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Coca-Cola Accidentally Makes Vending Machines That Reads 'Hello, Death'

The mix-up came after the company tried to combine English and Maori phrases.

by Ruby Lott-Lavigna
15 October 2018, 2:46pm

Photo via Flickr user David Ebert

It’s common knowledge that the world is on the brink of an apocalypse (sorry). Trump would rather risk nuclear war with North Korea than not tweet, artificial intelligence is becoming so advanced that robots are likely to overthrow and/or kill us all, and last week, the UN warned that we only have 12 years to save humanity from climate change. Happy Monday!

A vending machine in New Zealand has chosen to acknowledge this depressing reality. As the Guardian reports, Coca-Cola inadvertently created a drinks machine that welcomes our end with the words “Hello, Death” written across it, after combining English and Māori phrases.

As part of a country-wide effort to help re-incorporate the Maori language into New Zealand culture, Coca-Cola’s vending machine was printed with the phrase, “Kia ora, mate.” It hoped to combine the Maori greeting of “Kia ora” with the English term of endearment, “mate.”

Unfortunately, the drinks giant’s efforts didn’t quite have the intended effect, due to the fact that “mate” is the Maori word for “death”—which gives a real goth spin on the whole act of buying a soft drink for speakers of the native language.

Many Twitter users felt that the vending machine’s words were an unusually honest move from Coca-Cola. “The Coca-Cola company gains self-awareness,” wrote one Twitter user, while another commented: “Finally, truth in advertising.”

Taste the feeling … of your impending death.