Multilingual public relations in America

NPR had a really good story called “Corporate America Takes On Multilingual PR.” It’s interesting to get commercials in a language I understand that is not the main language. When I’m watching the local Chinese television station, I do expect to see commercials in Mandarin. It’s rather odd for me to get mailings in Chinese because I do not expect it. I do all my business in English and never request to do so in another language. So I was surprised when I started getting mail in Chinese. I’m not sure how a company would know that I understand Chinese. But, it is also rather refreshing to see Chinese in a real-life context outside of Asia.

I’ve seen the Chinese version of the Toyota Camry ad mentioned in the article. I found the Mandarin and Korean ads on YouTube. I wasn’t able to find the ad in Vietnamese.

Here is the ad in Mandarin Chinese:

Here’s the same ad in Korean (with English subtitles):

While I appreciate having same language ads when watching local Chinese television, the ad is a bit off. The voice-over has an American accent. I think the accent makes the ad difficult to understand, but other people may not be so sensitive to accents. I do not know if the same is true for the Korean version of the ad.

Here’s a Minute Maid ad from Taiwan:

Obviously the ad from Taiwan is different from the Camry ad. The Camry ad is written by an American PR group specializing in advertising in different languages in America. The commercial from Taiwan matches the culture of ads in Taiwan, while the Chinese Camry ad matches the culture in America.

If I get any mailings in Chinese, I’ll post them. I’m not sure how often commercials show up on YouTube. As you can see from the Chinese Camry ad, someone had to make a video of the commercial while it was broadcast on TV. If I see any, I’ll post those too.


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