Saturday, 11 February 2012

What are the worst branding gaffes?

You are going to 
  • discuss gaffes, advertising and translating
  • listen to a radio interview and do a true / false quiz
  • practise the passive
  • give advice about how to avoid making gaffes when speaking another language or visiting another country




Discuss
  • What's a gaffe?

gaffe  /gaf/  Noun: An accidental act or remark causing embarrassment to its maker; a blunder: "an unforgivable social gaffe".
Synonyms: faux pas - blunder - mistake

  • Have you ever made any gaffes? Describe one
  • Do you ever make any gaffes when you are speaking in a foreign laguage?
  • Do you know of any translations from your language into English which may cause a gaffe?
  • Do you know of any translations from English into your language which may cause a gaffe?
  • Why should we be very careful when we translate into another language?
  • What are "false friends"
  • What's an advertising or branding gaffe?
  • Can you give any examples of advertising or branding gaffes?



Listen
Listen to a radio interview from BBC Radio 4 Today.  The interview is about branding gaffes.

The carmaker BMW launched a Mini Cooper marketing campaign in Germany to try to take advantage of the cold weather.  Unfortunately the Mini Cooper's name was attached to a cold weather front which killed many across Europe. BMW is embarrassed and a spokesman said that "it took on catastrophic proportions and left so many victims... we do regret it very much."

In this interview Allyson Stewart-Allen, a marketing expert who runs International Marketing Partners, explains how to avoid a branding mistake.

Listen to the interview
What other examples of branding gaffes do they give?

What are the worst branding gaffes? (mp3)


Listen again and do the exercise below


Grammar - Passive
What's the difference between these sentences?
  • They translated the text into Chinese
  • The text was translated into Chinese
Which one uses the passive?
When do we use the passive?

Not sure how to use the passive? Look here  http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/04/passive-present-simple.html
or here http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/passive.htm

Try this exercise to practise the passive using phrases from the interview.

Printable version here

More practice
Passive
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises/active_passive/sentences_gaps.htm
http://esl.about.com/library/quiz/blgrquiz_passive1.htm

Other activities
Things that happen on the internet every 60 seconds
http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/08/60-seconds-things-that-happen-on.html
Making Potato chips
http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/05/making-potato-chips-ielts-describing.html


Reading
More funny gaffes
http://k3hamilton.com/cb/cbgaffes.html

http://www.learnenglish.de/mistakes/HorrorMistakes.htm


Writing / Discussion
What advice would you give to an English speaking person who was learning your language or coming to visit your country?
How could he / she avoid making any gaffes?




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