One of my oft repeated quote has been "Common sense is not very common". It is applicable for everyone including you me and all the corporates. Especially the corporates who spent crores and crores of rupees and yet come out with howlers.
Let's take the case of Panasonic Mobile Phone T31 advertisement aired on all the major TV networks recently. The Hinglish version of the advertisement goes like this: Two young men are comparing their phones, one has a Panasonic T31 and the other has a popular Phone (S4 from Samsung?). The popular phone guy reels off the features of his phone and all the features are matched by his friend having the Panasonic phone.
Then the Panasonic guy says "your phone has something that my phone does not have" His friend is very happy and before he could preen himself the Panasonic guy says "EMI" and roars in laughter and adds "I can go to Goa and take Leena there too". (Check out the advertisement).
The idea by itself is brilliant that Panasonic is as good as any other phone and that is very reasonably priced and value for money at sub 7500/-. That we can get a phone that is comparable with a one costing 25,000/- (Samsung S4) the phone so costly that the buyer has to pay for it in installments (EMI).
But man proposes and god disposes. I saw the same version of the advertisement and this time it was in Telugu. To my surprise at the critical juncture of the EMI, the Panasonic guy says “Naa phone lo vokati undi nee phone lo lenidi (Translated it means – My phone has something that your phone does not have) and adds “EMI”. The entire punch of the advertisement is lost. HE IS SAYING HIS PANASONIC PHONE HAS TO BE BOUGHT IN INSTALLMENTS where as the central theme of the advertisement is exactly the reverse. (Check out the advertisement).
What is surprising is that it went under the radar of Panasonic and got telecast! The way out is to get the advertisement translated and show it to people who know all the three languages (English, Hindi and Telugu). Even better show it to a total stranger and he/she would have told Panasonic about the goof up. These types of translation mistakes happen as most of these advertisements are made and dubbed in Mumbai and the dubbings are done in haste and by Mumbaites who might know a smattering of telugu and are not totally proficient.
The words should have been “Nee phone lo vokati undi naa phone lo lenidi” Very simple and very avoidable.