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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 191 IDEA: Translate Your Marketing Materials

In the 1970s, Chevrolet made a legendary cultural faux pas when it decided to market the Chevy Nova in Mexico. The family car was a big hit in the United States, but the Mexican advertising campaign was a joke. “No va” in Spanish means “no go.” Who wants to buy a car that doesn't go anywhere?

Another famous goof involved a soft drink company that used a photograph of a Japanese family dressed in white clothes enjoying a picnic. The ads were beautiful, but the campaign backfired. White is the color of mourning in Japan, so a happy family drinking soda was offensive.

If you are going to spend thousands on marketing materials, spend some more up front to make sure you are saying just the right thing. ...

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