...what about the name. Especially when one considers the very large number of expats in a city like Jakarta or Bali (and tourists) who are directly marketed at. I can happily forgive a local business making mistakes in their non-native lingo. But it astounds me when a company like Electrolux put in the corner of a free post envelope "free sended with Indonesia", as we had this week. And then we have ADES, a product of the American Coca Cola company no less, which, to the Western tongue, rolls off as AIDS (locally of course its ARDAYS).....a mineral water (or a fancy filtered tap water like many of them) called after a fatally infectious plague... And it gets worse...down the bottom of the document I linked above is the following marketing ploy:

3. Donation to Hospitals Ø AdeS used as RTD water for patients Ø New outlet in hospital canteen
Oh dear.....

1 comment:

Juha said...

Priceless! Apropos the Swedish home appliance maker, they ran a campaign in the UK in the nineties (I think) with the strapline:
Nothing sucks like Electrolux
Yes, it was for vacuum cleaners.