‘Hello, death’: Coca-Cola greets New Zealanders in marketing blunder
The beverage firm ran a vending machine signage that read "Kia ora, mate." The slogan was an attempt to mix a greeting from the island’s indigenous peoples’ language, te reo Maori, with English.
When the languages don't mix well. pic.twitter.com/3piZIoptAE— Waikato Reo (@waikatoreo) October 14, 2018
While in English, the word ‘mate’ is commonly used to refer to friends, it has a very different meaning in Maori. The slogan essentially read, "Greetings, death."
Online critics have noted the irony of Coca-Cola’s mistake, with one Twitter user claiming that Coca-Cola may have gained some “self-awareness,” and another one commenting “Finally, truth in advertising.”
Coca-Cola’s spokesperson told Maori Television that the phrase was only “meant to bring Maori and English together,” and “was in no way being disrespectful to any culture.”
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