Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wherever it's from, don't go there

     As I've grown in linguistic ability thanks to being immersed in British English, sometimes I notice that American ad agencies wishing to communicate to the rest of the world ought to get out a little more.  Case in point?  Ocean Spray.  Their lovely, fruity beverages are widely available in the UK, albeit in fewer versions than in the States.  (I do miss all the grapefruit and tangerine permutations, but will happily settle for Light Cranberry Juice Drink.)  Up until the last month or so, they were running those quirky television ads with folksy cranberry farmers hip high in berries.  The commercials always ended with, "Ocean Spray.  Straight from the bog."  Of course, they meant here:
   But in British English, they've just said their products come straight from here:

    Bog is British slang for the toilet.  Chumley couldn't sit through an ad without snickering smugly.  Surely, that's not quite the imagery of fresh, wholesomeness the Ocean Spray people were thinking of.  At least I found a picture of a clean toilet to keep us from poking out our minds' eye.

    I'm happy to report that someone finally dislodged their head from the bog and thought better of their little slogan for use on UK viewers.  It's officially been changed in their UK ads to, "Good taste.  From a good place." 

   And we're all in a better place for it.

1 comment:

Jane said...

I like your latest blog entries. When I saw that cranberry juice advert, it didn't even cross my mind that bog referred to the toilet! And I've been here for four years! Also, I feel your pain about the Life in the UK test, although your experience seems miles worse than mine.