Archive for Language and advertising

Free Tea

Advertisement for a beverage that is available in Japanese convenience stores:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (10)

Phono-semantic rebranding

There's a new article on linguistic borrowing by Jane C. Hu in Quartz (10/23/16):  "The genius and stupidity of corporate America are on display when companies rebrand for new countries".  The article originally had a better title:  "Phono-semantic matching is corporate America's best option when trying to rebrand for new countries".

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (16)

iPhone in China

Q:  How do you say "iPhone 7" and "iPhone 7 Plus" in Chinese?

A:  "iPhone 7" and "iPhone 7 Plus".

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (4)

Pick a word, any word

To access an article in the Financial Times yesterday I found myself confronted with a short market-research survey about laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Answer three our four layers of click-the-box questions, and I could get free access to the article I wanted to look at. A reasonable bargain: clearly some company was prepared to pay the FT for access to its online readers' opinions. And at the fourth layer down I faced a question which asked me to choose a single word that comes into my mind when I think of a certain Microsoft product.

My choice, from all the tens of thousands of words at my disposal, and the word I picked would go straight into the market research department of the one corporation, above all others, for whose products I have the greatest degree of contempt. Just choose that one evocative word and type it in, and I would be through to my article. A free choice. Which word to pick?

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments off

The perils of "7" and "9" in Cantonese

Here we go again:

"Samsung’s Galaxy On7 goes official" (Marketing-Interactive, 9/28/16)

As we’ve covered shortly two weeks ago, the pronunciation of “7″ sounds like “penis” in Cantonese, and the latest Samsung Galaxy On7 launch has once again stirred up discussion on the internet in Hong Kong.

The Cantonese pronunciation of  “On9″ [sic: there seems to be a mix-up here] is similar to slang meaning “stupid”, and many are saying the new release is a crossover between the two slang words.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (11)

Does the new iPhone 7 slogan mean "precisely penis" in Chinese?

No.

Let me explain why.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (22)

Cutesy hairdresser names

I've heard it said that among the retail establishments most addicted to cutesy punning business names are hairdressing salons. I mean, you don't find law practices called Law 'n' Order to Go, do you? Or a hardware store called Get Hard? Or a butcher's called Meat and Greet? But with hairdressers… Well, I don't know all that many myself; just about 150 or so that I've personally seen the signs for…

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (83)

Campaign for promoting falls awareness

The Health Promotion Board (Bǎojiàn cùjìn jú 保健促进局) of Singapore has launched a campaign to promote awareness of falling.  Here's the poster they circulated in conjunction with the launch:


(Source)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (19)

The embrace of algae

Apparently being covered in pond slime can be a Good Thing:

That's an advertisement in the elevator at the LREC 2016 site. The legend sounds like a chapter heading from a dystopian SF novel, but apparently it's an experience worth 46,80 €.

Comments (16)

Inspirational PLA Video

[The following is a guest post by Mark Metcalf, a retired Naval officer and adjunct Lecturer in Chinese Literature at the University of Virginia.]

One of the joys of being semi-retired is having the luxury of being able to chase the occasional squirrel that appears in my field of view. This morning one of those squirrels appeared in the form of a South China Morning Post article:

"‘Just waiting for the order to kill, kill, kill’: China’s military tries to woo young recruits with slick video featuring rock and rap soundtrack" (5/4/16)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (8)

Candidate for President

ICYMI, the median presidential candidate TV ad:

Comments (7)

The mostest and the bestest

Photograph of a sign in Hangzhou:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

Fruity bar

One of the items in the gift box handed out to the thousands of runners in the Qingyuan marathon in Guangdong province last Sunday:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)