English is the official working language of many multinational organizations. But all companies have national roots. When these roots are in non-English speaking countries, the choice of what English to write in can quickly become a headache. What do you mean by “what English to write in”? It’s very common for international companies to originate
Before the holidays, Nespresso began running a new TV spot in France, featuring the country’s favorite American: George Clooney. Produced by Lowe Stratéus in Paris, it was the latest installment in a long-running saga of ads. Interestingly, the commercial was in English, and was broadcast with subtitles.
My ears always perk up when I hear English on French TV. But this time a hackle was quickly raised. About 28 seconds into the spot the woman says: “I always imagined you to be much more…” at which point George cuts her off and says: “taller?
“I always imagined you to be much more taller” (my emphasis). Ouch.
But recently a new 30-second version has begun airing. And lo and behold, the problem is gone.
I wonder what happened? Did someone spot the mistake and have it fixed? Or was it inadvertently nixed when they trimmed the spot down to 30 seconds?
I have a theory. According to a press release, the ad was scheduled first to run in 13 European countries (none of them English speaking) followed by Australia and Israel. Could it be that the phrase went unnoticed in the first batch of countries, but when it finally made its way down under someone noticed the verbal slip-up and had it edited out?
Whatever the case, the original version is still on the Nespresso Youtube channel. I wonder when they’ll get around to fixing it?
Content strategy won’t be considered strategic until it has its own chapter in the corporate brand guidelines. Until then, content will just be web writing and copywriting. Ok, there, I’ve said it. Let me explain. I spend a lot of my time with one foot in branding and one foot in content. One thing I’ve