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NEW ZEALAND

Coca-Cola Attempts To Use Māori, Actually Writes 'Hello, Death'

The PR stunt has, at least, has gained the company a lot of press.

by Zoe Madden-Smith
16 October 2018, 9:15pm

Image via Shutterstock

Coca-Cola’s attempt to seamlessly blend te reo Māori and English in their new campaign has well-and-truly backfired. It didn’t take long for people to point out how that the vending machines' “Kia Ora, Mate” greeting actually translates as “Hello, Death”.

Waikato Reo tweeted a photo of the botched copy, with the caption “When the languages don’t mix well.”

The half-arsed attempt to be culturally inclusive really just highlights how the company didn't bother to spend much time researching or seeking advice from Māori, says communications expert Cas Carter told Stuff. "There is a growing trend among international companies to try and reflect local culture in their marketing. Done well it is awesome—done poorly—it is a major risk," she said.

People couldn’t help but laugh about whether the signage was Coke’s way of finally being honest about the tooth-decaying beverage.

The disastrous phrasing has made global headlines, with Quartz , The Guardian and Indian Express all taking turns to criticise the beverage giant’s poor judgement.

Other Twitter-users are not wasting the opportunity to poke fun at Coca-Cola either.