Lost in Translation: Verizon Wireless
By Prisma News
One of the great joys of publishing a blog on localization is being able to call out great blunders in cross-cultural communications. It’s a series we call “Lost in Translation.”
Today’s culprit: Verizon Wireless, who seems unable to distinguish between Spain, a country in Europe, and Mexico, our neighbor to the south. Rather than depicting typically Spanish cultural icons, such as toreadors and flamenco dancers (to name the obvious), the creative department went with mariachi musicians and folkloric dancers that are – uniquely Mexican.
Now, to be fair, this isn’t even a localization error, as the ad in question was designed for viewing in the U.S. Still, the mistake could be costly, as it runs the risk of offending the sensibilities of Hispanic viewers of many nationalities, who might not appreciate being lumped together into one, pan-Hispanic salsa.
Bonus error: In this ad, Verizon claims to be in 221 countries. As the Consumerist points out:
“Thing is, the UN only recognizes 192, and the US State department recognizes 194. Where are those other 26 countries?”
(via Sociological Images)