Kya re Honda… setting-aah?

UPDATE (October 21, 2018): Honda released the same ad today again, with the Hindi copy written in Hindi text… in actual English!


At least just the headline in Hindi, written in English text, I can understand (barely, though). But what’s with the kewal, usool, imaan poetic copy, that too for South? Couldn’t afford a copywriter to translate them meaningfully in local languages?

This is less a mistake and more callousness. I worry more about resonance. I’m sure a LOT of people down South can very well understand the headline, and with some effort, even get the meaning in the copy. It’s not a big deal. But imagine the same thing being communicated n a language they were born into and love… the resonance for the brand is far higher then, I presume.

And to think they did have a Tamil ad for Dhinamalar, though the copy in Tamil sounds corny, not natural 🙂

The rest of the copy, after the headline (hook) in local language, was in English, given it was in an English newspaper.

For context, ET Money did try English text-local language headline fairly well last month. See…

It’s only when they tried the same trick for longer sentences that the effort seemed clunky and funny. Like…

To be entirely fair, Honda does seem to have put in a lot of effort to localize the ad, but in regional language newspapers, Here are 7 different versions. It’s only in *English* newspapers that they have chosen Hindi in English text as default, for all of India. That’s mildly baffling.